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Documentary Community Calls for Release of Syrian Filmmaker Owra Nyrabia

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood September 7, 2012 at 12:14PM

A statement released by the International Documentary Association, signed by several major film organizations and filmmakers, is requesting the immediate release of Syrian filmmaker and festival director Owra Nyrabia...
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Owra Nyrabia
Owra Nyrabia

A statement released by the International Documentary Association, signed by several major film organizations and filmmakers, is requesting the immediate release of Syrian filmmaker and festival director Owra Nyrabia. Nyrabia was detained in Damascus on August 23 and his current whereabouts are unknown. TIFF has also expressed their concern.

Read the statement below:

Syrian filmmaker and festival director Orwa Nyrabia has been missing since Thursday, August 23 after attempting travel from the Damascus International Airport. Nyrabia works as a film producer and is one of the founders of the DOX BOX International Documentary Film Festival held in Syria. Reuters, Los Angeles Times, Al Jazeera, IDFA, Screen International, RealScreen and many other film organizations have covered the news of Orwa’s disappearance over the last few days.

We, the undersigned, represent tens of thousands of leading filmmakers working around the world. As such, we believe that the artistry and power of film is vital to societies and cultures globally. We strongly defend the right of filmmakers everywhere to practice their art and bring humanity closer together through the telling of our shared stories.

Orwa Nyrabia is not only a celebrated filmmaker, but also an artist who has devoted his life to bringing people and cultures together through film. Although Orwa is now being held in darkness somewhere, the filmmaking world is paying attention will continue to shine a light on him until he is safely reunited with his family. We call for his immediate return.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
BRITDOC Foundation
The D-Word
DOC NYC
Docs in Progress
The Documentary Center, George Washington University
European Documentary Network
Film Independent
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
IFP
Independent Lens
International Documentary Association
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
ITVS
Kartemquin Films
POV
Producers Guild of America
San Francisco Film Society
The Scottish Documentary Institute
Stranger Than Fiction
Sundance Institute
Tribeca Film Festival
Tribeca Film Institute
True/False Film Fest
Women Make Movies
Writers Guild of America, West


 

This article is related to: Foreign, News, Documentary


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.