To activate the film community’s collective response to cases of filmmakers facing severe risk, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), International Film Festival Rotterdam and the European Film Academy (EFA) have joined forces in establishing the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk.
With civil society in danger around the world, filmmakers are increasingly struggling to make their voices heard. Over the past few years, the world has seen a growing number of filmmakers being threatened, arrested, imprisoned and even killed in an attempt to silence them.
In these critical situations, the international film community could make a difference in supporting campaigns for the freedom of these filmmakers or pressuring authorities for their release. As the response of the film community has so far been deeply fragmentized, more co-ordinated action is needed.
On the side of the Venice Film Festival, "Join the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR)" saw Marion Döring (Director, European Film Academy), Mike Downey, (Chairman, European Film Academy), Vanja Kaludjercic (Festival Director, International Film Festival Rotterdam) and Orwa Nyrabia (Artistic Director, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) unite at the festival’s Spazio Incontri.
International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) is a permanent organisation aimed at supporting filmmakers facing political persecution for their work.
To the invited festival attendees - film professionals and journalists – they explained the ICFR’s idea and activities:
"Film Festivals and institutions have always been involved in supporting filmmakers in danger but never has there been an organisation to co-ordinate this," said Orwa Nyrabia. The mission of the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk is to advocate for and to act in solidarity with filmmakers at risk. Reading out greetings of support from concerned filmmakers like Jafar Panahi and Oleg Sentsov, Mike Downey stressed the importance of being equipped for future cases. "It is only getting worse," Orwa Nyrabia added, "but we are getting louder, we have a loud voice in our community and we are putting it to a good cause." The Coalition will respond to cases of persecution or threats to the personal safety of these filmmakers and will defend their right to continue their work, by mobilising the international film community.
Activities will include:
- Accessing the support system
- Monitoring and observatory
The Coalition will closely collaborate with an international network of strategic partners:
- International film networks
- Affiliated NGO’s
- International human rights networks