Just as the Iranian director Mojtaba Mirtahmasb was detained at the Tehran airport Wednesday, Palisades Tartan acquired U.S. and U.K. rights to his documentary This is Not a Film.
Iranian officials prevented Mirtahmasb from going to the Toronto International Film Festival, where he was to attend the movie's Canadian premiere.
The movie is about director Jafar Panahi.
The documentary was secretly shot on an iPhone by Panahi's friend and co-director, Mirtahmasb, and smuggled into France in a cake. It's about Panahi's day-to-day life.
Pahani supported the opposition in the country's 2009 election and has been sentenced to six years in prison. He's also been banned from filmmaking and from speaking with the foreign press for 20 years.
Directors including Joel and Ethan Coen, Francis Ford Coppola, Jonathan Demme, Jim Jarmusch, Ang Lee, Richard Linklater, Michael Moore, Robert Redford, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and others have signed a letter calling for Pahani's release.
This film is of undeniable importance today, especially amid the current Middle-Eastern unrest, Palisades Tartan's president and CEO, Soumya Sriraman, said in a written statement.