The International Documentary Association (IDA) and the Sundance and Tribeca Film Institutes are among nearly 30 organizations and festivals calling for the release of missing Syrian filmmaker and festival director Owra Nyrabia (pictured).
As reported last month, Nyrabia has been missing since August 23 after attempting travel from Damascus International Airport, and is widely assumed to be being detained by Syrian authorities in Damascus.
In a statement, the IDA said: “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.”
Nyrabia works as a film producer and is one of the founders of Syria’s Dox Box International Documentary Film Festival. In March of this year, Nyrabia and the Dox Box team received the EDN Award for initiating and running the documentary festival. He also co-founded his own production company, Proaction Film.
The full list of organizations backing the IDA’s statement follows below:
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
Toronto International Film Festival
Tribeca Film Festival
Tribeca Film Institute
True/False Film Fest
Women Make Movies
Writers Guild of America, West