Golden Bear winner Mohammad Rasoulof reportedly summoned to prison in Iran
Only days after being awarded the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for his latest film, There is No Evil, it has been reported by London-based Iran International TV that Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof has been summoned to jail by local authorities, after being found guilty of “propaganda against the system” for his last three films.
Speaking to The Associated Press a couple of days ago, Rasoulof's lawyer Nasser Zarafshan also confirmed the director had received a text message summoning him to serve a one-year jail sentence. However, it appears that Rasoulof remains defiant and instead of turning himself in will continue to fight his charges.
Rasoulof's problems with the Iranian government go back to 2011 after his film Goodbye saw him given a six-year jail sentence and a 20-year ban from filmmaking along with fellow director Jafar Panahi, for what was deemed to be anti-regime propaganda.
On appeal his sentence was reduced to a year and he was subsequently banned from leaving the country by authorities who confiscated his passport. More recently that meant he was unable to attend the Berlin Film Festival to collect his award, with his daughter, Baran, accepting it on his behalf.
While Rasoulof's lawyer has confirmed the receipt of the text, there has been no Iranian state media report released confirming the situation. However, in an interview with Variety prior to Berlinale, the director said that during the making of There is No Evil he received a text “that informed me that the appeal confirmed the sentence,” and that he was “still waiting for another text to inform me [about] at what point this sentence is going to be executed."