Ballsy dude. Congratulations.

Guardian – The Iranian dissident film-maker Jafar Panahi won the Golden Bear at the Berlin film festival for his Tehran road movie Taxi in what critics described as a victory for freedom of speech and the art of cinematic storytelling.

Panahi, who is banned from making films by the Iranian authorities and forbidden from travelling abroad, stars in his own film as a taxi driver talking to his passengers as he drives them through the streets of Tehran.

The decision to celebrate Panahi, who has been described as the “Iranian Woody Allen”, cements the Berlinale’s status as the most politically driven of the world’s main film festivals. “Instead of allowing his spirit to be crushed and giving up, instead of allowing himself to be filled with anger and frustration, Jafar Panahi created a love letter to cinema,” said Darren Aronofsky, the American director and Berlinale jury president. “His film is filled with love for his art, his community, his country and his audience.”

Panahi’s award was picked up by one of the film’s young female stars, who broke down on stage saying she was “too moved” to talk. She was comforted by the French actress and jury member Audrey Tatou.

Read more: The Guardian