French Film Industry Rallies to Support Iranian, Women-Led Protests in Wake of Mahsa Aminis Death in Custody (EXCLUSIVE)

Award-winning filmmakers Alice Diop (“Saint Omer”), Audrey Diwan (“Happening”), Julia Ducournau (“Titane”), Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”), Jacques Audiard (“Dheepan”), and actors Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, Isabelle Huppert, Lea Seydoux are among nearly 1,000 prominent French film figures who have signed an open letter to support Iranian women and civil rights activists in their revolt over the death of 22 year-old Mahsa Amini, as well as denounce the “murderous violence” of the Iranian regime.

Amini, a Kurdish woman, died in custody on Sept. 16, three days after being arrested in Tehran because she allegedly breached the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women. Her death has sparked protests across Iran, including in Tehran, Isfahan and Yazd, and in cities around the world, including in Paris, Istanbul and Los Angeles. Amnesty International said Iranian authorities have been “intentionally using lethal force against the protesters,” causing more than more 52 deaths (as of Sept. 30). The organization has urged international action “beyond statements of condemnation” to prevent more people from being killed.

The big show of support within the French film industry is being spearheaded by producer Didar Domehri and Pathé CEO Ardavan Safaee. Other high-profile figures who have signed the letter in France include Marjane Satrapi, Alice Winocour, Rebecca Zlotowski, Emmanuelle Bercot, Catherine Corsini, Eva Husson, Nicolas Bedos, Bertrand Bonello, Dany Boon, Robin Campillo, Laurent Cantet, Michel Gondry, Grand Corps Malade, Robert Guédiguian, Radu Mihaileanu, Camille Cottin, Virginie Efira, Julie Gayet, Mélanie Laurent, Léa Seydoux, Karin Viard, Guillaume Canet, Louis Garrel, Laurent Lafitte, Alex Lutz, Gilles Lellouche, Vincent Macaigne and Pierre Niney, as well as long-time supporters of Iranian cinema, including supporters of Iranian directors, such as Cannes Film Festival’s boss Thierry Fremaux, sales agents/co-producers Hengameh Panahi from Celluloid Dreams, Alexandre Mallet-Guy from Memento Films and Vincent Maraval from Wild Bunch International.

Here is the full open letter:


Paris, Oct. 4, 2022
We, producers, actors, directors, technicians and distributors, heads of festivals and the whole of the French film industry wish to express collectively our support to Iranian women who fight today for their freedom, risking their lives, and to the people of Iran who are bravely embracing their revolt. We remind that all those who are appalled by the murder of Mahsa Amini and by the massive, brutal and murderous repression ordered by Iranian authorities, to express loud and clear their solidarity to the Iranian people.

Zan, Zendegi, Azadi. Woman, Life, Freedom. May these words chanted by Iranians and picked up by all protesters be heard. May these words allow to put a stop to this unbearable coercion and open, at last, a new era in Iran, and wherever women are victim of obscurantism. This universal fight for women, for life and for freedom is also ours.

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