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Iran may boycott Venice Film Festival to protest against EU sanctions

The Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance may decide to boycott the 69th Venice Film Festival that starts on August 29, 2012, in protest against the European Unions' (EU) economic sanctions against Iran. Culture Ministry's Supervision and Evaluation Office Director Alireza Sajjadpur announced this through a press release. The festival line up has an Iranian film THE PATERNAL HOUSE directed by Kianush Ayyari in the Orizzonti (Horizon) section of the festival as an official Iranian entry. The film still has to get past Iran's Censorship (Corrections) process to receive a screening license. The concerned department has asked for certain modifications in the film and they have not yet been carried out. It does not mean there will not be an Iranian film in the festival. An Iranian film AT ANY PRICE by Ramin Bahrani, which is an official US-UK entry, is in the Competition section of the festival. In view of these realities the Iranian boycott is more of a symbolic significance. In the past quite a few films from Iran have been shown in international film festivals like Cannes in spite of an Iranian ban on them.

Rajesh Kumar Singh