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Iran Restricts Film Director Over Alleged Political Comments

Asghar Farhadi shows off his award after the Berlinale festival in February 2009.
Local media reports say Iranian authorities have revoked the permit for prominent director Asghar Farhadi's unfinished film after he reportedly made comments supportive of Iran's opposition Green Movement.

Deputy Culture Minister Javad Shamaqdari was quoted as saying that Farhadi's film, "Nader Divorces Simin," currently in production, lost its permit over the director's "inappropriate" comments at a recent awards ceremony.

Farhadi, awarded best director at the Berlinale festival in 2009 for his popular film "About Elly," reportedly said he hoped to see so much "change" in Iran that "next year will be in no way like these years."

He also reportedly voiced support for vocal backers of Iran's opposition movement, such as director Jafar Panahi and filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

Many filmmakers, writers, and artists have come under attack in the government crackdown that followed Iran's disputed June 2009 presidential election.

compiled from agency reports