Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s This Is Not A Film is being screened at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley on July 8th.
During the film’s production, Panahi was under strict house arrest, and banned from making films. This Is Not a Film, then, as it’s title insits, is simply “an effort”.
Smuggled out of the country on a USB stick to premiere at Cannes, the powerful, somehow hilarious documentary takes place almost entirely inside the detained director’s apartment as he discusses with family and friends the uses of film, the state of Iranian politics, and the expectations surrounding his appeal to reduce his substantial sentence: six years in prison and twenty away from film-making.
In October, 2011, Panahi’s appeal was denied. Despite international support, he remains outside of the world of film and under constant threat of arrest.