Good Bye: Iran’s Mohammad Rasoulof Wins Best Director at Cannes Fest’s Certain Regard Awards

Currently appealing a seven-year prison sentence, Iran’s Mohammad Rasoulof took best director of the Certain Regard section for his film, Good Bye.

Rasoulof’s best director kudo will raise the status of a filmmaker who has lived in the shadow of Abbas Kiarostami and Jafar Panahi as he, like Panahi, appeals a seven-year prison sentence and a 20-year filmmaking ban imposed by Iranian authorities.

Shot in semi-clandestinity, according to Cannes Festival sources, Good Bye, which is more accessible than Rasoulof’s earlier films, turns on a young pregnant lawyer, banned from work, who’s desperately tries to obtain an exit-visa to leave Iran.

With Rasoulof forbidden to leave Iran, his award was picked up by his wife.

Disucssing this year’s Un Certain Regard after Saturday’s prize announcements, Cannes director Thierry Fremaux said the section was “Almost reaching my goal” of having “two film publishing houses with two kinds of collections.”  Un Certain Regard is “not second league but really different. Many of its films could have played Competition,” he added.