Two-time Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has been indicted on charges of plagiarism by a court in Iran. According to various media reports, Farhadi was indicted after the Iranian court found evidence that the premise of his latest movie A Hero has been taken from the documentary All Winners All Losers.
It must be noted that the documentary in question has been made by Asghar’s former film student, Azadeh Masihzadeh. The court found that Farhadi violated the copyright terms by picking up key elements from the aforementioned documentary whilst denying due credit to its maker.
Meanwhile, the case will now be passed on to a second judge who may ask for a re-examination. The second judge’s ruling could also be further challenged in another court. Farhadi’s lawyer Kaveh Rad has stated that the ruling of the first judge should not be considered the final verdict as the case still happens to be under trial.
In the meantime, another had been filed by Mohammad Reza Shokri, who happens to be a former prisoner and subject of Masihzadeh’s documentary. Shokri has claimed that Asghar’s movie A Hero has damaged his reputation. However, his case was dismissed by the court, according to a report carried by the Hollywood Reporter.
A Hero’s co-producer Alexandre Mallet-Guy has said in a statement that he is confident about Asghar emerging victorious from this court battle. The producer’s statement read, “We firmly believe that the court will dismiss Ms Masihzadeh, who cannot claim ownership on matters in the public domain given that the prisoner’s story has been disclosed in both press articles and TV reports years before Ms Masihzadeh’s documentary was published.” For the unversed, A Hero had won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival last year.