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Renowned Iranian Film Director Faces New Charges

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof 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 French company in charge of distributing Iranian movie director Mohammad Rasoulof’s latest film has announced that he has been charged with new accusations, including “action against national security” which could lead to six years imprisonment.

ARP Selection, reiterated on Tuesday, October 24, that Rasoulof was “interrogated extensively” on October 3, by the Islamic Republic’s intelligence officers, and was charged with actions against national security and propaganda against the ruling system.

ARP has also said that the 45-year old director is due to be questioned further on charges which carry up to six years in prison.

Mohammad Rasoulof was detained in 2010 while, along with his fellow director Jafar Panahi was directing a film based on the controversial presidential election in 2009. He was charged with similar offenses and sentenced to six years in prison at a lower court. Upon his appeal, the sentence was reduced to one year behind bars. Meanwhile he was banned from film making for twenty years.

Rasoulof’s movies have won numerous international prizes, including at Cannes Film Festival 2017, for his latest movie, “A Man of Integrity” based on economic corruption in Iran.

Six years earlier, while behind bars, Rasoulof had also won the best director prize in the same festival for “Goodbye”.

On September 15, 2017, Rasoulof’s passport was reportedly confiscated at Tehran airport when he returned to Iran after screening his latest film at the Telluride Film Festival in the United States. He was told to report to the prosecutor’s office, and then summoned to a court.

“Manuscripts Don’t Burn,” another masterpiece directed by Rasoulof, was shot clandestinely. The film is based on the Islamic Republic’s Intelligence Ministry agents brutally killing political and intellectual figures in 1998, during reformist Mohammad Khatami’s presidency. The film was also premiered at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section and won the Fipresci prize.

Rasoulof was expected to travel to several festivals in the coming months, including the Hamburg film festival, to present “A Man of Integrity.”

Mohammad Rasoulof was due to promote “A Man of Integrity” in France, in December.