Iranian film director Jafar Panahi has been sentenced to six years in prison and banned from making films for 20 years, according to Reuters, citing the Iranian Student News Agency. Panahi, who made such award-winning films as The White Balloon (1995) and The Circle (2000), had supported the political opposition and was arrested in March for making a film without government permission and inciting political protests. He engaged in a hunger strike during his recent imprisonment. In his statement to the court, Panahi, 50, dismissed the official charges, saying that his house was raided by the authorities and his film collection was seized and deemed “obscene.”

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Jafar Panahi: A terrific filmmaker is in prison, not at Cannes where he belongs