Jafar Panahi to receive honorary award

Panahis latest film NO BEARS will be shown at Films From the South, as part of a director's portrait.

Films From the South, in collaboration with the film's distributor Arthaus, are proud to present NO BEARS at this year's festival. Arthaus will release the film in theatres nationally in 2023.

Director Jafar Panahi will also receive The Silver Mirror Honorary Award 2022 for his artistic legacy. 

As part of a director's portrait, Films From the South will screen to earlier films by Panahi: TAXI TEHERAN (2015) og 3 KVINNER (2018).

Som del av et regiportrett vises også to av Panahis tidligere filmer, TAXI TEHRAN (2015) og 3 FACES (2018).

JAFAR PANAHI 2022 JP Production all rights réserved

Jafar Panahi

This July, Panahi was sentenced to 6 years in prison, which he serves in the notoriuos Evin prison in Tehran. He was reportedly arrested when inquiring about director Mohammad Rasoulof's imprisonment earlier the same month.

When the prestigious film festival in Venice announced its official competition program on July 26th this year, it was revealed, to our great pleasure, that Panahi once again had managed to direct and produce a new film, NO BEARS, in spite of limitations imposed on him by the Iranian government. According to the festival's artistic director, the film was chosen for its artistic qualities, long before Panahi's imprisonment. It was awarded a Special Jury Prize in Venice.

Panahi has been a mainstay at Films From the South since his debut feature THE WHITE BALLOON (1995). In 2006 he visited Oslo for a festival edition that opened with OFFSIDE, his film about Iranian women's rights to play soccer and watch matches live in the stadium. 

"Awarding this year's honorary award to Jafar Panahi has two central functions", says Lasse Skagen, Head of Programming for Film From the South.

"It is about honoring a director who has offered our audience delightful, thought-provoking and genuine cinematic experiences throughout his career. And it is a loud appeal to the Iranian goverment to immediately release an artist who has made invaluable contributions to the world's contemporary film heritage."

July's conviction is unfortunately not the first sentence Panahi has received in Iran for his work and activism. But the filmmaker has not been silenced. When he was convicted in 2010 for propaganda against the Republic and ordered to cease his artistic ventures, he developed cunning methods to continue operating as a filmmaker.

His documentary THIS IS NOT A MOVIE (2011) was filmed in Panahi's apartment and then smuggled to the Berlin film festival inside a cake. TAXI TEHRAN was shot in a taxi that Panahi himself drove around the Iranian capitol. The film opened the 2015 edition of Films From the South, with Panahi's niece Hana as a special guest.

"Arthaus has followed Jafar Panahi since his debut with THE WHITE BALLOON, which we released in cinemas in 1996. Since then we have had the pleasure of distributing THE CIRCLE (2000) TAXI TEHRAN (2015) and 3 FACES (2018) to Norwegian audiences. Jafar Panahi is a unique filmmaker. He defies professional bans and house arrests, and regularly delivers cinematic art of the highest order. He speaks for the weak and is not afraid of provoking the Iranian government. Now he is jailed for his expressions. Therefore it is more important than ever that his voice is heard. We are proud distributor of NO BEARS, Jafar Panahi's latest masterwork", says Svend Jensen, Managing Director of Arthaus.