La Biennale di Venezia announces two initiatives at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, to demonstrate solidarity with the directors, filmmakers and artists who have been arrested or imprisoned around the world over the past year, with the purpose of raising awareness of their situation in the media, governments and international humanitarian organizations. The two initiatives, organized in collaboration with the ICFR-International Coalition Filmmakers at Risk, consist in: an international panel to be held Saturday 3 September at 3.30 pm (Palazzo del Casinò) and a flash-mob on the red carpet (Palazzo del Cinema) Friday 9 September at 4:30 pm.
The panel (Saturday 3 September, 3:30 pm, Palazzo del Casinò)
The international panel, titled Cineasti sotto attacco: fare il punto, agire / Filmmakers Under Attack: Taking Stock, Taking Action, will be held on Saturday 3 September at 3:30 pm at the Palazzo del Casinò (Lido di Venezia), in the Press Conference room.
Participants in the panel will include the Director of the Venice Film Festival Alberto Barbera, Vanja Kalurdjercic (Croatia, Director of the Rotterdam International Film Festival), Nadir Öperli (Turkey, producer), Orwa Nyrabia (Director of the Amsterdam Documentary Film Festival), Mike Downey (President of the European Film Academy) and an Iranian filmmaker.
The themes and goals of the panel are: to provide information on the situation of filmmakers who are currently being persecuted, arrested or incarcerated around the world; to express solidarity and concern for their future; to signal the need for the world of cinema to mobilize; to discuss possible actions that the international community could concretely undertake to help them. Furthermore – on the occasion of the panel – filmmakers and artists attending the Venice Film Festival will be invited to participate in the flash-mob to be held on the red carpet of the Palazzo del Cinema on Friday 9 September (at 4:30 pm).
More specifically, the themes to be addressed are: ICFR’s project for a fund for Ukrainian directors (Vanja Kalurdjercic will talk about this), the many cases of persecuted filmmakers that ICFR is working on in the rest of the world (Orwa Nyrabia), the situation in Turkey, with reference to the case of the producer Çiğdem Mater and her colleagues condemned along with her (Nadir Öperli), the situation in Iran, with reference to the recent cases of the filmmakers Jafar Panahi, Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Aleahmad (Iranian director).
The flash-mob (Friday 9 September at 4:30 pm, red carpet, Palazzo del Cinema)
The filmmakers, the artists and other personalities from the film community attending the 79th Venice Film Festival on September 9th will be invited to participate, at 4:30 pm, in the flash-mob on the red carpet of the Palazzo del Cinema (Lido di Venezia) to focus attention on the situation of the filmmakers arrested or imprisoned around the world, and in particular the director Jafar Panahiand the other persecuted Iranian directors.
The flash-mob will in fact be held before the beginning (at 4:45 pm) of the screening in Sala Grande of the film in competition Kehrs nist (No Bears, Iran, 107’), directed by Jafar Panahi. The dissident Iranian filmmaker, who has already been arrested and condemned in the past, will naturally be unable to attend the Venice Film Festival because he was again deprived of his personal freedom last July for having protested together with many of his colleagues against the arrest of two other directors,Mohammad Rasoulof and Mostafa Aleahmad, which occurred following the protests against the violence against civilians in Iran.
The flash-mob organized right before the screening of the film byJafar Panahiintends to represent the strongest manifestation of maximum solidarity by the film world towards the director and all his colleagues who are in his same situation.