Jafar Panahi’s Closed Curtain collaborators grounded in Iran

Iranian government seizes passports of director Kambuzia Partovi and actor Maryam Moghadam, preventing them from promoting film abroad

The co-director and star of Iranian dissident film-maker Jafar Panahi’s Berlin prizewinner Closed Curtain have had their passports confiscated by officials.

The move means Kambuzia Partovi and actor Maryam Moghadam will no longer be able to go abroad to promote the winner of the 2013 Silver Bear for best screenplay. Panahi himself remains under house arrest in the Islamic Republic after being banned from making films for 20 years and sentenced to six years in prison in December 2010.

Iran’s authorities berated Berlin organisers for rewarding Panahi, the celebrated director of The White Balloon and Offside, earlier this month. Closed Curtain is the second movie he has made (following 2011’s This Is Not a Film) since his government ban. “Making these films is illegal,” said Iranian cinema chief and deputy culture minister Javad Shamaqdari, according to the ISNA news agency.

Closed Curtain (also known as Parde) tells the tale of a group of people trapped in a house by a lake, a predicament critics have suggested represents a thinly veiled critique of the repression suffered in Iran by Panahi and other artists. Both its directors also appear in front of the camera. The film, now without either of its main creators nor its central star, is due to continue its festival run next month with an appearance as the closing film of the Hong Kong film festival.

By The Guardian


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