LOS ANGELES: In a shocking turn of events, Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof has been commanded to be present in a court hearing in Tehran after his passport was confiscated at the border before the weekend.
Rasoulof, who won the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes this year for his film 'A Man of Integrity,' was returning to Iran from Colorado's Telluride Film Festival when he was stopped at Tehran Airport, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
No reason was given for the confiscation of his passport, but was ordered to appear at a culture and media court in the Iranian capital, as shared by Kaveh Farman a co-producer on 'A Man of Integrity'.
Farman noted that no reason or further details had been given for the confiscation of Rasoulof's travel document and the order to show up in court.
"They stopped him at Tehran Airport, and finally they took his passport and let him go," noted Farman.
Rasoulof was ordered to attend "a court, which is called culture and media. We don't know what is the real case," he added.
Rasoulof has been a victim of harassment by Iranian authorities since long.
He was arrested mid-shoot in 2010 along with his friend and fellow director Jafar Panahi.
The director had been back and forth to Iran a few times since his Cannes win without any problem, Farnam said.
"It is not clear to us [whether] it is because of A Man of Integrity or not," explained Farman.
The film shot in the north of the country is about a man whose fight for justice exposes official corruption and has been seen as a scathing critique of contemporary Iranian society.
The seizure of Rasoulof's passport means that he is unlikely to be able to attend upcoming festivals that are due to show his film, including the Batumi and Hamburg film festivals, Farnam said.