The head of Iran's office of cinema has reportedly sent a complaint to the organizers of the Berlin Film Festival protesting the screening of director Jafar Panahi's secretly produced film Closed Circuit at this year's festival, for which Panahi and his longtime collaborator, Kamboziya Partovi, won the festival's Silver Bear for Best Screenplay. In an interview with Iran's student news agency ISNA, Javad Shamaqdari said that the festival's officials should amend their behavior because in cultural and cinematic exchange, this is not correct. Panahi, who is being held under house arrest while he appeals a 2010 conviction for making propaganda against the state, was unable to attend this year's festival and had to smuggle his film out of the country. Everyone knows that a license is needed to make films in our country and send them abroad, Shamaqdari said in the interview. But there are a small number who make films and send them out without a license. This is an offense ... but so far the Islamic Republic has been patient with such behavior.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.