Pro-Ayatollah patrons ban filmmaker from traveling to Lebanon
BEIRUT - The director of an Iranian film documenting violence in the runup to the 2009 presidential vote has been banned from travel to Lebanon, where his film was set to be screened, an organiser said on Sunday.
"Today we found out that Iranian director Nader Davoodi will not be allowed to travel to Lebanon," said Colette Naufal, director of the Beirut International Film Festival which runs from October 5 to 13.
"Lebanese censorship authorities on Friday requested they see Davoodi's film 'Red, White and the Green' prior to its screening. We informed them that we decided to pull it from our programme," Naufal said in a statement.
The 2010 film, to be screened as part of the festival's "Middle East Documentary Film Competition," focuses on the violent events of the last three weeks leading up to the June 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah, a major ally of Iran, leads the governing coalition in Lebanon, where authorities were not immediately available for comment on the film.
The news comes four months after the banning of "Green Days" by Iranian filmmaker Hana Makhamalbaf that shows raw footage of security forces cracking down on protests after the disputed election.
Makhamalbaf is a daughter of Mohsen Makhamalbaf, who is close to leading Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, one of Ahmadinejad's challengers in the 2009 election who cried fraud when official results gave him victory.