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Syrian Filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia Missing

By Michael Lumpkin

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
Directors Guild of America
Docs in Progress
The Documentary Center, George Washington University
European Documentary Network
Film Independent
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Independent Lens
International Documentary Association
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
Kartemquin Films
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