Iranian director Jafar Panahi has been offered membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The invitation has been offered for his films This is not a Film and The Circle. In addition to Panahi, 276 other artists will join the Oscars academy this year. In the director’s category, Panahi is among a group of 15 that include other renowned directors such as Steve McQueen, Todd Philips, Kirk Jones and Katherine Hardwick.
Jafar Panahi was arrested during Iran’s election protests of 2009 and sentenced to six years in jail and a 20-year ban from filmmaking and traveling abroad.
Panahi collaborated, however, with Kambuzia Partovi in 2013 on the film Closed Curtain, which won the Silver Bear award at the Berlinale.
Panahi’s White Balloon, The Circle and Offside have won awards at Cannes, Venice and Berlin respectively.