Iranian-Canadian director prevented from leaving Tehran to attend London film fest


An Iranian-Canadian director says he was unable to attend a film competition in London Friday as Iranian authorities prevented his departure.

Director Mani Haghighi stated in an Instagram video he could not be on the screening of his film on the London Film Festival as a result of Iranian authorities stopped him from boarding his flight in Tehran and later confiscated his passport.

The British Film Institute stated in a press release that Haghighi was due to current his film “Subtraction,” which debuted on the Toronto International Film Festival final month.

While selling the film, Haghighi advised Variety his Iranian-Canadian identification was vital to him. Haghighi attended faculty in Ontario and Quebec, and he advised the leisure publication he nonetheless has shut associates in Canada.

Canadian music critic, Carl Wilson stated he went to McGill University with Haghighi within the late Eighties and has been associates with the director ever since, even offering editorial assistance on some English subtitles for “Subtraction”.

Haghighi later went to research in Ontario, and have become a Canadian citizen within the Nineteen Nineties stated Wilson.

In his video message, Haghighi stated he was given no affordable clarification by authorities for the confiscation of his passport.

Two weeks earlier, Haghighi posted a video criticizing Iran’s obligatory hijab legislation and up to date crackdown on youth protesters.

Public anger in Iran has coalesced round final month’s demise of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by the nation’s morality police, an advocacy group stated. Amini’s demise has led to a sequence of demonstrations in opposition to the federal government, some wherein women and girls take away their obligatory head scarves on the road in a present of solidarity.

As the motion entered its fifth week, at the very least 233 protesters have been killed ⁠– 32 among the many lifeless have been under the age of 18, in accordance to U.S.-based rights monitor HRANA.

Haghighi stated that he believes authorities have stored him in Tehran to watch over him and to forestall the director from talking out.

“The very fact that I am talking to you in this video right now undermines that plan,” stated Haghighi.

Despite the shortcoming to attend the competition in London or go away Iran, Haghighi stated in a video that he’s honoured to bear witness to historical past in Iran, and that he would fairly be in Tehran than wherever else on the earth.

“Being here in Tehran right now, is one of the greatest joys of my life,” stated Haghighi in a video. “If this is a punishment for what I’ve done, then by all means, bring it on.”

The London Film Festival stated it helps Haghighi and all filmmakers of their freedom to current their movies all over the world.

Global Affairs Canada stated it is conscious “of reports of a Canadian citizen in Iran” and that officers have been prepared to present consular help, however wouldn’t disclose any extra info citing privateness considerations.

Spokesperson Patricia Skinner additionally stated in an emailed assertion Canadian residents ought to keep away from all journey to Iran due to the risky safety scenario.

Canada stands in solidarity with girls and different protesters in Iran and calls on the Iranian regime to hear to the considerations of its residents and defend their proper to peaceable protest, Skinner stated.

Haghighi couldn’t be reached for remark.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Oct. 15, 2022.


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