Close Up by Abbas Kiarostami Original Photo: Janus Films

As if things couldn’t get worse for Iranian artists, world-renowned filmmaker Jafar Panahi was recently sentenced to six years in prison and banned from making films for twenty years.

His crime?

Making an “anti-regime film,” referring to a work-in-progress dealing with the 2009 re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the subsequent protests.

Panahi had been an outspoken critic of the proceedings, and was arrested for taking part in the mourning for protesters killed after the disputed election. He was soon released but denied permission to leave the country.

In February 2010, he was again arrested with his family and colleagues: His prison sentence was announced in December.

As an accompaniment to the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, will present Panahi’s two newest features, both of which are banned in Iran, in March, 2011.

They will be preceded by the eight-minute short The Accordion, his last finished film before his arrest, about two child beggars.

And, on the heels of its 20th anniversary, present a new 35mm print of Close-Up, a landmark work in Iranian cinema by master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who also wrote the screenplay for Panahi’s Crimson Gold.

Iran Beyond Censorship: Mar 20th-Mar 27th, 2011

Sun, Mar 20th, 2pm: Offside

Fri, Mar 25th & Sat, Mar 26th, 7:30pm: Close-Up

Sun, Mar 27th, 2pm: Crimson Gold


By Jafar Panahi

It is illegal for females to attend soccer matches in Iran. In Offside, a disparate group of girls, united only by their desire to see their beloved team play live, disguise themselves as boys, risking arrest to try to get into the game. All of them are caught and taken to a holding area, where they are tortured by being able to hear the roar of the crowd without being able to see what is happening in the match. (2006, 93 min, 35mm)


By Abbas Kiarostami

New 35mm print!

Internationally revered Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has created some of the most inventive and transcendent cinema of the last thirty years, and Close-Up is his most radical work. This fiction-documentary hybrid uses a real-life sensational event – a young man arrested on charges that he fraudulently impersonated a well-known filmmaker – as the basis for a multi-layered investigation into cinema, identity, and the artistic process. With its universal themes and strange narrative knots, Close-Up continues to resonate with viewers. (1990, 97 min, 35mm)

Crimson Gold

By Jafar Panahi

A murder and a suicide occur early one morning in a jewelry store. Behind this headline lies the story of a desperate man’s feelings of humiliation in a world of social injustice. Hussein’s job delivering pizzas allows him a full view of the contrast between rich and poor. Every night he delivers to neighborhoods he will never live in, but Hussein will taste the luxurious life for just one night. Screenplay by Abbas Kiarostami. (2003, 95 min, 35mm)


Iran Beyond Censorship will be held at the YBCA Screening Room on 701 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103.

Enjoy same-day gallery admission for all YBCA presented films. Become a YBCA Member today to enjoy ticket discounts on YBCA presented films.

$8 regular; $6 students, seniors, teachers & YBCA members.