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SFS Talkies @ The Arts House: This Is Not A Film

When 13 April 2013 (Saturday) - 14 April 2013 (Sunday)
Where The Arts House
Screening Room The Arts House 1 Old Parliament Lane Singapore 179429

13 & 14 April ONLY, 7:30pm. 

Tickets will be available for purchase at The Arts House box office

Ticket price:

  • $12 for general public
  • $10 for students and senior citizens
  • $8.50 if you present SFS Membership / SFS Reel Card. Each SFS membership card allows you to buy a maximum of 2 discounted tickets.



Rating: PG

Directors: Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Jafar Panahi 

CastJafar Panahi

2011/ Iran/ 75 min/ Documentary/ Persian (with English subtitles)


This clandestinely made documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi. While appealing his sentence – six years in prison and a 20-year ban from filmmaking – fellow director Mojtaba Mirtahmasb visits Mr. Panahi at his Tehran apartment and films him talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, reflecting on the art of filmmaking, meeting some of his neighbors and even interacting with an inquisitive iguana.

This Is Not A Film has won several awards including: Best Experimental Film (National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA, 2013); Best Documentary (Online Film Critics Society Awards, 2013); and UNESCO Award for Best Documentary (Sofia International Film Festival, 2012).

This is the Singapore premiere of the film.



Renowned Iranian director, Jafar Panahi, received a 6-year prison sentence and a 20-year ban from filmmaking and conducting interviews with foreign press due to his open support of the opposition party in Iran's 2009 election.

In this documentary, which was secretly shot on an iPhone and a modest DV camera by Panahi's close friend Mojtaba Mirtahmasb and smuggled into France in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, Panahi shares his day-to-day life as he waits for a decision on his appeal.

Since his detention in 2009, Panahi's cause has won international support from the film community. Juliette Binoche was instrumental in bringing his story into the spotlight at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival when she took the stage carrying a sign that read JAFAR PANAHI and Isabella Rossellini followed suit at the Berlin International Film Festival. World-renowned directors, including Joel and Ethan Coen, Francis Ford Coppola, Jonathan Demme, Robert De Niro, Curtis Hanson, Jim Jarmusch, Ang Lee, Richard Linklater, Terrence Malick, Michael Moore, Robert Redford, Martin Scorsese, James Schamus, Paul Schrader, Steven Soderbergh, Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone and Frederick Wiseman signed a letter of support calling for his release. In December, Sean Penn, Martin Scorsese, and distributor Harvey Weinstein, among others, signed an Amnesty International petition for him as well.

More recently, his co-director Mojtaba Mirtahmasb was detained at the Tehran airport while heading over to attend the film's premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, which sent shockwaves throughout the international film community.

Panahi, whose critically acclaimed work includes OFFSIDE (2006) and THE CIRCLE (2000), and co-director Mirtahmasb are currently banned from filmmaking and from leaving the country. Both men are accused of fomenting anti-government propaganda through their movies. Panahi's appeal was denied in October 2011. According to the Islamic Republic's laws, he could be arrested and sent back to jail at any time.


About Jafar Panahi

Director, author and producer Jafar Panahi made a number of short films and documentaries before he filmed his directorial debut, Badkonake sefid (The White Balloon), which earned him the Camera d'Or in Cannes in 1995. In 1997, he won the Golden Leopard in Locarno for Ayneh (The Mirror) and in 2000 the Golden Lion in Venice for Dayereh (The Circle)Offside won the Silver Bear (Grand Prix of the Jury) at the Berlinale in 2006. In his films, Jafar Panahi critically examines the social circumstances in his country.


Shortly after the Berlinale invited him to be on the International Jury in 2011, Panahi was sentenced to six years imprisonment and banned from filmmaking for the next 20 years. There has been worldwide protest against this verdict that violates the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Unfortunately Jafar Panahi was denied permission to leave his home country for Berlin. The Berlinale was holding a place open in the Jury for him and in doing so wanted to signalize its support for his struggle for freedom.