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Dissident Iranian Director's Film To Premiere In Berlin

A new movie by dissident Iranian director Jafar Panahi will premiere at next month's Berlin International Film Festival.

Organizers announced on January 14 that the 65th annual festival, running February 5-15, will feature the first screening of Panahi's film Taxi.

The film, a portrait of the Iranian capital, Tehran, will contend for the festival's coveted Golden Bear for best feature film.

In 2010, Panahi received a six-year prison sentence and a 20-year ban on directing movies, writing screenplays, or giving any interviews, and leaving the country.

He is not behind bars but could be imprisoned at any time at the discretion of the authorities.

Panahi has won numerous awards for his films, including the Silver Bear award for best screenplay in 2013 for Closed Curtain, a film he made in secret.

He was also awarded the European Parliament's Sakharov prize for Freedom of Thought in 2012.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa