Abbas Kiarostami's 'Copy' banned in Iran

'Certified Copy' is helmer's first film made outside of Iran

PARIS -- Abbas Kiarostami's MK2-produced "Certified Copy" has been banned from Iranian cinemas, according to Iranian Cultural Ministry officials.

The film kicked off production in the Chianti countryside in Italy in June and stars Juliette Binoche in a love story told in English and French. "Certified Copy" marks Kiarostami's first film made outside of Iran and the 10th anniversary of the director's collaboration with MK2 founder and producer Marin Karmitz.

"Certified Copy" is co-produced by Italy's Bibi Films and Gallic public TV company France 3 cinema, with support from pay TV group Canal Plus and national film body the CNC.

"The film cannot be screened in Iran because no production and screening license has been issued for it," the Iranian Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry's Cinematic Department's Jamal Shourjeh told press.

He added: " 'Certified Copy' has been produced by a non-Iranian in Italy in western culture; therefore, it should have a license for national screening."

The film, that also co-stars British opera star William Shimell, could see its first screening at the 2010 Festival de Cannes. MK2 could not be reached for comment.