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article imageConcern about fate of Syrian filmmaker arrested in Damascus

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By Darren Weir     Aug 30, 2012 in World
The international film community is expressing fears about a Syrian indie film producer who was arrested one week ago at the Damascus Airport.
The Hollywood Reporter reports Orwa Nyrabia, a Syrian film producer and director of the Dox Box documentary festival in Damascus disappeared August 23, as he was about to board a flight for Cairo. His wife and fellow filmmaker Diana al Jeiroudi issued a statement saying she hasn't heard anything from him after his arrival at the airport. “According to Egyptian Airlines, he did not board the plane, which indicates that he was arrested by the Syrian authorities at the airport.”
International filmmakers are expressing concern about what might have happened. The Toronto International Film Festival has issued a statement saying Nyrabia was arrested by Syrian security forces and is being held in the jail cells of the intelligence services. "We are extremely concerned by his arrest -- filmmakers must be allowed to express themselves through their films, without fear of reprisal."
Family and friends have launched a campaign on Facebook, Freedom for Syrian Cinema Freedom for Orwa Nyrabia, calling for his release, .
Lebanese filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour also issued an appeal on YouTube calling for Nyrabia's release.
The Hollywood Reporter says Nyrabia has produced films in Syria and has served on the jury of the Amsterdam, Tehran, Leipzig and Copenhagen documentary film festivals. He is also one of the founders of Dox Box, considered the largest documentary film festival in the Arab world and is partners with his wife in Proaction Film, the only independent documentary film company in Syria.
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