In 2010, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi (director of The White Balloon, as well as the editor of last year's Passport Series selection The White Meadows), was arrested for his open support of the Green movement. He was handed a rough sentence: six years in prison, plus a twenty-year filmmaking ban. Made during house arrest as he awaited the results of his appeal, the wry This Is Not a Film observes Panahi in his apartment as he drinks tea, feeds a giant pet iguana and addresses the camera. In order to reach audiences, Panahi's work was smuggled out of Iran on a USB drive, which was hidden in a cake.
"It's a political statement, an act of defiance, a master class in one auteur's body of work and process, and a document of a life unseen. But above all, it's a gripping entertainment." (Karina Longworth)