With the Berlin Film Festival launching tomorrow, aside from Wong Kar-Wai‘s The Grandmaster, one of our most-anticipated titles in the bunch is easily the next film from Iran’s Jafar Panahi. After delivering the stellar documentary This is Not a Film last year, he’s set to bow Closed Curtain at the festival next week and we’ve got the first stills and official synopsis for the film he co-directed with Kamboziya Partovi.

Running 106 minutes, the film will see the director blurring the lines of narrative, fiction and reality once again. Check out the rundown and images below for the film starring our directors, along with Maryam Moghada, Hadi Saeedi, Azadeh Toradi, Agha Olia and Zeynab Khanum.

They are both on the run: the man with the dog he isn’t allowed to own because Islamic law deems it to be unclean, and the young woman who took part in an illicit party on the shores of the Caspian Sea. They barricade themselves into a secluded villa with curtained windows and eye each other suspiciously. Why has he shaved his head? How does she know he is being followed by the police? They are both now prisoners in a house without a view in the midst of a hostile environment. The voices of police can be heard in the distance, but so too can the calming sound of the sea. One time they look at the night sky full of stars before again withdrawing behind their protective walls.

Are we looking at outlaws, in all senses of the word? Or are the man and the young woman merely phantoms, figments of the imagination of a filmmaker who is no longer allowed to work? The director enters the scene and the curtains are pulled open. Reality reinstates itself, but fiction closes in on it again and again. An absurd situation: two characters from a screenplay, both searching for and observing their director.

Closed Curtain premieres on February 12th at Berlin Film Festival.

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