The case of 24-year-old Pegah Ahangarani also points to the internal, and sometimes conflicting, centres of power in Iran.
News of her jailing came a day after authorities in the country ordered the closure of the pro-reform Bahar newspaper for publishing a commentary considered offensive to Islam by raising questions about the successors of the Prophet Mohammed.
Officials have shown signs of easing some clampdowns since Mr Rouhani took office in August, such as freeing dozens of prisoners held on political charges and reopening a prominent artistic centre known as the House of Cinema.
Ahangarani, who has appeared in about 20 films, has been held twice since the protests in 2009 over the disputed re-election of then president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but she was released without charges. Recently, she has was banned from travelling abroad.
Her mother Manijeh Hekmat said it was unclear who filed the complaint against her, but noted the charges included "action against national security and links to foreign media".
In reaction to the verdict, many movie-lovers quickly joined a cyber-campaign urging the authorities to reconsider.