Oscar-Winning Director Mohammad Rasoulof’S Daring Masterpiece Triumphs At Cannes

## Mohammad Rasoulof’s ‘The Seed of the Sacred Fig’ Wins Prestigious Fipresci Award at Cannes 2024

Cannes, France – May 25, 2024

Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof’s captivating drama, “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” has triumphed at the prestigious 2024 Cannes Film Festival, capturing the coveted Fipresci Award. This recognition from the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci) marks a significant achievement for Rasoulof, whose work has consistently challenged the boundaries of artistic expression in his home country.

### “A Courageous Story of Conflict and Progress”

The Fipresci jury lauded “The Seed of the Sacred Fig” as “a courageous story set in modern-day Iran that deals with the conflict between tradition and progress.” The film’s imaginative and powerful depiction of societal tensions in contemporary Iran resonated deeply with the jurors, who recognized Rasoulof’s artistry in tackling sensitive themes with nuance and depth.

### A Standing Ovation and Frontrunner Status

Upon its screening at Cannes, “The Seed of the Sacred Fig” received a thunderous 12-minute standing ovation, setting a new record for the festival. This overwhelming reception, along with critical acclaim, catapulted the film into the forefront of the Palme d’Or race, solidifying its status as a strong contender for the festival’s top prize.

### Rasoulof’s Exile and Artistic Commitment

Mohammad Rasoulof’s triumph at Cannes is particularly poignant given his exile from Iran after facing severe legal repercussions for his previous work. In 2020, he was sentenced to eight years in prison for making a film critical of the Iranian regime. His decision to leave the country was driven by an unwavering determination to continue telling stories about his homeland and its people.

### International Support for Iranian Artists

Rasoulof’s award-winning film has not only garnered critical acclaim but has also sparked a broader conversation about the plight of artists in Iran. On Tuesday, a group of renowned filmmakers released an open letter condemning the Iranian regime’s human rights violations and the suppression of artistic freedom. This outpouring of support for Rasoulof and other Iranian artists highlights the ongoing need for international attention and solidarity.

### Recognition for “The Story of Souleymane” and “Desert of Namibia”

In addition to “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” two other films received Fipresci Awards at Cannes 2024. Boris Lojkine’s documentary “The Story of Souleymane” won the Fipresci Prize in the Un Certain Regard section, while YĆ“ko Yamanaka’s “Desert of Namibia” won the Fipresci Prize in Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week.

### Conclusion

“The Seed of the Sacred Fig” is a testament to Mohammad Rasoulof’s unwavering artistic vision and his ability to create powerful and thought-provoking films that transcend geographical or cultural boundaries. The Fipresci Award is a fitting recognition of his artistry and his commitment to shedding light on the complexities of Iranian society. Rasoulof’s victory, along with the international support for Iranian artists, sends a clear message that artistic freedom cannot be silenced and must continue to be celebrated and protected.