Jane Campion, Damien Chazelle, Zar Amir Ebrahimi and Guy Nattiv joined a flash mob on the Venice Film Festival’s red carpet on Saturday in support of the Woman, Life, Freedom protests in Iran.
They were among around 100 filmmakers, artists and pro-democracy activists joining the flashmob, which took place ahead of tonight’s gala screening of Maestro.
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The group carried placards with portraits of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, whose death in police custody last September, after she was arrested for not wearing her veil correctly, sparked the protests.
There were also banners for Leila’s Brothers director Roustayi, who it emerged last month had been sentenced to six months in prison on charges of “anti-regime propaganda activity” for screening the family drama in Cannes in 2022.
Saeed Roustee had previously participated at the Venice Film Festival in 2019 in the Orizzonti section with Just 6.5 (Metri Shesho Nim).
The arrests are believed to be part of a crackdown as Iranian’s draconian Islamic Republic regime attempts to stifle dissent in the run up to the first anniversary of Amini’s death on September 16.
Earlier in the day, Nattiv and Ebrahimi’s ground-breaking collaboration Tatami – as the first film uniting an Israeli and an Iranian filmmaker as co-directors – world premiered in Venice’s Orizzonti section.
It tells the story of a young female judoka who faces a life-changing decision during the World Championship when the Iranian authorities want her to withdraw from the competition.
In other activities in support of the Iran democracy protests, parallel section Giornate degli Autori, screened the under radar film The Sun Will Rise by Ayat Najafi, in a pre-screening event on Wednesday (September 30).
The film revolves around a rehearsal by an Iranian theatre company in Tehran for a performance of the Greek comedy Lisistrata by Aristophanes.
During the scene of the assault on the Acropolis, which was occupied by the women of Athens, the troupe discovers that they have been surrounded by the riot police.
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