Asghar Farhadi has been found guilty of plagiarising A Hero from one of his former film students.
The Iranian film, which is available to watch on Amazon Prime, was released last year and grossed $2.5 million. Farhadi is an Oscar winner who took home the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2011 for A Separation and in 2016 for The Salesman.
Now, a court has ruled that Azadeh Masihzadeh was not guilty in a defamation case, and now Farhadi has been found guilty of plagiarising her work.
According to the ruling, Farhadi stole the premise for A Hero from Masihzadeh’s documentary All Winners, All Losers. Her film was initially screened at an Iranian film festival in 2018 and devised during one of Farhadi’s workshops.
Additionally, Masihzadeh claimed Farhadi asked her to sign a document saying the idea for the film was his vision. Farhadi has since admitted her film served as the basis for his creation. However, he refused to credit Masihzadeh for finding the source material.
Farhadi claimed he only used his research of Mr Shokri, an inmate in the debtor’s prison, who found a bag of gold while locked up and decided to return it.
Masihzadeh previously said: “[Shokri’s] story was never in the national media, it was never on TV, it was not available online or in the public record. It was a story I found and researched on my own.”
Farhadi is yet to comment on the court’s ruling. This story is developing.