“Our support will be unwavering until your release” – Liberation

The repressive authorities in Iran have again cracked down, arresting three prominent filmmakers, Jafar Panahi, Mohammad Rasulof and Mostafa al-Ahmad, for “violation of public order”, “propaganda of the regime” and “anti-revolutionary activity”. Three free, dedicated artists, “speakers of society”, in particular the poorest, the most disadvantaged, the most repressed by the regime. The three filmmakers mobilized to support the demonstrators who took to the streets to denounce the corruption plaguing the country. The demonstrations followed the collapse of a building in the southwest of the country last May, killing 43 people. The owner, a close ally of the regime, built the tower to bypass security standards. These gatherings were brutally repressed. Showing great courage, the three filmmakers showed solidarity with the demonstrators and dared to publicly condemn state violence. In an open letter, they asked the authorities lay down arms

The solidarity they showed daily with the Iranian people was also relevant between them, the filmmakers, as Jafar Panahi was arrested on July 11 in the prison where two of his colleagues, Mohammad Rasulof and Mostafa al-Ahmad, were being held. Here we must applaud the extraordinary generosity of this man, who came to plead for the release of his friends and colleagues, knowing the enormous risk he was running. For a whole generation of Iranian and international artists, for us French and European directors, they are an example, an inspiration. And this is exactly what they are accused of.

“The Capture of Power”

Combining three Golden Bears in Berlin, numerous awards at Cannes and Venice, and resounding successes around the world, each of these directors has distinguished himself over the last ten years by his ability to reinvent himself even in the most hostile situations. . Jafar Panahi was no longer allowed to make films. But with this is not a movie in Taxi Tehran, he found a solution to turn against everything, to denounce injustice, to show solidarity with the cause of women, to bypass the violence of a totalitarian regime. Mohammad Rasulof did the same with The devil does not exist.

My imprisonment symbolizes the theft of power over all artists of the countryJafar Panahi said during the trial in 2011. Because of these imprisonments, the leaders want to silence the Iranian artistic life and the spirit of freedom that it embodies, so inspiring the youth. Now these artists are in jail for expressing themselves freely through movies. They are deprived of freedom, deprived of families, deprived of the opportunity to shoot films. This is unbearable. The Iranian government is well aware that the works of the three filmmakers are recognized not only by festivals and moviegoers around the world, but also by the population, which trades them for coats.

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Other arrests have taken place outside the world of cinema, and this is an expression of a regime that is afraid and therefore causes a reign of terror. Firuzeh Khosrovani and Mina Keshavartz, two internationally renowned documentary filmmakers, were also arrested before being released a week later, again confirming the technique of intimidation of free creativity. Another well-known figure in Iran, fashion photographer Reyhane Taravati, was also recently arrested. A dozen other documentary filmmakers and producers were raided, with their phones, laptops and hard drives confiscated. This relentlessness towards words and people must stop.

We, the filmmakers, want to express here our anger against these arrests, intimidation and imprisonment and demand the immediate release of our colleagues, as well as the abandonment of all restrictive creative measures of which they are victims.

We express our absolute solidarity with all Iranian authors, artists, cinematographers who fight every day for the realization of their art at the cost of their freedom. We admire your courage, your determination, your hard work and the solidarity you show. Know that our support will be unwavering until your release.

Sign: Jean Ashash, Leila Albayati, Christine Ango, Daniel Arbid, Ivan Attal, Jacques Audiard, Barbara Balestas Kazazian, Antoine Barro, Xavier Beauvois, Said ben Said, Rachel Benita, Thomas Bidegen, Jerome Bonnel, Lucie Borletto, Michael Buch, Dominique Cabrera, Laurent Kante, Malik Shibane, Catherine Corsini, Vero Kratzborn, Bénédict Darble, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Agnes de Sacy, Quentin Delcourt, Emile Deleuze, Arnaud de Pallier, Fabianni Deschamps, Arnaud Desplaines, Aissa Diaby, Vincent Deutre, Alice Diop, Letitia Doche, Claire Doyon, Nadia El-Fani, Abbas Fahdel, Frédéric Farrucci, Philippe Faucon, Pascal Ferrand, Marine Fransen, Costa-Gavras, Diana Gay, Julie Gayet, Aurelia Georges, Robert Gedigian, Samir Gesmi . Gael Morel, Edgar Moren, Christian Mungiu, Sofia Norlin, Anna Novion, Valerie Ossuf, Ritie Pan, Antoine Paruty, Élisabeth Perceval, Sylvain Piotaz, Francois Pirro, Axel Roper, Thomas Salvador, Pierre Salvadori, Didier Sander, Claire Simon, Karin Tardieu, Denis Walgenwitz, Eleanor Weber, Zoe Wittock

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