Jafar Panahi is banned from making movies, but is thankful he can vote for the Oscars

Jafar Panahi has thanked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for inviting him into their voting branch, despite his ongoing issues with the Iranian Government.


In 2010, the acclaimed Iranian filmmaker was deemed to have produced “propaganda against the Islamic republic,” placed under house arrest, and banned from making movies for 20 years.

Nonetheless, in that time he has completed two pictures: This is Not a Film and Closed Curtain. The former was famously exfiltrated from Iran on a USB stick hidden inside a cake.

Deadline has Panahi’s statement, courtesy of Michael Moore:

“I would like to sincerely thank the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for inviting me to join their organization. I am especially grateful to Michael Moore and the documentary branch for nominating me.

“It’s an honor for me to join such a prestigious organization, and I am proud to accept the invitation on behalf of the large family of the Iranian filmmakers, who have steadfastly represented the best of Iranian arts and culture despite all the limitations they have been subjected to.

“I understand this membership affords me the chance to see some of the best films every year and vote on their merits. For someone in my situation who has been banned from making films, viewing the works of international colleagues is an opportunity that I would deeply cherish. If I am forbidden from making films for twenty years, I can at least share the joys of filmmaking in a vicarious manner.”

We reviewed his latest movie, Closed Curtain, at the Sydney Film Festival.

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