• Released
  • February 29, 2012
  • (Limited 2/29)
  • NR , 1 hr 15 min
  • Documentary

Synopsis

On March 1, 2010, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi was arrested on charges of "propaganda against the Islamic Republic" (his crime was speaking out on behalf of activists protesting the dubious re-election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad), and he was sentenced to six years behind bars and banned from making films for twenty years. While Panahi's prison sentence was suspended after a few months in jail, Iranian officials have still forbidden him from directing movies, writing screenplays, giving interviews or leaving the country. In response, fellow filmmaker Mojtaba Mirtahmasb teamed up with Panahi to create In Film Nist (aka This Is Not a Film), in which Panahi ponders the past and current state of his career as well as the screenplay he was planning to shoot shortly before his sentence was handed down. As Panahi stages a reading of the script in his home (with Mirtahmasb capturing the action on video as other friends and family members occasionally function as "director" via messages and phone calls), Panahi demonstrates the blocking and camera angles he had in mind using taped diagrams on his living-room floor, and the two filmmakers explore the nebulous line between making a film and talking about how one would make a film in front of a camera. Panahi and Mirtahmasb were able to smuggle a copy of This Is Not a Film out of Iran in defiance of the government's ban on Panahi's work, and the picture was screened at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Provided by Rovi