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Cannes Film Festival Calls For Release Of Iranian Filmmaker Rasoulof

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof poses as he arrives on May 27, 2017 for the Un Certain Regard prize ceremony at the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France.

The Cannes Film Festival has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof while asking festivals, cinemas, and artists around the world to do the same.

In a July 25 statement, the film festival said the world has learned "with the utmost dismay" that Rasoulof has been sentenced to one year in prison as well as a two-year ban from leaving his country.

Rasoulof told RFE/RL earlier this week that he was sentenced to prison after being convicted of “spreading propaganda” against the Iranian establishment. He said the content of his movies are the reason for the conviction.

The award-winning filmmaker also faces a two-year ban on membership in political and social parties and organizations.

The sentence can be appealed within 20 days.

In 2010, Rasoulof was sentenced to six years in prison for a documentary about the protests over the disputed 2009 Iranian presidential election. The sentence was later reduced to one year in prison by an appeals court.

Rasoulof was awarded the top prize in one of the sections of the Cannes Film Festival in 2017 for A Man Of Integrity (Lerd).

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