In February 2010 he was denied permission to leave Iran to participate in the panel discussion on 'Iranian Cinema: Present and Future. Expectations inside and outside of Iran' during the World Cinema Fund Day at the 60th Berlinale.
Symbolic guest of honor of Cannes Film Festival in 2010.
On December 20, 2010, Panahi was sentenced by the Revolutionary Court to six years in prison and barred for the next twenty years from film-making, political activity, traveling or giving interviews. Panahi's colleague Mohammad Rasoulof was also sentenced to six years in prison.
Personal Quotes (4)
[observation, 2014] I'm really optimistic about the future of Iranian cinema because of all these young and talented filmmakers...What makes me hopeful is this pool of young filmmakers can use all-digital cameras to make their own movies. There was a time when the government had a monopoly on all the filmmaking equipment. But right now you don't have to go to the government to make your films.
I want you to put yourself in my shoes as a filmmaker who can't do anything else but make films, and doesn't want to do anything else. How much time do I have left? Do I have twenty years left to live? I cannot stay idle. I know this is what they want. They let me out of a small prison and released me to a much larger one.When I was in a small prison I knew there was nothing I could do there. Every movement was being watched. ..Now that I am so-called 'free', but in reality in a larger prison, I have to do something and cannot stay idle and let my life be wasted.
To tell you the truth, at some point in my career I couldn't see myself doing a movie like ' Closed Curtain', something that delves into the imagination of an artist - but with a completely different language. It's part of what my career has come to.
I'm fed up with surreptitiously making everything in very confined spaces, and not having the freedom to work as I used to...It makes me feel sick thinking of all these projects I'd like to do, but I don't have the ability to make them.