Berlinale movie stars present solidarity with Iran protesters


By James Imam

BERLIN (Reuters) – Dozens of actors and filmmakers gathered on the Berlinale’s purple carpet on Saturday to indicate solidarity with anti-government protesters in Iran, with one exiled Iranian movie director predicting the upcoming fall of the nation’s authorities.

“The regime’s time is over,” Sepideh Farsi advised Reuters on the purple carpet. “It is time for change – I believe individuals actually grasp that.”

A few of these current on the demonstration – together with Farsi, whose animation movie “The Siren” opened on Thursday, and the award-winning director Farzad Pak – held up placards emblazoned with the Kurdish revolutionary slogan “Jin, Jîyan, Azadî” (Lady, Life, Freedom).

Others made victory indicators or chanted the slogan as they punched the air with their arms.

The demonstration in Berlin got here after protests flared up in a single day on Thursday in Iran, with streets in a lot of cities filling with individuals demanding the overthrow of the Islamic Republic.

The Berlinale has this 12 months boycotted Iranian movie establishments however is exhibiting a lot of movies by unbiased administrators from the nation, with Iran’s quest for freedom certainly one of this 12 months’s essential themes.

Banning Iranian establishments despatched “a really robust sign,” Farsi added. “Iranian establishments have all the time been right here; their absence opens the place for different unbiased establishments.”

Different Iranian movies on present this 12 months embrace Mehran Tamadon’s “The place God is Not” and “And, In direction of Blissful Alleys”, Indian filmmaker Sreemoyee Singh’s poetic postcard to the nation.

The demonstration adopted a panel dialogue exploring the position of the humanities within the protests, throughout which Pak described the federal government as a “totalitarian regime the place self expression is just not allowed”.

Iranian director Jafar Panahi, who has been crucial of the federal government, was arrested in Iran in July for apparently supporting anti-government demonstrations. He was launched on bail earlier this month.

On the time, Berlinale administrators Mariette Rissenbeek and Carlo Chatrian referred to as the arrest of Panahi, a former winner of the competition’s prestigious Golden Bear award, “a violation of freedom of expression”.

(Reporting by James Imam; modifying by Matthias Williams and Alexandra Hudson)