Last week, Silverscreen reported that Sisak, a short film made by Faraz Arif Ansari was denied a screening at Tehran International Short Film Festival and Washington West Film Festival. We had based our report on a story in the DNA, which had apparently based it on emails sent to Ansari.
Subsequently, the Washington West Film Festival, through its lawyers, refuted claims that it had denied Sisak a screening. In an email sent to Silverscreen, the WWFF’s lawyer said, “Since its inception, the WWFF has celebrated tolerance, inclusion, and diversity.”
Further, the mail stated that the WWFF has “conducted an exhaustive review of its entire email system, and no e-mail bearing the quoted statement was ever sent.” And, also that the proof filmmaker Ansari provided to media organisations did not originate from its email servers.
The email also said that the WWFF’s correspondence with Mr Ansari was restricted to their willingness to offer a waiver of fees he’d requested, and a standard rejection letter – a template they follow for all films not screened due to various reasons.
Silverscreen has reached out to both the Tehran Film Festival, and Mr Ansari for comment.