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Oscar-Winner Asghar Farhadi Indicted on Charges of Plagiarising 'A Hero'

Co-producer of 'A Hero' denied the accusations and defended the Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi.

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Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has been indicted in the case filed against him by his student accusing him of plagiarising the premise for his new film A Hero. He has been accused of plagiarising his former student Azadeh Masihzadeh’s documentary All Winners All Losers.

A Tehran court found evidence that Farhadi has violated Azadeh’s copyright and has picked up elements from the latter’s documentary without crediting her, Hollywood Reporter reported. The case will now go to a second judge who can also order the case to be re-examined.

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Farhadi had said to BBC, in January, “It's really hard for me to try to go back and remember what the genesis was, what triggered this story. Many of these stories develop in your mind subconsciously, gradually start to take shape, and an impulse for a script grows.”

After Azadeh sued Farhadi for plagiarism, the filmmaker filed a defamation suit against Azadeh. She told Hollywood Reporter, on Monday (4 April), that a media court in Tehran had dismissed the defamation suit citing insufficient evidence.

Farhadi’s lawyer Kaveh Rad shared a statement on Instagram and shared that the case investigator had denied Azadeh’s complaint demanding a share of the film’s revenues if Farhadi is deemed guilty. He added that the given verdict is a 'part of the trial process’ and shouldn’t be considered final.

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A Hero producer Alexandra Mallet-Guy gave a statement to Variety after Farhadi’s indictment, “We firmly believe that the court will dismiss Ms Masihzadeh, who cannot claim ownership on matters in the public domain given that the prisoner’s story has been disclosed in both press articles and TV reports years before Ms. Masihzadeh’s documentary was published.”

Mallet-Guy added, “The story of this former prisoner finding gold in the street and giving it back to its owner is only the starting point of the plot of “A Hero”. The remaining is Asghar’s pure creation.”

Azadeh argued that she had researched the story on her own and there weren’t any news reports about it widely available. The film follows the story of a divorced father who is incarcerated in Iran. When he is out on temporary release, he finds a handbag filled with gold coins and tracks down the rightful owner.

A Hero won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival 2021.

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Topics:  Oscars   Asghar Farhadi 

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