Banned Iranian director Rasoulof coming to Cannes

CANNES, France (AP) — Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof, whose movies are banned in his country and who has been sentenced to jail by the Islamic regime there, is coming to Cannes for a screening of his latest film, publicists for the movie said Thursday.

“Manuscripts Don’t Burn” tells the story of an Iranian author secretly writing his memoirs — and authorities’ attempts to destroy the manuscript.

Publicists for the movie said Rasoulof would attend Friday’s official screening. The film is competing in Cannes’ sidebar competition, Un Certain Regard.

In 2010, Rasoulof and fellow director Jafar Panahi were arrested in Iran for filming without a permit, sentenced to six years prison and banned from filmmaking for 20 years on charges that included “making propaganda” against the ruling system.

Rasoulof’s sentence was later reduced to a year on appeal, and he is currently on bail.

His film “Goodbye” won a prize at Cannes in 2011, but the director wasn’t allowed to travel to France to accept it.

“Manuscripts Don’t Burn” was made clandestinely in Iran, and the names of its cast and crew do not appear on the credits.

There was much speculation about the film in the run-up to the Cannes festival, which ends Sunday. When the Cannes lineup was announced last month, Rasoulof’s entry was listed simply as “Anonymous.”

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