Iran seizes ‘unauthorized’ film package heading to Berlinale 

December 6, 2016 - 18:14

TEHRAN – Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dowlatabadi announced on Sunday that Iranian police have seized a package of ‘unauthorized’ Iranian films from the consultant of the Berlin Film Festival – Berlinale at a Tehran airport.

“A woman named Anke Leweke [the Iran consultant for the Berlin Film Festival] has recently arrived in the country, visiting with some of the 2009 post-election sedition convicts,” Jafari-Dowlatabadi said in a meeting.

“She was detained while she was planning to take outside over 60 unauthorized films produced underground within the country,” he added  

According to some Persian media, Leweke and her Iranian-German assistant Nooshafarin Dastoori were detained at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport while they were going to leave for Germany.

They were in Tehran to select films for the Berlin Film Festival, which will be held during February 2017.

Dastoori’s passport was confiscated and Leweke left Iran without her or the films.

An official of the Cinema Organization of Iran (COI) said on Tuesday that Leweke has been traveling to Iran every year since 2005 to select films for Berlinale.

Arash Amimi who is the director of the COI Office for Festivals and International Cooperation Affairs said that the Tehran prosecutor has not yet published the list of the films seized from Leweke.