Imprisoned Iranian Director Jafar Panahi to Receive Golden Coach at Cannes

Jafar Panahi

The May 12 honor will kick off the Directors' Fortnight sidebar, although Panahi, who is currently serving time in Teheran, will not be present at the ceremony.

PARIS -- Imprisoned Iranian director Jafar Panahi will receive the Golden Coach prize at this year's Festival de Cannes on May 12 to kick off the Directors' Fortnight sidebar, organizers said Wednesday.

Panahi was condemned in December to six years in prison in his home country of Iran and has been banned from writing and directing films.

"By distinguishing Panahi, we wanted to honor all of the Iranian filmmakers who, whether in exile or in their own country, continue to make films," the SRF said in a statement.

Panahi is currently serving his sentence in Teheran and will not be present at the awards ceremony in Cannes. The lifetime achievement award, aka the "Carrosse d'Or" in French, was created by French Film Directors Society the SRF in 2002 and has been awarded to legendary filmmakers including Clint Eastwood, Nanni Moretti, David Cronenberg and last year's recipient Agnes Varda. The Carrosse d'Or prize will be awarded at 7 p.m. on May 12th during the Festival de Cannes' sidebar's traditional opening night ceremonies. The Directors' Fortnight sidebar runs May 12-22 in Cannes.