About Jafar Panahi – those who saw his film say it is his best in the last several years, the most accomplished and aesthetically impressive. This is Panahi’s fourth film produced while underground. By the way, this shows clearly the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime, who prevent Panahi to travel outside of Iran while knowing that he is actively making films and travelling more or less freely within the country. These films, in turn, do get out of Iran, and are internationally recognized. A subtle, hypocritical situations where everybody knows, nobody speaks. Only the presence of a senseless dictatorship can explain that. Due to Panahi’s arrest in July, the situation has precipitated. In contrast with earlier arrests and trials that ended with him being sentenced to house arrest, then to a travel ban and to a ban on filmmaking, we have been informed by people who are close to Panahi that the director didn’t take a plea deal and chose to go to trial. This choice means he is willing to openly challenge the regime, without resorting to compromise, and this will very likely result in harsh punishment. The regime has always aggressively opposed him, and all of us fear what’s coming next. I’m afraid things won’t look any better any time soon.