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Thai film festival drops controversial Iranian film
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-06-27 16:51

Iranian cartoonist Marjane Satrapi poses during a photocall for her animated film 'Persepolis' in the Festival Palace in Cannes, May 2007.[AFP]

Award-wining Iranian film "Persepolis" has been dropped from line-up at the 2007 Bangkok International Film Festival after pressure from the Iranian embassy, organisers said Wednesday.

The film, which jointly won the Jury Prize at the Cannes film festival in May, was scheduled to screen on the opening night of the 10-day festival in the Thai capital, which begins July 19.

"We have withdrawn Persepolis ... on the request of the Iranian embassy," said Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhaya, public relations director at the Tourism Authority of Thailand, which hosts the festival.

Iranian embassy officials confirmed that they had asked organisers to drop the animated black-and-white film, which tells the story of a young girl growing up in revolutionary Iran.

The film, based on comics by its co-director Marjane Satrapi, recounts the downfall of the shah followed by the imposition of Islamic law after the 1979 revolution, seen through the eyes of an eight-year-old.

She grows into an outspoken teenager and is sent away to Austria to avoid clashes with the authorities.

A cultural officer at the Iranian embassy in Bangkok told AFP they believed the film portrayed a bad image of their country.

"They tried to make Iranian people sad and upset with the Islamic revolution, which is not true," said Mohammad, who gave only one name.

"We appreciate that the Thai organisers understand, and now we are trying to introduce other good award-winning Iranian films," he added.

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