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Syrian Helmer Orwa Nyrabia Released Two Weeks After Arrest In Damascus: Report

By | Wednesday September 12, 2012 @ 2:34pm PDT

UPDATE: Syrian filmmaker Orwa Nyarabia’s family said today he was freed today in “strong and good spirits,” according to Deadline sister site MovieLine. His military abductors on Tuesday turned him over to a civilian court which reviewed his case and freed him.

PREVIOUSLY: The European Documentary Network posted this statement today on its website.

Finally the good news came, that Orwa Nyrabia, Syrian film producer and director of the Syrian film festival DOX BOX, who was arrested August 23 at Damascus International Airport, has been set free.

The site had no further details. Deadline reported last month that Nyrabia was arrested August 23 at the Damascus airport as he was on his way to Cairo. He was taken into custody by one of the security services of the Syrian regime to be detained in the jail cells of the intelligence services. The Toronto International Film Festival last week expressed “deep concern” over Nyrabia’s arrest. His release came just days after the death of Syrian filmmaker Tamer al-Awam, who died in Aleppo, “where he was filming the bombardment of civilian neighborhoods,” as reported by the New York Times.

Related: Syrian Helmer Orwa Nyrabia Arrested In Damascus
DGA “Concern” For Missing Syria Producer

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DGA “Concern” For Missing Syria Producer

By | Thursday September 6, 2012 @ 4:34pm PDT

Los Angeles – Directors Guild of America President Taylor Hackford made the following statement about the disappearance of Orwa Nyrabia, the Syrian producer and director of the DOX BOX documentary film festival, on August 23, 2012 as he waited to board a plane from Damascus to Cairo:

“The Directors Guild of America joins together with the international film community in expressing our serious concern over the disappearance of filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia two weeks ago.

“A society or government that fails to protect an artist’s freedom to express his or her creative vision without fear of censorship, retribution or government reprisal is surely one in which respect for liberty, civil and human rights is similarly tenuous. We call for Nyrabia’s immediate and safe release along with any other filmmakers and other artists who have been detained and prohibited from full freedom of expression.”

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Syrian Helmer Orwa Nyrabia Arrested In Damascus; Toronto Fest Organizers Concerned

By | Thursday August 30, 2012 @ 9:26am PDT
Mike Fleming

Organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival released a statement today expressing “deep concern” after Dox Box documentary director Orwa Nyrabia was arrested August 23 at the Damascus airport, as he was on his way to Cairo. He was taken into custody by one of the security services of the Syrian regime to be detained in the jail cells of the intelligence services. There has been no news of him since.

An independent filmmaker and producer, Nyrabia has produced films in Syria, most notably for the French-German television channel, Arté. With his wife, the documentary filmmaker Diana El-Jeiroudi, he founded an indie production company called Proaction Films in 2002, the first such company that was not run by the state. He has also served on the jury of the Amsterdam, Tehran, Leipzig and Copenhagen documentary film festivals. Along with el-Jeiroudi, he was awarded the European Documentary Network award for their exceptional contribution to the development of documentary cinema.

In 2008, Nyrabia and El-Jeiroudi founded Dox Box, an international festival of documentaries held in Syria. Over the following years, the festival grew and became well-known well beyond the limits of the region. In recent years, workshops and other activities for upcoming Syrian film-makers played an increasingly important role and underscored the significance of the festival for the country’s young film-making scene.

Festival organizers feel that Nyrabia belongs to the emerging generation of Syrian filmmakers passionate about world cinema and passionate about … Read More »

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