Iranian director receives special jury prize at Cannes Film Festival

Iranian director and producer Mohammad Rasoulof arrives for the Closing Ceremony at the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 25, 2024. Photo: AFP

Renowned Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof, who managed to escape a prison sentence in Iran just before the Cannes Film Festival, was honored with a special jury prize at the prestigious event.

His latest film, “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” which delves into the story of a court investigator amidst protests that affect his family life, drew attention and acclaim at the festival.

Amidst the politically charged 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the jury, led by Greta Gerwig, gathered to announce the winner of the Palme d’Or.

The festival, filled with themes of blood, sex, and potent feminist messages, culminated in a dramatic closing ceremony on the French Riviera. Rasoulof’s poignant drama emerged as a strong contender for the top prize after its premiere during the festival.

The Iranian director expressed solidarity with his crew, who still face threats and pressure from the secret services in Iran.

Rasoulof’s presence at the festival highlighted the challenges faced by filmmakers whose stories challenge oppressive regimes like Iran’s. As anticipation mounted for the awards, notable figures like George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola added to the star-studded event, with standout films receiving critical acclaim and sparking debates among industry insiders.