Press Release by Exit Art, New York
NEW YORK- Exit Art’s Digimovies is pleased to announce FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: A TRIBUTE TO JAFAR PANAHI AND MOHAMMAD RASOULOF, a pair of screenings to mark the one-year anniversary of the Iranian government’s imprisoning and silencing of two of its most politically outspoken and internationally revered filmmakers. The program includes the NYC premiere of Rasoulof’s newest film Good Bye on December 6 and a screening on December 14 of The Accordion, Jafar Panahi’s most recent short film and a selection of short films made for Cine Foundation International’s international campaign to protest Panahi’s imprisonment. The screening on December 14 will be followed by a discussion with representatives from the CFI and select filmmakers who contributed works to the organization’s campaign.
Both vocal supporters of Iran’s Green Movement, Panahi and Rasoulof were arrested and detained in March 2010 while working on a documentary about the 2009 re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the subsequent protests. Rasoulof was released later that month while Panahi was released in June on 200,000 Rials bail. That December, the Iranian Revolutionary Court issued them a verdict of six years in prison for “assembly and collusion” and producing “anti-regime propaganda.” In addition to the six-year prison sentence, Panahi and Rasoulof received a 20-year ban from filmmaking, screenwriting, traveling abroad, and granting interviews to local and foreign media.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: A TRIBUTE TO JAFAR PANAHI AND MOHAMMAD RASOULOF screens shortly after the Iranian government’s decision on October 17, 2011 to uphold Jafar Panahi’s six-year prison sentence and 20-year ban from filmmaking. While the Iranian regime reduced Rasoulof’s prison sentence to one year, his 20-year employment ban remains in place.
DIGIMOVIES screenings are on WEDNESDAYS at 7:30 PM, unless otherwise noted.
All non-English language films contain English subtitles, unless otherwise noted.
Tuesday, December 6 at 7:30 PM - NYC debut!
GOOD BYE (Be omid e didar)
dir. Mohammad Rasoulof, 2011, 100 min, Iran, In Farsi w/ English subtitles
A suspenseful and ideologically charged expose about an activist female lawyer attempting to exit her country, Good Bye illuminates the Iranian regime’s machinations of oppression with eerie austerity. Our protagonist, Noora, is a stark reminder of the struggles for a young woman's basic freedom as she tries to obtain a visa that that will allow her to leave Iran. The last film made by Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof before his 2010 arrest, Good Bye resonates prophetically as a courageous work of resistance and an unsettling chronicle of the oppressive conditions that afflict the women of Iran.
Cine Foundation International protest shorts + Jafar Panahi’s THE ACCORDION
Wednesday, December 14 at 7:30 PM
dir. Jafar Panahi, 2010, 9 min, Iran, France, Brazil, Italy and Switzerland,
In Farsi w/ English subtitles
Panahi’s last finished film before his arrest in 2010 is about two young buskers in Tehran, a boy and a girl, who have their accordion confiscated in front of a mosque.
The Accordion was produced for the international omnibus film Then and Now: Beyond Borders and Differences, commissioned by Art of the World, an NGO associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information.
In January 2011, Cine Foundation International, a human rights NGO aiming to “empower open consciousness through cinema,” launched a campaign calling for the release of Jafar Panahi. The following program is a selection of shorts made for that campaign hailing from countries such as Russia, Spain and the UK.
dir. Anonymous, 2011, 10 min
The first film submitted to Cine Foundation calling for the release of imprisoned film directors Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof came from an anonymous filmmaker in Iran. The last moments of all of Jafar Panahi’s features interweave silently over clam and meditative images and sounds of water, ending on the transfixing bounce of a bouy.
FOR JAFAR PANAHI AND MOHAMMAD RASOULOF
dir. Jimmy Bontatibus, 2011, 6 min, U.S.
After a movie sudden stops running due to “technical difficulties”, a girl decides to venture to the projection booth to see for herself why the film stopped.
ONE WHITE BALLOON
dir. Peter Rinaldi, 2011, 9 min, U.S.
In an homage to the films of Jafar Panahi, a white balloon (a symbol of the man himself) is transported through the streets of New York City en route to its attempted destinations - the Iranian Embassy and the United Nations.
BLIND ARTIST PAINTING A RED SEA
dir. Tobe Morgan, 2011, 7 min, UK
In Rasoulof's film The White Meadows (2009) an artist is blinded by indoctrinated, ignorant people for painting the sea red. Morgan’s film seems to depict this artist’s vision. It is dedicated to Mohammad Rasoulof and Katayoun Shahabi, an international film sales agent who has been accused of collaborating with the BBC and is now in prison.
VOICE FOR PERSIAN CINEMA (VOZ PARA EL CINE PERSA)
dir. Sergio Ortiz Borbolla, 2011, 1 min, Mexico
A woman defiantly stares into the camera as she removes the 35mm film wrapped around her head and face, followed by the removal of her hijab, an act strictly forbidden on film in Iran.
FOR JAFAR PANAHI AND MOHAMMAD RASOULOF
dir. Irina Shatalova, 2011, 4 min, Russia
The incredible images captured from a free flying hot air balloon is followed by Jafar Panahi’s full letter to the Berlin film festival earlier this year.
Film descriptions courtesy of Cine Foundation International. Special thanks to Peter Rinaldi (CFI).
Tickets are $10 general admission. Tickets are available for purchase at the box office 30 minutes before each screening or anytime on Exit Art’s website HERE.
Digimovies is Exit Art's ongoing, curated showcase of international digital cinema presented in our new movie theater. Programming covers various cinematic genres (drama/fiction, documentary, non-narrative/experimental) and emphasizes the work of emerging directors who are challenging cinematic conventions in provocative and exciting ways. Screenings regularly include in-person and virtual discussions with directors and other guests. In addition to screenings and Q&As, Digimovies presents video production workshops with accomplished directors and video artists.
ABOUT EXIT ART
Exit Art is an independent vision of contemporary culture. We are prepared to react immediately to important issues that affect our lives. We do experimental, historical and unique presentations of aesthetic, social, political and environmental issues. We absorb cultural differences that become prototype exhibitions. We are a center for multiple disciplines. Exit Art is a 29-year-old cultural center in New York City founded by Directors Jeanette Ingberman and artist Papo Colo, that has grown from a pioneering alternative art space, into a model artistic center for the 21st century committed to supporting artists whose quality of work reflects the transformations of our culture. Exit Art is internationally recognized for its unmatched spirit of inventiveness and consistent ability to anticipate the newest trends in culture. With a substantial reputation for curatorial innovation and depth of programming in diverse media, Exit Art is always changing.
ABOUT CINE FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL
Cine Foundation International was founded on Human Rights Day 2010 by filmmakers Jesse Richards and Tobe Morgan with the purpose of “empowering open consciousness through cinema”. In January 2011 filmmakers Bela Tarr, Fred Kelemen and Lav Diaz joined the Board of Directors. In the year it’s been operating CFI has created “White Meadows”, a human rights video app which anyone in the world can use to record a short video statement in support of a particular issue (or report a human rights abuse); has organized and curated “Films for Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof” a collection of short protest films in support of the Iranian filmmakers, and has presented “In Passing”, the first feature film collaboration by filmmakers inspired by 2008’s noted Remodernist Film Manifesto.
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