Friday, August 31, 2012

Toronto film fest concerned over missing Syrian filmmaker

The Toronto International Film Festival is among global industry interests expressing concern about Orwa Nyrabia, a Syrian filmmaker and festival organizer who disappeared last week en route to Egypt.
Nyrabia is believed to have been detained by Syrian security services as he prepared to board a flight from Damascus to Cairo.
On Thursday, a TIFF news release expressed its concern about Nyrabia, who has not been seen since Aug. 23.
“Nyrabia belongs to the emerging generation of Syrian filmmakers passionate about world cinema and passionate about freedom. We are extremely concerned by his arrest — filmmakers must be allowed to express themselves through their films, without fear of reprisal,” the release said.
Nyrabia's wife, Diana El-Jeiroudi, issued a statement last week saying she had had no contact with him and had heard from the airline that he did not board the plane. Film industry professionals in Europe and New York have also called on Syrian authorities to account for his whereabouts.
Nyrabia and his wife formed the first production company in Syria independent of the government and founded Dox Box, a festival that brought international documentaries to Syria.

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