Alongside Tim Burton, Kate Beckinsale and Shekhar Kapur there's a chair on this year's Cannes jury reserved for Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi - but no one's likely to be offended if he doesn't show up. The Cannes invitation was extended as a gesture of solidarity towards Panahi, who has been under arrest since 1st March. It isn't fully clear what he's been charged with, but some reports have mentioned allegations that he was making an anti-government film in his home. Over the next few days there are scores of screenings of Panahi's films going on around the world, and as a small Birmingham contribution we're putting on his 2006 World Cup docudrama Offside at Maison Mayci in Moseley on Wednesday. (It'll probably be busy, so show up a little before 7 if you want to see it.) Elsewhere in the UK, there are screenings on Tuesday at the Star and Shadow in Newcastle and the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield. Here are a few links for further info:
This is the same Jafar Panahi who was held in handcuffs and leg-irons by US immigration officials at JFK airport in 2001. Who'd be an Iranian filmmaker?