Published on “Bayerischer Rundfunk” (Bavarian broadcast) on October 14, 2009
Source: (video embedded)

Narges Kalhor_BR 091014

25 year old Narges Kalhor from Iran has applied for asylum in Germany on Tuesday (October 13). She had presented a dissident film at the Nurember Film Festival of Human Rights. Kalhor, who is the daughter of an adviser of Ahmadinejad, told the “Bayerischer Rundfunk” (Bavarian broadcast) that shortly before her departure she had been warned that she might get arrested in Iran.

“Basically, I intended to stay in Germany just one month and then return to Iran”, said Kalhor in an interview with “Bayerischer Rundfunk”. After partaking at the Nuremberg Film Festival of Human Rights, the filmmaker was cautioned by Iranian friends to not go back. She is feeling much more safe in Germany than in her home country: “On arriving at the airport in Iran, I would be sure to not reach my home address,” she explained. Shortly prior to the scheduled return flight on Tuesday (13.October 2009) she requested asylum. Currently she is staying in a German transition center for asylum seekers.

Her father is Ahmadinejad’s closest adviser
Her father is Mehdi Kalhor, adviser to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on cultural and media affairs. He is said to be the major adviser to the Iranian president. Since August 2005, the former documentarist advises Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on cultural affairs. In the interview, Narges Kalhor pointed out that she has not been in touch with her father since a year ago.

Dissident film presented in Nuremberg
(Mr) Kalhor confirmed to the Iranian news agency Mehr that his daughter applied for asylum in Germany. He had not seen her for a year. His daughter was used for propaganda purposes by “enemies of the country”, he said. He had advised her “not to choose a path of no return”. Narges Kalhor had presented her short film “The Rake” at the Nuremberg Film Festival of Human Rights. The story, a Kafka-adaptation, takes place in Iran and has dissident elements, said a spokesman of the festival.

Additional information on the film by Narges Kalhor was published in an article by the daily newspaper “Die Welt” on October 14 2009.

The festival in the period between September 30 and October 11 had shown, among other films, a special series of movies on Iran, among them Kalhor’s short film “The Rake”. According to the organizers of the festival, this film describes a deadly punishing machine which is used as a metaphor for torture in Iranian prisons, and referencing Franz Kafka’s short novel “In the Penal Colony”.

25 year old Kalhor made the 10-minute-film last year and is responsible for the screenplay as well as for directing. […]
A spokeswoman of the festival expressed her concern about the situation of the filmmaker: Her support for the reform movement in Iran in opposition to her father is an “open confrontation”. During the asylum procedure, the hosts of the festival are going to support Narges Kalhor as much as they can.

Full article (German) at