An Iranian court has convicted two-time Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi of plagiarism. According to the ruling, he stole the basic idea of Farhadi’s hero movie from a previous documentary directed by his former film student Azadeh Masihzadeh – mentioned The Hollywood Reporter.
The court found that Farhadi infringed on Mizadeh’s copyrights by overriding the basic idea of his documentary Every Winner, Every Loser. The Oscar-winning director stole the essential elements of his work on One Hero without a heavy label.
The ruling is now final, cannot be appealed, and another judge will impose Farhadi’s ruling. In the worst case, the director may be required to turn over all proceeds from the cinema or show the film online to Masih Zadeh and he may face imprisonment.
Hero A premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize, and has since generated nearly $2.5 million in ticket revenue. The US rights to the film are owned by Amazon Prime. Farhadi admitted that his movie is based on the same true story as All Winners All Losers. The story, by the way, is that a man who got out of debtors’ prison found a bag of gold medals and decided to try to return it to its rightful owner.
After Masihzadeh publicly complained that he was not listed as the original inventor, Farhadi sued him for defamation, and Masihzadeh filed a counterclaim—a case that has now been turned over in his favour. A lawsuit filed by Farhadi in favor of his former student was also ruled this week, with defamation charges dismissed.
Achkar Farhadi has previously won two Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, the first for his film Nader Wasimin – A Divorce Story in 2011, and the second for his film The Client.
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