The Iranian Short Film Association (ISFA) has been banned from holding its upcoming Short Film Festival. State media reported that the ban was imposed by the culture minister. The reason for the ban is that the festival had featured a poster with actress Susan Taslimi not wearing a hijab, which goes against the law. Since 1983, women in Iran have been required to wear hijabs.
As a result of this ban, the festival, originally scheduled for September, has been canceled. This decision adds to the growing trend of Iranian women challenging the strict dress code. The defiance has been fueled by mass protests calling for the abolition of compulsory hijab. These demonstrations started after the tragic death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd. She was arrested by the morality police for alleged violations of the Islamic dress code.
To suppress this wave of defiance, authorities have intensified patrols to enforce the law. They want to discourage women from disregarding the hijab requirement. Aside from the film festival ban, other measures are also being taken. Digikala, a prominent e-commerce company, is facing legal action for featuring pictures of female employees without head coverings. Additionally, actress Afsaneh Bayegan recently received a two-year suspended prison sentence for not wearing a hijab at a public event. According to the court ruling, she must also undergo psychological treatment and provide a health certificate afterwards.