Release Mohamad Rasoulof and Mostafa Al-Ahmad!

    ICFR Calls for the Release of Iranian Filmmakers

    Mohammad Rasoulof

    The Iranian authorities have arrested two filmmakers over an appeal they posted on social media speaking out against the unproportionate repression of civil protestors.

    According to Iran’s news agency IRNA, the award-winning filmmaker Mohamad Rasoulof and documentary filmmaker, writer and researcher Mostafa Al-Ahmad were taken into custody for posting a statement on social media urging members of the Iranian security forces to lay down their weapons.

    The hashtag #put_your_gun_down is a reference to the violent crackdown during the unrest following a building collapse in the southwestern city of Abadan that killed at least 41 people earlier this year.

    The report does not elaborate when the two were arrested. At least 70 Iranian filmmakers and movie industry workers had signed the appeal.

    Rasoulofs passport had been confiscated after his 2017 film A MAN OF INTEGRITY premiered at Cannes, where it won the top prize in the “Un Certain Regard” section of the festival. In 2020 he won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for THERE IS NO EVIL which, like his previous films, casts a critical eye on the consequences of life under authoritarian rule.

    Shortly after receiving the award he was sentenced to a year in prison for “propaganda against the system.” He was also banned from making films and traveling abroad. Following his release in 2021, he has now been re-arrested.

    A statement published on Kinolorber (Rasoulof’s US distributor) condems the arrest while revealing that the two filmmakers are currently being held in an unknown location.

    ICFR calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mohamad Rasoulof and Mostafa Al-Ahmad and we encourage all film and culture institutions around the world to do the same.