Iran government hails film’s win at Golden Globes

Iran government hails film’s win at Golden Globes

TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse
Iran government hails film’s win at Golden Globes

Director Asghar Farhadi (L) and actor Peyman Moadi pose with the award for best foreign film.

Iran’s government on Jan. 17 hailed the weekend win by Iranian movie “A Separation” at the US Golden Globes awards, overlooking its initial efforts to halt the film being made.

In a message to the movie’s director, Asghar Farhadi, published by the Mehr news agency, Deputy Culture Minister Javad Shamaqdari said: “I congratulate Mr Farhadi, the film community and the Iranian people for this success.”

He said the film’s Golden Globes’ award for best foreign-language movie showed the quality of cinema and culture under Iran’s Islamic revolution.

There was no mention of the fact that the government ordered the suspension of the filming of “A Separation” in 2010 because Farhadi voiced support for fellow filmmakers labelled “anti-regime” by authorities.

Production resumed once Farhadi issued an apology. But Iran’s film industry generally is operating under increasing restrictions by the government imposed since the disputed 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Several filmmakers have been arrested, and one of Iran’s most famous directors, Jafar Panahi, has been ordered to jail and given a 20-year ban on making movies for a documentary he tried to make on the unrest following Ahmadinejad’s re-election.

This month, the ministry of culture ordered the country’s main film industry guild, the House of Cinema, dissolved after some filmmakers expressed critical views of the regime at its annual festival. It said the guild had changed its founding statutes without consulting authorities.

Farhadi has voiced support for his colleagues in the guild, who are trying to have the dissolution reversed.

His film, which tells the story of an estranged couple caught up in lies and a nasty legal dispute with a domestic worker, has picked up numerous awards in festivals around the world.

It is seen as one of the front runners for the foreign language best picture award at the Oscars to be held in Los Angeles on Feb. 26. The Iranian government is backing its nomination at those awards.