Friday, March 4, 2011

Protest Screening: Offside


Film fans, it's time to get up in arms. Last year celebrated Iranian film director Jafar Panahi (The White Balloon, The Circle) and fellow filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof, who were sentenced to six-years in jail for making films that threatened the Iranian regime, and who have been banned for a further twenty years from leaving Iran, making films or talking to the press.

This unconscionable imprisonment has been condemned by Hollywood heavyweights such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Sean Penn, Robert Redford, Oliver Stone, Terrence Malick and the Coen Brothers, with Paul Haggis heading up an online petition via Amnesty International.

Now the Australian film community is doing their bit, with Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne film festivals joining forces for the first time to host fundraising screenings of Panahi's remarkable football dramatic comedy Offside. Audaciously shot during Iran's 2005 World Cup qualifying match against Bahrain, Offside follows various women as they dress as men in an attempt to circumvent their enforced exclusion from the stadium. Charming, funny and intelligent, Offside is the perfect introduction to Panahi's filmography; the future of which we all need to fight for.

Sydney: 2.00pm Saturday March 5, 2.00pm Dendy Opera Quays Cinema www.sff.org.au. Tickets available at the door
Adelaide: 6pm Saturday March 5, Palace Nova East End Cinemas (Cinema 9) Bookings telephone: 08 8223 2161 www.adelaidefilmfestival.org
Melbourne: 7.15pm, Sunday March 6 2011 ACMI Cinemas, Federation Square, Melbourne www.miff.com.au

 Published on Concrete Playground

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