The Film Grain Foundation is pleased to announce that the Iranian film ‘Taxi’ by Jafar Panahi, Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival last February will open the first edition of the Valletta Film Festival on Monday 15th June 2015.The film stars Panahi as a taxi driver shuttling people around the City of Tehran. Full of political charged content, the film has been described by film director Darren Aronofsky, head of jury at Berlinale, as “a love letter to cinema…filled with love for his art, his community, his country and his audience.”
In 2010, Panahi was convicted in Iran of spreading anti-government propaganda and endangering national security with his work, and was sentenced to a jail term and a ban on film-making. While he has never had to serve his prison time, he was placed first under house arrest, during which he made his film ‘This is not a film’, which was famously smuggled to the Cannes Film festival on a USB stick hidden in a cake.
In January, Panahi made a statement about the ban that and his creative vision, writing: “Nothing can prevent me from making films since when being pushed to the ultimate corners I connect with my inner-self and, in such private spaces, despite all limitations, the necessity to create becomes even more of an urge.”
The opening screening of Valletta Film Festival will be held at Pjazza Teatru Rjal.