Jimmy Choi Kam Chuen on Fri, 2 Nov 2001 20:15:43 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Filmmaker's life at stake

Please post the following message. A filmmaker's life is at stake. Thanks

Jimmy Choi

: Filmmaker Tahmineh Milani Faces Execution

FIPRESCI informs

Fellow Filmmakers Express Solidarity with Her - International Group
Includes Jamsheed Akrami, Francis Ford Coppola, Carlos Diegues, Ali
Kazimi, Hanif Kureishi, Ang Lee, Raoul Peck, Martin Scorsese, Steven
Soderbergh, and Many Others.

Iranian Filmmaker Tahmineh Milani, who was arrested then released on
bail earlier this fall, faces execution if convicted in an upcoming
trial in Tehran.

Ms. Milani was arrested on the orders of Iran's Revolutionary Council
as she was promoting the film The Hidden Half, which she wrote and
directed. The Hidden Half depicts internal struggle within Iran soon
after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Ms. Milani has been charged with
supporting factions waging war against God, and misusing the arts in
support of counterrevolutionary and armed opposition groups. The
Revolutionary Council has previously ordered the arrest of
journalists and other cultural figures, but this is the first time it
has taken direct action against a filmmaker.

One of Iran's best-known filmmakers, Tahmineh Milani has written and
directed films including The Legend of a Sigh (1991), What Else Is
New? (1992), and Two Women (1999), in addition to The Hidden Half
(2001). She is well-known for taking strong feminist positions in
both films and public appearances.

Mr. Mohammad Khatami, the President of Iran, personally supported Ms.
Milani's release on bail. Like all domestically produced Iranian
films, The Hidden Half went through intense censorship processes.  It
was then approved by the Ministry of Culture and released to
theatres. For the director then to be arrested for the content of the
film seemed, as Mr. Khatami himself put it at the time, unfair to say
the least.

Facets Multimedia of Chicago released a declaration of solidarity
with Ms. Milani signed by dozens of filmmakers from around the world.
The filmmakers who have signed include such eminent directors as
Jamsheed Akrami, Hisham Bizri, John Boorman, Francis Ford Coppola,
Jonathan Demme, Carlos Diegues, Ali Kazimi, Hanif Kureishi, Ang Lee,
Spike Lee, Lucrecia Martel, Raoul Peck, Martin Scorsese, Steven
Soderbergh, Oliver Stone, plus many other directors, producers,
actors, and other filmmakers. The filmmakers come from across the
Middle East, North America, Asia, Europe, and South America.

The declaration has been sent to Mr. Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme
Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran; Mr. Mohammad Khatami, the
President of Iran; Mr. Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, the Head of the
Judiciary; Mr. Masjed Jamee, the Minister of Culture and Islamic
Guidance; and many other dignitaries and interested parties.

Facets Multimedia coordinated this declaration of solidarity because
of long-time commitments to promoting and distributing Iranian
cinema, to human rights, and to the freedom of artists.

Other filmmakers, organizations, and individuals who would like to
express their solidarity with Ms. Milani are invited to send faxes to
His Excellency Mr. Mohammad Khatami, President of the Islamic
Republic of Iran, at 98 21 649 5886; His Excellency Mr. Mahmoud
Hashemi Shahrudi, Minister of Justice, at 98 21 646 5242; His
Excellency Mr. Masjed Jamee, Minister of Culture and Islamic
Guidance, at 98 21 391 3535; Mr. Mohebbi, President of the Farabi
Cinema Foundation, at 98 21 670 8155; and Ray Privett of Facets
Multimedia at 1 773 929 5437. They are also invited to sign the
petition online at www.facets.org/petition.html, a website with links
that will be updated as new information related to Ms. Tahmineh
Milani's case becomes available.

An article offering more information about Tahmineh Milani's case
appeared in the October 26, 2001 edition of The Los Angeles Times.

For further information, please contact Ray Privett at 1 800 331 6197
or ray@facets.org.

The Declaration of Solidarity reads as follows:


As fellow members of the film community we were outraged to learn of
the recent arrest of Tahmineh Milani by the Islamic Government of
Iran. This is the first time the current Iranian government has taken
such action against a filmmaker. Although she has been released on
bail, charges against her have not been dropped. We wish to express
our solidarity with her.

John Akomfrah, Jamsheed Akrami, Angela Alston, Roy Andersson, Ben
Barenholtz, Alan Berliner, Hisham Bizri, Peter Bogdanovich, John
Boorman, St. Clair Bourne, Geoff Bowie, Catherine Breillat, Alden
Brigham, Charles Burnett, Laura Colella, Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia
Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Jonathan Demme, Dominique Deruddere,
Carlos Diegues, Faye Dunaway, Morgan Evans, Leonard Farlinger, Harun
Farocki, Ivan Fila, James Fotopoulos, William Friedkin, Richard Fung,
John Gianvito, Jill Godmilow, Marina Goldovskaya, Gaylene Gould, Lina
Gopaul, John Greyson, Rajko Grlic, Erik Gunneson, David Hare, Joseph
Hillel, Agnieszka Holland, Ted Hope, Richard Horowitz, Magnus
Isacsson, Sharifa Johka, Jennifer Jonas, Jon Jost, Peter Kaufman,
Philip Kaufman, Kees Kasander, Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Kastenbaum,
Ali Kazimi, Hanif Kureishi, Valerie Lalonde, David Lawson, Richard
Leacock, Ang Lee, Helen Lee, Spike Lee, Nancy Lefkowitz, Mike Leigh,
Joshua Leonard, Steven Lippman, Lech Majewski, Dusan Makavejev, Chris
Marker, Loren Marsh, Lucrecia Martel, Pier Marton, Jim McKay, Nina
Menkes, Joe Moulins, Jag Mohan Mundhra, Alice Nellis, Jan Nemec,
Denise Ohio, Katrin Ottarsdottir, Raoul Peck, Robin Wright Penn, Sean
Penn, Marguerite Pigott, Mark Rappaport, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Julia
Reichert, Francoise Romand, Shiva Rose, Ken Russell, Helma
Sanders-Brahms, James Schamus, Richard Schenkman, Paul Schrader,
Barbet Schroeder, Sandra Schulberg, Martin Scorsese, Peter Sellars,
Franci Slak, Steven Soderbergh, Ines Sommer, Stanislav Stanojevic,
Jos Stelling, Oliver Stone, Leslie Thornton, Blaine Thurier, Jacob
Tierney, John Walker, Karen Walton, Elizabeth Westrate, Bellamy Young.

Forwarded by FIPRESCI

Klaus Eder
F??ation Internationale
de la Presse Cin?atographique
Schleissheimer Str. 83
D-80797 Munich
T +49 (89) 18 23 03
Cell +49 (172) 850 53 02
F +49 (89) 18 47 66

51st Melbourne International Film Festival
24 JULY - 11 AUGUST 2002
PO Box 2206
Fitzroy Mail Centre 3065
Melbourne Australia

Tel. +61 3 9417 2011
Fax. +61 3 9417 3804

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