Mohammad Rasoulof was one of two film directors arrested by Iranian authorities on Friday, the country’s state media reports.
Berlin Golden Bear winner Rasoulof and his colleague Mostafa Aleahmad were arrested following the collapse of a building, killing 43, in the country’s southwest back in May.
The tragedy sparked angry protests in solidarity with victims’ families, with demonstrators facing tear gas, warning shots and arrests. Rasoulof led a group of Iranian filmmakers in publishing an open letter demanding security forces “lay down their arms” in the face of “corruption, theft, inefficiency and repression” relating to the disaster.
The pair were arrested for “inciting unrest and disrupting the psychological safety of society,” according to IRNA state news agency.
Rasoulof won the Golden Bear for Best Film award at Berlin Film Festival for There Is No Evil in 2020, and has also triumphed at Cannes and other festivals.
He returned to Iran in 2017, since when he has been banned from making films and travelling beyond the country’s borders after being charged with making “propaganda against the system” with his films.
Two of Rasoulof’s Iranian producers, Kaveh Farnam and Farzad Pak, released a statement via distributor Kino Lorber, condemning the arrests and stating the two filmmakers are currently being held in an unknown location.
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