jafar-panahi-cp

Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, centre, sits at his home after he was freed from jail on bail on May 25. He has been invited to sit on the Berlin Film Festival jury. ((Associated Press))

The Berlin International Film Festival has invited dissident Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi to serve on its jury next February.

Panahi, who was arrested after filming opposition protests in Tehran last year, has been prevented from international travel since his arrest in March.

He missed getting honours at the Montreal World Film Festival, serving on a jury at Cannes and see his film The Accordion screened at the Venice Film Festival.

Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick said Monday that he hopes Panahi will be allowed to travel to Berlin in 2011.

Offside, Panahi's film about girls who disguise themselves as boys to sneak into a football match in Tehran, won a Silver Bear award at the 2006 Berlin festival

He is still awaiting trial in Tehran, but the charges against him are not clear.

He was released on bail of $200,000 US in May after an appeal by a host of Hollywood heavyweights, including Steven Spielberg, Robert De Niro and Francis Ford Coppola.