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October 2002, Week 1


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Leo Enticknap <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 1 Oct 2002 13:07:22 +0100
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Quote from article posted by Chris Horak:

>Richard Pena, director of the New York film festival, informed that Abbas
>Kiarostami was denied a visa to enter the United States, the consular
>authorities needing about 90 days to "verify the background" of a citizen
>before giving him a visa.

I don't think this does anything to diminish the US' international
standing: in fact I'd describe the decision as plain common sense.  They're
not saying that they won't let him in, only that they need time to check
that he's genuine.  Kiarostami might be a household name to film
enthusiasts but the chances are that customs officials won't have heard of him.

This does, I'd suggest, very much diminish the international standing of
the New York film festival and its organisers.  They knew Kiarostami was a
prominent figure from a country which is in the middle of an international
troublespot and which the US President has accused (justifiably, in my
opinion) of being implicated with international terrorism.  Three months is
not a long time in the context of planning and scheduling a major film
festival.  I'd guess that the most likely explanation is that someone
cocked up somewhere in failing to initiate the visa application in
sufficient time.  Given that 11 September was almost 13 months ago, no-one
could possibly claim they had no idea that the application might prove


Dr. Leo Enticknap
Director, Northern Region Film and Television Archive
School of Arts and Media
University of Teesside
Middlesbrough  TS1 3BA
United Kingdom
Tel. +44-(0)1642 384022
Fax. +44-(0)1642 384099
Brainfryer: +44-(0)7710 417383

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