This bit of news is unfortunately all too predictable. After winning a prize at the recent Berlin International Film Festival, Iranian filmmaker Kamboziya Partovi and actress Maryam Moghadam have had their passports confiscated, preventing them from again leaving the country to promote their film, Closed Curtain, according to THR.
Both Partovi and Monghadam attended the World Premiere of the film in Berlin earlier this month. Writer, co-director and co-star Jafar Panahi won a Silver Bear for Best Screenplay, which he could not accept in person because he was already banned from traveling abroad by the regime. He remains under house arrest in Tehran.
"It is difficult to work, but not being able to work is more difficult," co-director Kamboziya Partovi, who also stars as the dog owner in the film said in Berlin. "Not being able to work at the height of your career is depressing and I think the film shows this."
Iranian authorities protested the film's win as an "illegal act" and demanded that the Berlin International Film Festival "correct their behavior." Closed Curtain was made in secret, like Panahi's previous film, This Is Not a Film.
Closed Curtain centers on a remote villa in which four individuals appear to be hiding from authorities in a story that could be easily interpreted as a metaphor for Iran itself.
Following the film's first screening at the Berlinale, discussion centered on how the fact that the film screened overseas in defiance of the regime would be handled by authorities back home. "There's nothing we can foresee," said Partovi in Berlin. "We don't know what the future has for us. While developing the script, we didn't anticipate something. We just wanted the project to be the four of us."
Closed Curtain will next be seen as the Closing Night film ov the Hong Kong Film Festival next month.