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Iranian Film Director Will Stay Home For Sundance

The Sundance Institute

The Tehran Times is reporting that an Iranian film director has withdrawn his film from the Sundance Film Festival in protest of the U.S. actions against Iran. But Sundance organizers say that’s not the case – and the show will go on.  

Film Director Massoud Bakhshi is scheduled to premiere his latest film, “Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness” on January 26th at the Egyptian Theater.

The film is entered in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic competition. According to the report in the Tehran Times, the film’s director sent a letter to the festival asking organizers  to exclude his film from the festival’s schedule.

However, the Senior Manager of Media Relations for the Sundance Institute Jason Berger told KPCW that the article is incorrect. He says the Festival asked for a correction, but it hasn’t been made yet. Berger says while the director will be unable to attend, the film has not been pulled from the Festival, nor did the director request that the film be withdrawn.

The article in the Times said the film was withdrawn following the recent killing of an Iranian commander in a military drone attack in Baghdad.

The Times report says that in his letter, Bakhshi wrote, quote,  “Under these circumstances I won’t be attending your festival and I will stay with the people who have been suffering from sanctions, pressures, discriminations, deprivations and prohibitions imposed by the crazy warmongers for years.”

The film is about a young woman who has been sentenced to death for murdering her husband. Iranian law allows for the victims’ family to forgive her and spare her life and the woman’s fate is to be decided by the husband’s daughter on the country’s most popular televised reality show.

The film has been scheduled for 5 screenings over the 10 day festival.

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