Boycott Iranian Cinema Vérité Festival

IDFA (the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) put a text on its website the other day with an appeal to ilmmakers with a film selected for the Cinema Verité Festival to seriously consider withdrawing their film and decline any invitation from the festival as Cinema Verité Festival is a government-organised festival, run by the same government that intimidates and arrests filmmakers.”

I know that many do follow this appeal, the Zelig film school in Bolzano being one of them. On Facebook I found the following exemplary letter from Polish filmmakers with a reaction from an Iranian filmmaker:

Dear Documentary and Experimental Film Centre. After hearing the stunning news that filmmakers Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Mehran Zinatbakhsh and film distributor Katayoon Shahabi were not released from the unjust detention we decided to take a stand on this overwhelming circumstance.

This information shocked us just as it did many of our friends working for festivals all over the world. After receiving so many e-mails asking for support we cannot stay aside. Yet there is only one way in which we can raise our strong objection!

As a solidarity to the filmmakers that are being kept imprisoned and a strong disagreement with the human rights policy undertaken by the Iranian government we request to withdraw our films from the participation in Cinema Verité Iran International Documentary Film Festival.

The titles are as follows:

Takie życie/ That’s life by Daniel Zielińskii. 

La Machina (PHOTO) by Thierry Paladino. 

Smolarze/ Charcoal burners by Piotr Złotorowicz. 

38,5 by Grzegorz Dębowski

. Komeda, muzyczne ścieżki życia/ Komeda a soundtrack for a life by Claudia Buthenhoff-Duffy

. Planeta Kirsan by Magdalena Pięta

. This decision was made unanimously with all the producers and filmmakers and expresses our clear standpoint to this unjust violation of human rights. 

On behalf of Krakow Film Foundation, 

Katarzyna Wilk and Zofia Ścisłowska.

Thank you so much for your support! I would like to thank Polish filmmakers’ expression of solidarity on behalf of dozens of intimidated Iranian filmmakers. Warm regards 


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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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