FIPRESCI informs


Abbas Kiarostami, the acclaimed director of "Through the Olive
Trees", "And Life Goes On...", awarded with the Palme d'Or for "The
Taste of Cherry", has been invited to introduce his latest film "Ten"
at the forthcoming New York Film Festival. He has also been invited
to give a lecture at the Harvard University.

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. In spite of Pena's efforts, in
spite of the fact that Kiarostami visited the USA several times, in
spite of his position and reputation, the US embassy in Paris, from
where the Iranian director had made his request, refused to take his
application into consideration.

Jack Lang, formerly France's Minister of National Education and
Culture, who tried vanely to intervene by writing a letter to the
American Ambassador in Paris, Howard Leach, commented that this
situation showed "an intellectual isolationism and an ignorance
confining to the contempt for other cultures".

Richard Pena comments: "It's a terrible sign of what's happening in
my country today that no one seems to realize or care about the kind
of negative signal this sends out to the entire Muslim world (not to
mention to everyone else)."

International Federation of Film Critics - FIPRESCI
Grégory Valens
September 26, 2002

Klaus Eder
Fédération Internationale
de la Presse Cinématographique
Schleissheimer Str. 83
D-80797 Munich
T +49 (89) 18 23 03
Cell +49 (172) 850 53 02
F +49 (89) 18 47 66
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