New Zealand Labour Party

NZ’s film reputation at risk after visa decision

The Government should reconsider reputational risk after denying a visa to internationally acclaimed film-maker Rokhasareh Ghaemmaghami, says Labour’s Arts Culture and Heritage Spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.

“I’ve written to Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse asking for the decision to be reviewed. I appreciate that immigration cases often contain information that the public is not privy to however this decision does not appear to be grounded in evidence or common sense.

“As the director of the award winning film Sonita, Rokhasareh Ghaemmaghami was invited to New Zealand to actively participate in New Zealand’s Doc Edge International Film Festival.

“She was invited by organisers to run a masterclass film-making workshop, as well as take part in a question and answer session following the screening of her film.

“Bizarrely, her visa was declined because Immigration New Zealand was not satisfied that she intended to stay in New Zealand on a temporary basis.

“The application was never discussed with the festival organisers.

“I hope a resolution is reached before our reputation within the international film community is damaged even further,” says Jacinda Ardern.