Iranian Filmmaker Stopped from Coming to Indian Film Festival, Passport Seized

Reza Dormishian, who was to travel to Goa to represent Darius Mehrjui's film 'A Minor', was barred from boarding his flight over what is believed to be his anti-regime views.

New Delhi: An Iranian filmmaker, Reza Dormishian, was barred from travelling to India over what reports have said were Iranian authorities’ disapproval of his anti-regime views. His passport was also seized, it has been reported. There is lack of clarity over what charges he might face.

Variety has reported that Dormishian was supposed to appear at the International Film Festival of India in Goa, representing Dariush Mehrjui’s film A Minor.

Mehrjui is a pioneer of Iran’s new wave in cinema.

The film festival is supposed to conclude today. Mehrjui’s film was scheduled to be screened twice last week.

The Variety report said that Iranian authorities confiscated Dormishian’s passport as he reached the Tehran airport. “It is not clear if Dormishian was arrested or what charges he must answer,” the report noted.

Deadline has reported that Dormishian is a screenwriter, director, documentary filmmaker and producer who has worked in several award-winning films. “His movies have often criticised aspects of Iranian society and have been subject to heavy censorship and lengthy bans in his home country,” the report says.

Iran’s filmmakers have long been battling censorship and state repression. In July this year, the arrest of internationally renowned film director Jafar Panahi by authorities highlighted a renewed crackdown on dissidents and the enforcement of moral rules in the country. Panahi had earlier been under house arrest.

At present, widespread protests, sparked by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini after her arrest for “inappropriate attire”, pose one of the strongest challenges to the country’s clerical establishment since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Reports have speculated that Dormishian’s recent Instagram posts in support of the protests could have led to the state taking such action.