Award-winning Director Mohammad Rasoulof Flees Iran to Europe

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Mohammad Rasoulof

Rasoulof, is known for his award-winning thought-provoking films that often challenge societal norms. He described his journey to Europe as a “long and complicated, “ordeal. Without the details of how he escaped Iran despite the state sanctioned travel ban. 

The filmmaker’s departure follows raids on his home and studio conducted by Iranian security forces. Arrests were made and film production equipment was seized. It is unknown how many actors and crew were arrested in the most recent raids.

This was the second time he has faced trial in Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. In 2020, he served an 8-month prison term. 

Rasoulof’s lawyer confirmed on X the sentencing, revealing that he was handed an eight-year prison term and lashings shortly before his planned attendance at the Cannes Film Festival.

The filmmaker’s troubles stem from his advocacy for social justice. His first arrest was for supporting protestors following a tragic building collapse in Abadan. His lawyer revealed that Rasoulof’s statements, social activities, and films were deemed a threat to national security by Iranian authorities, which led to the 2nd sentencing.