An Iranian court has found two-time Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi guilty of stealing the premise of his movie, A Hero.
It was ruled that the idea for A Hero actually was cribbed from an earlier documentary, All Winners All Losers, made by Azadeh Masihzadeh, Farhadi's former film student. Farhadi was found guilty of plagiarizing key elements of her documentary and then not crediting Masihzadeh.
Further examination of this situation is damning. A Hero is based on a true story about a man on leave from debtor’s prison, who then finds a bag of gold coins. The man doesn't keep them and instead decides to try and return them to their rightful owner. It turns out that the movie was based on the same true story as All Winners All Losers.
While Farhadi says he came across the story on his own, Masihzadeh developed her movie as Farhadi's student and polished it in a workshop taught by Farhadi.
Complicating this is the idea that when Masihzadeh brought this up and asked for credit, Farhadi sued Masihzadeh for defamation. That led Masihzadeh to countersue for the plagiarism of her original work.
As of right now, A Hero has made $2.5 million worldwide.
We'll keep you updated as this develops further.