Asghar Farhadi found guilty of plagiarizing the idea of ”A hero”. – The Hollywood reporter
An Iranian court found two-time Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi guilty of stealing the premise for his new film, A herofrom a previous documentary, All winners All losersmade by Azadeh Masihzadeh, a former Farhadi film student.
A Tehran court found Farhadi guilty of infringing Masihzadeh’s copyright All winners All losers and plagiarizing the key elements of the documentary for his film without crediting Masihzadeh.
The sentence is binding and unappealable. A second judge will now determine Farhadi’s punishment. In the worst case, the director could be forced to hand over to Masihzadeh “all the income earned from the screening of the film in theaters or online” and could even face jail time.
A hero premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year, winning the Grand Jury Prize. It has earned about $ 2.5 million in theatrical release around the world to date. Amazon Prime has the rights to the film in the United States.
Farhadi had admitted that his film, in which a man on leave from debtors’ prison, finds a lot of gold coins and decides to try to return them to their rightful owner, was based on the same true story as All Winners All Losers, which Masihzadeh developed as a student in a documentary workshop held by Farhadi. But the director didn’t give Masihzadeh credit for the idea, claiming he studied the story independently.
Farhadi sued Masihzadeh for libel and Masihzadeh responded by stating that Farhadi had plagiarized his original work.
This week, the Iranian court decided both cases in Masihzadeh’s favor, dismissing the defamation case and finding Farhadi guilty of plagiarism.
The Hollywood reporter contacted Farhadi for comment via his lawyer in France he represents A herothe co-producer of Memento Production but has not yet received a response.