I don't normally participate in "blogathons," but over at "The Sheila Variations" there's a worthy tribute going on to Iranian film in support of sentenced filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammed Rasoulof, who remain in legal limbo.
I thought I'd take this opportunity to offer links to some interviews I've done with Panahi and others whose films have made an impact on me, and helped to communicate the complexities of life within the oft-demonized country, as well as offer some universal truths about humanity in the process.
"Soccer film's goal is public dialogue" (Los Angeles Times, 2007) - Jafar Panahi talks "Offside."
"The Subway Will Carry Us: Master Filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami Teaches in Manhattan" (indieWIRE, 2007)
"Iran Invades TriBeCa" (New York Times, 2006) -- a short piece with quotes from emerging filmmakers Hamid Rahmanian and Mani Haghighi
"Samira Makhmalbaf Paints It 'Blackboards'” (indieWIRE, 2002)
"The Dark Balloon; Jafar Panahi’s Vicious 'Circle'" (indieWIRE, 2001)