The Iranian filmmaker, Keywan Karimi, has finally been sentenced to one year imprisonment, 223 lashes and a fine of 20 million Iranian Rial (around 600 euros) for his film, Writing on the City, which was premiered worldwide in the tenth edition of the Punto de Vista Festival, where he was given a Special Mention by the international jury. This is the final sentence which cannot be ap-pealed issued by the Court of Appeal of Iran in recent hours.
This ruling, which reduces his prison sentence from 6 years to 1 year but maintains the full 223 lashes, comes after the appeal lodged by Karimi on 23rd February to the sentence pronounced in October 2015, two years after the filmmaker was arrested on 14th December 2013 at his apartment in Teheran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards after seizing diverse material for which he spent twelve days in prison.
Unlike some of his fellow artists, Karimi, who did not travel to Pamplona, not wanting to leave his country given his legal situation and the fear of not being able to return, assures that he has no in-tention of leaving Iran and is preparing to serve his sentence: “The only thing we can hope for now is that his admission into prison will be put off until after the Iranian New Year (mid-April) when my mother finishes her chemotherapy treatment and I finish shooting my latest film”.
Punto de Vista has rallied behind Keywan Karimi and has joined an international support campaign through 223 words, a joint film with which the festival aims to encourage other filmmakers to record a word of support for Karimi, which can be followed on the Punto de Vista Vimeo channel (https://vimeo.com/puntodevistafestival) and was premiered on the big screen following the two screenings of Writing on the City at the tenth edition of the festival. After its visit to Pamplona, Karimi’s film can be seen at 8pm on 5th March at the Tabakalera artistic centre in San Sebastian within the Hormek Diote project (“Talking Walls”), some interventions in the Donostia 2016 programme; and at 6pm on 19th March at the Rencontres sur les Docks festival, held at the L'Atalante de Baiona cinema.
Following the confirmation of the sentence of 223 lashes for Keywan Karimi, which cannot be ap-pealed, Punto de Vista is committed to the diffusion of the film and is working to facilitate its inter-national distribution in collaboration and solidarity with the filmmaker, Keywan Karimi. The film has already aroused the interest of various international film festivals and Punto de Vista is facilita-ting its distribution and access.
With Writing on the City, Karimi proposes a historic is a historic stroll through the city of Teheran, since the 1979 revolution to the present day, through the graffiti and political murals that its in-habitants leave on the walls to indicate their dreams and demands, which is often the only place where they can express their desire for freedom and the anger repressed by the authorities.