It is not known whether the Iranian film-maker, who spent two months in prison earlier this year, will be allowed to attend the festival.

Golden Lion winning director Jafar Panahi’s new short film The Accordion will be the world premiere opening event at this year’s Venice Days side bar, organizers announced today.

The eight-and-a half-minute Tehran short film focuses on two young musicians whose accordians are taken away from the during an accident. Produced by ART For The World within the project THEN AND NOW Beyond Borders and Differences, the film addresses the changing mentality of Iran’s young generation.

It will be unveiled in Venice’s Sala Grande in advance of Venice Days previously announced opener: Bertrand Blier’s The Clink Of The Ice.

Panahi, who won the Golden Lion in 2000 for The Circle, has been invited to Venice, but it is unclear as yet if he will be able to attend. The director spent two months in prison earlier this year as his films, which often focus on women, conflicted with the outlook of Iran’s hard line conservative government led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was released May 25.

If able to attend, Panahi has been invited to host a panel on September 2 with Iranian director Mazdak Taebi to discuss themes in his work and hold a master class.

Panahi said: “I am a director who pays attention to the social [aspect of life] and what happens around me…. The Accordion reflects my own emotions in the face of events and the way in which I observe reality.”

Venice Days chief delegate Giorgio Gosetti added: “We truly hope Panahi can be with us in Venice and in this way he can receive the applause he deserves from the lovers of great cinema – exactly ten years after he won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.”

Venice Days is an independent non competitive side bar held during the 67th edition of the Venice Film Festival which runs Sept 1-11.