MOIN Filmförderung Hamburg Schlwesig-Holstein

Mohammad Rasoulof in Cannes competition

14.05.2024 | Hamburg production at Festival de Cannes

The 77th Cannes International Film Festival begins today, tuesday. It is currently unclear whether directors Mohammad Rasoulof, who lives in Hamburg and Iran, will be able to attend the world premiere of his MOIN-funded film "The Seed of the Sacred Fig" in person. Hamburg's Senator for Culture Dr Carsten Brosda, MOIN Film Fund and FILMFEST HAMBURG express their solidarity.

Rasoulof's psychological drama "The Seed of the Sacred Fig" was produced by Hamburg-based production company Run Way Pictures and financially supported by the MOIN Film Fund. Also from the Hanseatic city: editor Andrew Bird ("Soul Kitchen", "Tschick", "Into the Fate").

Last week, Rasoulof was sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran. He is currently in an unknown location in Europe after a dangerous departure. For his MOIN-funded Berlinale-winning film "There is no evil", Rasoulof was unable to accept the award himself in 2020 due to a travel ban, but was connected via video.

Dr Carsten Brosda, Senator for Culture and Media: "Mohammad Rasoulof is an outstanding director and demonstrates unimaginable courage with his cinematic work. In doing so, he has put himself in great danger in his home country. Despite this danger and all the restrictions, he continues to find ways to make films that criticise the Iranian regime. The fact that he has now had to leave his home country because of this shows once again the great value of freedom of expression and artistic freedom, which are anything but self-evident and characterise our democracy. It is up to us to preserve them. I am very happy and relieved that Mohammad Rasoulof has now managed to leave the country and is in a safe place in Europe."

Helge Albers, CEO of MOIN Film Fund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein: "A strong and political film that could not have a better platform: With 'The Seed of the Sacred' Fig, Mohammad Rasoulof returns to Cannes after seven years. After the 2020 Golden Bear for "There is no evil", this invitation shows once again that Rasoulof is one of the greatest filmmakers of his time - against all odds. We are very pleased that Rasoulof is currently in a safe place in Europe and will support him with all the means at our disposal.

Malika Rabahallah, Director of FILMFEST HAMBURG: "We are shocked and strongly condemn the new prison sentence for Mohammad Rasoulof. His films are an expression of deep humanity and speak the language of freedom. We are relieved to hear that he is in a safe place in Europe and continue to stand in solidarity with this courageous filmmaker and long-time friend of FILMFEST HAMBURG."

The Cannes International Film Festival takes place this year from 14 to 25 May. During the festival, MOIN Film Funding will be presenting itself together with Focus Germany and German Films in the German Pavilion (stand #127) in the Village International of the Marché du Film, the platform for the German film scene at the Cannes International Film Festival.

Credits: Run Way Pictures
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This article was translated automatically. It can contain errors.