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December 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Filmmakers in Europe have voiced their support of award-winning Iranian director Jafar Panahi after he was sentenced to six years in prison and barred from making films for 20 years after his conviction of making “propaganda against the system.” At least two petitions on Panahi’s behalf are circulating on the Web, one here is sponsored by several European film festivals and now boasts nearly 6,000 signatures; another here boasts 4,000 more. Oddly, there there have been no reports of American film organizations, including the Directors Guild of America, the Sundance Film Festival, or the Motion Picture Association of America, signing the petitions or even speaking out against the Iranian action, although following his arrest last March, directors Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Ang Lee denounced the Iranian action, and actress Juliette Binoche spoke out against it during a news conference at the Cannes Film Festival in May.