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
Docs in Progress
The Documentary Center, George Washington University
European Documentary Network
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
International Documentary Association
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
Producers Guild of America
San Francisco Film Society
The Scottish Documentary Institute
Stranger Than Fiction
Tribeca Film Festival
Tribeca Film Institute
True/False Film Fest
Women Make Movies
Writers Guild of America, West