*Yerevan, 2007 (pictures - via Golden Apricot International Film Festival Facebook page)
Yerevan's most famous GOLDEN APRICOT International Film Festival has signed the petition demanding Jafar Panahi's freedom more than a month ago, on 12 April 2010. This became known couple of days ago, when festival's press office released the statement via their official Facebook group in response to queries re festival's stance towards the imprisonment of renown Iranian director. In addition, festival's press office informs that in 2007, "when Panahi was one of the honorary guests of GOLDEN APRICOT, festival administration had numerous difficulties to deal with the Iranian embassy in Armenia and finally had to break the relationships with them."
Below is a statement in full.
To Whom It May Concern,
The entire staff of GOLDEN APRICOT IFF, being convinced that imprisonment of Jafar Panahi, the humanitarian interpreter of Iranian cinema, is unfair; joins this initiative (the information of which reached us through Ludmila Cvikova - IFFR programmer, film-critic Shahla Nahid, and other Golden Apricot-friendly circles), and signs this petition demanding his and his colleagues release from the prison.
Armenian spectators had a chance to explore the problems of women in the present Iranian reality in 2007, when Jafar Panahi's film "Offside" was shown within the framework of the 4th GOLDEN APRICOT IFF. Jafar Panahi deserves the right to be heard and must be given the freedom to create.
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