Magazine article Screen International

Hollywood Rallies in Support of Detained Iranian Filmmakers

Magazine article Screen International

Hollywood Rallies in Support of Detained Iranian Filmmakers

Article excerpt

The Academy and cinema guilds have called for the release of six filmmakers arrested in Iran.

Jafar Panahi (pictured) remains under house arrest, while actress Marzieh Vafamehr is serving a one-year prison term and suffered 90 lashes. A further four filmmakers - Naser Saffarian, Hadi Afarideh, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb and Shahnam Bazdar - have been arrested and every one has been denied access to lawyers and their families.

The following statements were issues on Wednesday afternoon (19):

Statement from the board of governors of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences"As an international organization representing over 6000 artists in 35 countries, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences is deeply concerned whenever and wherever the rights of filmmakers are threatened. The recent arrest of six Iranian filmmakers, the sentence of "one year in jail and 90 lashes" to an actress just for playing a role in an acclaimed film, and the continued house arrest of Jafar Panahi, among others, is a situation that demands our serious attention. These filmmakers - and others - are artists, not political combatants. We join our colleagues around the world in calling unequivocally for these filmmakers' safety, release, and return to filmmaking. They deserve the same, full freedom of expression that the overwhelming majority of our members enjoy every day, no matter where they are from, no matter where they work, no matter what their beliefs."Statement from the board of directors of American Cinema Editors"The American Cinema Editors is an organization of more than 500 professional film editors in the United States and around the globe. We join with the other members of the filmmaking community in expressing our deep concern whenever and wherever the basic human rights of free expression are threatened. As storytellers, we feel that the arrest of fellow artists for expressing their beliefs, revealing truths and pursuing creative freedom, no matter how controversial, is a story that should no longer have to be told in the 21st century."

Statement from the board of governors of the American Society Of Cinematographers"The American Society Of Cinematographers is an organization of more than 300 professional directors of photography in the United States and throughout the world. We foster the collaboration of cinematographers and the creative exchange of ideas and issues of mutual concern to our members and to the global filmmaking community. We are deeply concerned whenever and wherever the rights of filmmakers are threatened. We share these concerns with our fellow guilds and film organizations: The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences (AMPAS), The Directors Guild Of America (DGA), The Producers Guild Of America (PGA), The Screen Actors Guild (SAG), The Writers Guilds Of America East and West (WGA), the American Cinema Editors (ACE) and the International Documentary Association (IDA).

We are deeply concerned regarding the recent arrest of six Iranian filmmakers. The sentence of "one year in jail and 90 lashes" to an actress just for playing a role in an acclaimed film, and the continued house arrest of Jafar Panahi, among others, is a situation that demands our serious attention. These filmmakers - and others - are artists, not political combatants. We join our colleagues and cinematographers around the world in calling unequivocally for these Iranian filmmakers' safety, release, and return to filmmaking. They deserve the same, full freedom of expression that the overwhelming majority of our members enjoy every day, no matter where they are from, no matter where they work, no matter what their beliefs."

Statement from the Directors Guild Of America"The Directors Guild of America joins our colleagues and fellow artists around the world in condemning the baseless and cruel imprisonment or detainment of filmmakers by the Iranian government. We first raised this issue last year immediately after the sentencing of prominent Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi. …

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