Published 16:48 IST, May 3rd 2024

Cannes 2024: Iranian Director Mohammad Rasoulof Banned From Attending Film Festival - Here's Why

Mohammad Rasoulof will not be attending the Cannes Film Festival this year. His involuntary absence presents itself as a pattern, repeating itself from 2023.

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Mohammad Rasoulof | Image: AP

This year's Cannes Film Festival will, for the second year in a row, be missing Mohammad Rasoulof from its list of eminent attendees. The Iranian director, whose latest work, The Seed of the Sacred Fig, is vying for the film festival's top honour - the Palme d'Or, will not be present at the film's screening.


Why has Mohammad Rasoulof been banned from attending the Cannes Film Festival?

Mohammad Rasoulof will not be attending this year's Cannes Film Festival. Rasoulof has been rather vocal about his disagreement, when it comes to the Iranian administration, unabashedly voicing his criticism of the same. The final straw for his complicated equation with the government came when he denounced the latter for its crackdown on nationwide protestors that saw him jailed. He was temporarily freed in 2023 due to ill health. He was eventually pardoned but eventually left slapped with a travel ban.


Rasoulof's involuntary absence from Cannes this year mirrors his situation from 2023. The director was supposed to have served on the Cannes Un Certain Regard jury - however, he could not go through with the honour and responsibility owing to the travel restrictions imposed on him. Rasoulof had made major waves for his anti-establishment perspective back in 2020, with his Golden Bear win at Berlin, for There is No Evil - a cinematic criticism of capital punishment. Things on the political front, have only deteriorated for the director from thereon.

Mohammad Rasoulof is not the only one bearing the weight of travel restrictions

Iranian director Jafar Panahi was felicitated for his 1995 debut The White Balloon, at Cannes. However, he has been banned from leaving Iran since 2010, after being found guilty of reportedly harbouring the intent to harm the country's national security. He was initially placed under house arrest - a provision that was relaxed over time, letting him move freely within the country.


However, he faces a 20-year ban on travelling abroad and is also banned from making movies or speaking to the media. However, Panahi's passion for cinema, shines right through with the filmmaker having made as many as three films, secretively, with 2018's Three Faces, also competing for the Palme d'Or. 

16:48 IST, May 3rd 2024