Keywan Karimi is a 30-year-old Iranian filmmaker who has been sentenced by Iranian authorities to six years in jail and 223 lashes. His crime: practicing his profession as a filmmaker and showing the unofficial face of Iranian society.

A graduate from the University of Tehran, Keywan Karimi has studied communication and social sciences and participated in film directing workshops in Germany, Thailand and Russia. His short film Broken Border has received awards at various international festivals.  His last feature film, Writing on the City, is a documentary about graffiti and street slogans written on Tehran’s walls from the time of the 1979 revolution until the social movements of 2009, Karimi has no intention whatsoever to be provocative with this film, but it does symbolize today both his courage and the need for freedom of speech.

On the occasion of this 69th Festival de Cannes, we, filmmakers and professionals solemnly ask the Iranian authorities to grant clemency to Keyman Karimi.

We also ask all other governments to intervene on his behalf with the Iranian authorities. Time is running out.

It is completely unacceptable that through the simple act of expressing his artistic and critical outlook, Karimi should be on the list of artists, journalists and private citizens whose freedom – if not their life itself – has been taken by the Iranian authorities.

In the past, the Islamic Republic of Iran signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966. Today, we deeply regret that Iran, a country with such a rich legacy, is turning its back on its own culture and history.

Accademia del cinema italiano – Premi David Di Donatello
ADAL – Latin American Audiovisual Directors Alliance

ARP– Société civile des auteurs réalisateurs producteurs
La Biennale di Venezia – Mostra internazionale d’arte cinematografica
La Cinémathèque Française
DAC – Directores argentinos cinematograficos
European Film Academy
Le Festival de Cannes
FERA – Fédération européenne des réalisateurs de l’audiovisuel
Groupe 25 Images
SAA – Société des auteurs audiovisuels
SACD – Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques
SCAM – Société civile des auteurs multimedia
SFCC– Syndicat français de la critique de cinéma
USPA – Union syndicale des producteurs audiovisuels
W&DW – Writers and Directors Worldwide

BLOC – Bureau de liaison des organisations du cinéma
ACID – Association du cinéma indépendant pour sa diffusion
APC – Association des producteurs de cinéma
DIRE – Distributeurs indépendants réunis européens
GNCR – Groupement national des cinémas de recherche
La guilde française des scénaristes
SDI – Syndicat des distributeurs indépendants
SFA-CGT – Syndicat français des artistes interprètes
SFAAL – Syndicat français des agents artistiques et littéraires de l’audiovisuel et du spectacle vivant dramatique
SNAC – Syndicat national des auteurs et des compositeurs
SPFA – Syndicat des producteurs de films d’animation
SPIAC CGT – Syndicat des professionnels des industries de l’audiovisuel et du cinéma
SPI – Syndicat des producteurs indépendants
SRF – Société des réalisateurs de films
UNEVI – Union de l’édition vidéographique indépendante


ARP – Marc Legrand – mlegrand [@] – +33 (0)1 53 42 40 01
Biennale di Venezia – Paolo Lughi – paolo.lughi [@] – +39 (0)41 52 18 857
BLOC / SRF – Hélène Rosiaux – hrosiaux [@] +33 (0)1 44 89 99 65
BLOC / SPI – Catherine Bertin – catherine [@] +33 (0)1 44 70 70 44
FERA – Pauline Durand-Vialle – pdv [@] – +32 (0)491 52 49 04
SAA – James Taylor – j.taylor [@] – +32 (0)2 894 93 30
SACD – Pauline Ragot – pauline.RAGOT [@] – +33 (0)1 40 23 45 11
SCAM – Astrid Lockhart – astrid.lockhart [@] – +33 (0)6 73 84 98 27
W&DW – Silvina Munich – silvina.munich [@] – +33 (0)1 55 62 08 55