Iranian-Canadian director prevents leaving Tehran for London film festival

MONTREAL – An Iranian-Canadian director says he was unable to attend a film festival in London on Friday due to Iranian authorities preventing his departure.

Director Mani Haghighi said in an Instagram video that he was unable to attend his screening at the London Film Festival because Iranian authorities prevented him from boarding a flight in Tehran and then confiscated his passport.

The British Film Institute said in an announcement that Haghighi will attend the festival with the film “Subtraction,” which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last month.

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While promoting the film, Haghighi told Variety his Iranian-Canadian identity was important to him. Haghighi went to school in Ontario and Quebec, and he told the entertainment publication he still has close friends in Canada.

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In his video message, Haghighi said he was given no reasonable explanation by authorities for the seizure.

Two weeks earlier, Haghighi had posted a video criticizing Iran’s mandatory head covering law and its crackdown on young protesters.

The London Film Festival said it supported Haghighi and all filmmakers in freely showing their films around the world.

Haghighi could not be reached for comment and Global Affairs Canada did not immediately respond to questions about the director’s situation or the status of his Canadian document.

& copy 2022 Canadian Press


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