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Iranian director gets flak for film

Iranian filmmaker, Jafar Panahi, has been pulled up by the country’s censors for his critique of Iran’s ban on women going to football matches.

Iranian filmmaker, Jafar Panahi, has been pulled up by the country’s censors for his critique of Iran’s ban on women going to football matches. His film, dubbed Offside, depicts girls disguising themselves as boys to watch their country qualify for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. “I chose the title because the term is a punitive measure for trying to score illegally, and the girls in my film are also trying to get into the stadium illegally,” says Panahi.

Iranian women have been banned from football matches since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Although a recent attempt was made by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to end the ban, it was vetoed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Offside, which won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year, will not be screened in Iran if the censor board turns it down.

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