Jafar Panahi was released a few days ago on bail from Evin Prison in Tehran
Jafar Panahi's latest film "No Bears" premiered in the Venice Film Festival's main competition program, where it received the Special Jury Prize - the existence of this work by the world-renowned Iranian filmmaker is a definitive proof of his indomitable determination and creative audacity.
The story in Panahi's film again focuses on the challenges that are constantly faced by any filmmaker trying to create art in the director's home country. The line between reality and the auteur-fantasy part of the plot blurs as we watch Panahi himself participate in the film - he follows two parallel love stories thwarted by overwhelming circumstances, the power of superstition and prejudice, and the actions of the representatives of power in the provincial reality. And while it may seem like a documentary plot, "No Bears" is an interesting experiment in the context of the total ban on the film by the Iranian authorities.
Jafar Panahi has won the Camera d'Or (Cannes) for his debut film "The White Balloon", the Golden Lion (Venice) for "The Circle", the Golden Bear (Berlin) for "Taxi" and the Best Screenplay Award at Cannes for "Three Faces", and in 2021 he was awarded the Sofia Prize at the 25th Sofia Film Fest. In 2010 Panahi was sentenced to six years in prison and banned from leaving the country, making films, writing screenplays, and giving interviews to the foreign press for 20 years. In July 2022, he was arrested again for expressing his personal views and anti-government actions. In early February 2023, the director was released on bail.
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Following the premiere of Scottish director Charlotte Welles' debut feature film "Aftersun" at Cannes Critics' Week, the entire film world was talking about this moving story and the organic performances of Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio. Daughter Sophie's camera focuses on her relationship with her father during the days the two share during a summer vacation in the late twentieth century. Gradually, cracks begin to appear in the façade that Dad is trying to maintain to provide Sophie with the perfect holiday... Dozens of film experts have named "Aftersun" as one of the best films of 2022, and it's no coincidence that it already has over 150 nominations and more than 50 awards, including an Oscar nomination for Paul Mescal's performance.
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