This is not a Film

Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb

Remarkable report that shows one day in the life of exiled Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. He made the documentary in the spring of 2011 when he a 20-year ban on filmmaking was imposed upon him. Panahi smuggled the film out of the country on a USB stick that was hidden in a pie, so that it could be shown at the Cannes Film Festival.

"How can I really express myself, within these boundaries and with the lines I have drawn? How can I convey the sense and the emotion that are inherent to these type of films? It is impossible, says internationally renowned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi (The Circle, The White Balloon). He watches scenes from previous movies with a feeling of frustration, while against his better judgment he tries to visualize his new film on a carpet in his home. He takes care of his daughter’s iguana, takes ordered meals at the front door and puts his household waste by the side of the street. He watches the latest news bulletins and from his balcony looks out on the world to which he has been denied access. This Is Not a Film shows one day in the life of the isolated filmmaker and is a tribute to Iranian directors who are disallowed the right to work by the Iranian regime

Jafar Panahi was arrested in 2010, together with his wife and daughter and some 15 other dissidents. Other renowned directors including Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Bahman Ghobadi have already fled Iran’s oppressive regime. Panahi received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2007 Movies that Matter Festival for his discerning and humane works.

Movies that Matter will combine the screening with the play Closed Curtains, which is inspired by Pahani’s film.


Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
Country of production
75 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
Jafar Panahi Productions
World Sales
Wide Management