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Serbian director Emir Kusturica, jury president for 'Un Certain Regard' …
Iranian dissident Mohammad Rasoulof has won the Cannes prize for best director in the Un Certain Regard section on Saturday, but was unable to accept the award in person as he is banned from travelling abroad.
Rasoulof's wife received the prize for ‘Be Omid e Didar" (Goodbye) on his behalf after mounting speculation about whether the director, who is appealing a lengthy jail sentence for making films, would be allowed to leave Iran.
The jury headed by Serbian director Emir Kusturica gave the award for the film which, ironically, tells the story of a young Tehran lawyer trying to get a visa to leave Iran.
The film's French distributor, James Velaise, told the French news agency on Friday that
Rasoulof was going through a ‘Kafkaesque’ nightmare in Tehran and would not be in Cannes.
"Everyone would have loved him to turn up even at the last minute but we know it's not going to happen," he said.
Iran has accused the Cannes film festival of being political for screening movies by Iranians who back the Islamic republic's opposition movement,