Iran Confiscates Filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof's Passport After Return From Telluride

A Man of Integrity - Cannes Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

The director, whose film 'A Man of Integrity,' won Cannes' Un Certain Regard sidebar this year, is facing a court date after getting stopped at Tehran Airport.

Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof has been ordered to attend a court hearing in Tehran after his passport was confiscated at the border before the weekend.

Rasoulof, who won the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes this year for his film A Man of Integrity (also known as Lerd), was returning to Iran from Colorado's Telluride Film Festival when he was stopped at Tehran Airport on Friday.

No reason was given for the confiscation of his passport, and he was subsequently ordered to appear at a "culture and media" court in the Iranian capital, Kaveh Farman a co-producer on A Man of Integrity told The Hollywood Reporter.

Rasoulof has long been subject to harassment by Iranian authorities. He was arrested mid-shoot in 2010 along with his friend and fellow director Jafar Panahi. The latest incident means that he may have to serve a previously declared prison sentence that was suspended.

Farman said no reason or further details had been given for the confiscation of Rasoulof's travel document and the order to show up in court. "They stopped him at Tehran Airport, and finally they took his passport and let him go," Farman said.

On Saturday, Rasoulof was ordered to attend "a court, which is called culture and media.... We don't know what is the real case," he added.

Rasoulof had been back and forth to Iran "a few times" since his Cannes win without any problem, Farnam said. "It is not clear to us [whether] it is because of A Man of Integrity or not."

The film, clandestinely shot in the north of the country, is about a man whose fight for justice exposes official corruption and has been seen as a scathing critique of contemporary Iranian society.

The seizure of Rasoulof's passport means that he is unlikely to be able to attend upcoming festivals that are due to show his film, including the Batumi and Hamburg film festivals, Farnam said.

No date has yet been set for the Tehran court hearing.