Iran reopens film group in hint of moderate shift

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities say a prominent center for filmmakers and artists can reopen, more than 20 months after it was closed by hard-liners.

The decision, reported Thursday by the official IRNA news agency, appears to reflect the more tolerant views on social and cultural issues by Iran’s new moderate-leaning president, Hasan Rouhani.

IRNA quotes Hojjatollah Ayoubi, a deputy culture minister, as saying the reopening of the House of Cinema is an indication of support for film by Rouhani’s government.

The closure of the 20-year-old center in early 2012 brought an outcry from many prominent filmmakers, including director Asghar Farhadi, who won Iran’s first Academy Award in 2012 for “A Separation.”

Hard-liners had repeatedly criticized the film center for supporting liberal views.

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