November 28, 2022

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Iran reaffirms ban on screening local films in Israel   

TEHRAN – Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has stressed the country’s ban on screening its homegrown films in Israel.

In a press release published on Tuesday, the director of the ministry’s Supervision and Evaluation Office said, “In their contracts with foreign distribution companies, Iranian producers and filmmakers must recognize the country’s law prohibiting the screening of any Iranian feature, short, documentary or animated film in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

“Foreign distribution companies must respect the law,” Habib Ilbeigi noted.

The culture ministry’s stress on the need for obeying the law came in early July after the Jerusalem Film Festival announced its official lineup would include the Iranian film “Until Tomorrow”.

Meanwhile, director Alis Asgari said MPM Premium, the Paris-based company that handles the global sales for the film, withdrew the film from the Israeli festival at Iranian producer Niki Karimi’s request.

“Only a few foreign distributors have screened Iranian films at Zionist regime festivals, and this action is not acceptable to us; even these few cases must be stopped,” Ilbeigi said.

He said the ban includes streaming by VOD platforms and screening at festivals and theaters, and threatened to prosecute any violation.

“This issue is a red line in terms of the Iranian cinema, and accordingly, no film produced in Iran is allowed to be screened in the illicit regime of Israel,” Ilbeigi said.

“The owners of Iranian films must take the ban on screening Iranian films in the Israeli-occupied territories into consideration in any international contract. It would not be acceptable for us if they say they have not been informed about the screening of their films in the territories,” he added.

“Since we do not recognize the Israeli regime, any interaction and cooperation with the regime will be subject to prosecution,” he noted. 

Iran also enforces a ban on Iranians playing in any sports competition with athletes from the Israeli-occupied territories.

Photo: Supervision and Evaluation Office director Habib Ilbeigi in an undated photo.


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