Jafar Panahi will NOT be at the Venice Film Festival

Not that I'm really surprised, but, contrary to my previous report, the good people running Iran have thought it over and decided not to let Jafar Panahi attend the Venice Film Festival after all. Perhaps they thought that after spending so much time cooped up in Evin prison he might want to hang around a while longer and soak up the good vibes now prevailing in his native land.

Ever the ingrate, Panahi, who hasn't been allowed to make a feature since 2006's "Off Side," responded to this generosity by saying, "Despite having been released, I am still not free to travel outside my country to attend film festivals. When a film-maker is not allowed to make films, he is mentally imprisoned. He may not be confined to a small cell, but he is still wandering in a larger prison."

Needless to say, that small cell is always an option.

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