Iranian cinema has for years been one of the nation's main cultural exports, notably films of Abbas Kiarostami, Majid Majidi and Jafar Panahi. Panahi in 2011 was sentenced to a six-year house arrest and a 20-year ban on filmmaking after being convicted of "making propaganda" against Iran's ruling system.
Kiarostami's "Taste of Cherry," a story about a suicidal man seeking someone willing to bury him, won the 1997 Palme d'Or at Cannes. Majidi's Oscar-nominated "Children of Heaven" follows two impoverished siblings seeking new shoes.
In 2007, the Cannes jury prize went to the animated film "Persepolis," an adaptation of Iranian director Marjane Satrapi's graphic novels about growing up during the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
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