Berlin Film Festival Management to Appeal to Iran

 Berlin Film Festival Management to Appeal to Iran

Behtash Sanaeeha ve Maryam Moghaddam

The Berlin Film Festival has called on the Iranian state to allow directors Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha to leave the country to attend the festival.


Keyke mahboobe man (My Favourite Cake), co-directed by Iranian directors Moghaddam and Sanaeeha, has been selected to screen in the competition section of the 74th Berlinale. The festival management appealed to Iran to allow the two directors to leave the country to attend the world premiere of their film.

Moghaddam and Sanaeeha have been banned from travelling, their passports have been confiscated by Iranian authorities and they are facing court proceedings in connection with their work as artists, the festival management said in a statement on Thursday.

Berlinale directors Carlo Chatrian and Mariëtte Rissenbeek said in a statement:

“The Berlinale is a festival fundamentally committed to freedom of expression and freedom of art for all people around the world. The festival was shocked and dismayed to learn that Moghaddam and Sanaeeha may be prevented from travelling to the festival to present their films and meet their audience in Berlin.

We call on the Iranian authorities to return the passports and end all restrictions that prevent Maryam Moghaddam and Behtash Sanaeeha from travelling freely to Berlin this February, along with other international directors and filmmakers from around the world, to present their new films in Berlinale’s 2024 competition.”

Berlin Film Festival
Behtash Sanaeeha ve Maryam Moghaddam


Moghaddam and Sanaeeha’s last film Ghasideyeh gave sefid (The Ballad of the White Cow) was also screened in competition at the Berlinale in 2021. Iranian cinema, especially dissident cinema, has long been present at the German festival.

Mohammad Rasoulof’s Satan Vojood Nadarad (There is No Evil) won the Golden Bear for best film in Berlin in 2020. Jafar Panahi’s Taxi (Taxi Tehran) won the Berlinale’s top prize in 2015. The Iranian regime had banned both filmmakers from leaving the country to attend the festival.

Last year, the Berlinale announced that it would not grant accreditation to any company or media organisation with direct ties to the Iranian government, extending the festival’s ban on Russian state-sponsored companies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, the festival has not banned any organisations with ties to the Israeli government, which continues its occupation of Palestine.

This year’s Berlin Film Festival will be held in Berlin, Germany from 15 February to 25 February.


Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *