Berlinale Calls for Iranian Authorities to Allow ‘My Favourite Cake’ Directors to Travel to Festival: ‘Shocked and Dismayed’

The Berlinale has issued a statement calling for Iranian authorities to allow “My Favourite Cake” directors Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha to travel to this year’s film festival.

“My Favourite Cake” is set to premiere in competition at the festival, which starts on Feb. 15. Since the announcement, Moghaddam and Sanaeeha have been banned from traveling by Iranian authorities and have had their passports confiscated, according to the Berlinale. They are also facing a court trial “in relation to their work as artists and filmmakers,” the fest said.

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“The Berlinale is a festival fundamentally committed to freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of the arts, for all people around the world, and the festival is shocked and dismayed to learn that Moghaddam and Sanaeeha could be prevented from traveling to the festival to present their film and meet their audience in Berlin,” a press release from the festival stated.

Added Berlinale directors Carlo Chatrian and Mariëtte Rissenbeek, “We call for the Iranian authorities to return the passports and to end all restrictions preventing Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha from freely traveling to Berlin this February, together with the other international directors and filmmaking talents from around the world, so they can present their new film ‘My Favourite Cake’ as part of the Berlinale’s 2024 Competition.”

The directing duo was previously at Berlin in 2021 for their film “Ballad of a White Cow,” which premiered in competition.

“My Favourite Cake” follows 70-year-old Mahin, who lives alone “until she decides to break her solitary routine and revitalize her love life,” the film’s plot description states. “But as she opens up to romance, an unexpected encounter quickly evolves into an unforgettable evening.”

“My Favourite Cake” has already been boarded by Totem Films for sales.

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