Berlin Golden Bear-Winning Iranian Filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof Arrested For “Inciting Unrest”

Mohamed Rasoulof He was one of two film directors arrested by Iranian authorities on Friday, the country’s state media reported.

Berlin Golden Bear winner Rasoulof and his aide Mustafa Alehmad were arrested in May after a building collapsed in the country’s southwest, killing 43 people.

The tragedy sparked angry protests in solidarity with the families of the victims, with protesters facing tear gas, warning shots and arrests. Rasolof led a group of Iranian filmmakers to publish an open letter calling on security forces to “lay down their arms” because of the “corruption, theft, incompetence and repression” related to the disaster.

According to the IRNA state news agency, the pair were arrested for “inciting unrest and disrupting the psychological security of society”.

Rasoulof won the Golden Bear Award for Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival no harm in 2020, and has also won at Cannes and other festivals.

He returned to Iran in 2017 after he was banned from filming and traveling beyond the country’s borders after being accused of “propagating against the system” with his films.

Rasolof’s two Iranian producers, Kawe Farnam and Farzad Pak, released a statement through distributor Kino Lorber, condemning the arrest and saying the two filmmakers are currently being held at an undisclosed location.