Iranian director refuses a US prize over visa issues

Published October 19th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi refused last Wednesday the prize awarded to him by the Chicago International Film Festival in protest to the US decision denying him a visa to receive his prize, according to the Saudi daily, Al Riyadh. 


Ghobadi's movie "Marooned in Iraq", a sequel to his 2000 smash hit "A Time for Drunken Horses", won the Golden Plaque award at the 38th international festival earlier last week. 


"With all my gratitude to the festival's organizers, I would like to hand out the prize to the American government so that it would learn how to respect artists," said Ghobadi. He explained how US authorities made him wait for three months, through which he traveled to Dubai twice, assuring him each time that he would get the visa. 


Ghobadi is the second prominent film director, who fails in less than a month to gain access to the USA due to the American stringent immigration measures. Earlier in September, film director Abbas Kiarostami failed also to obtain entry visa to the USA to attend the New York Film Festival. 


Last week, in response to US accusation to Iran claiming that it's the "Axle of Evil" and the sponsor of terrorism in the world, the Islamic republic denied CNN correspondent Christian Amanpour access to the country. 


Ghobadi's movie "Marooned in Iraq" tells the story of aging singer Mirza, who with his two musician sons enters war-devastated northern Iraq to find his former partner, a well-known Kurdish singer. –

© 2002 Al Bawaba (

© 2000 - 2022 Al Bawaba (

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