As part of its continuing campaign in defense of Ms. Tahmineh Milani, the Iranian filmmaker detained in Iran in late August and released on bail soon thereafter, Facets Multimedia issues the following statement concerning Ms. Milaniâ€™s status, additional signatures to the statement of solidarity with Ms. Milani, continued press coverage of the situation, and about what other parties can do.
In the words of Mohammad Nikbin, Tahmineh Milaniâ€™s husband, producer, and translator, â€œour case is in the same situation as before.â€ This means that the charges of supporting those waging war against god and misusing the arts in support of counterrevolutionary and armed opposition groups have not been dropped. Those crimes are potentially punishable by execution under Islamic law in Iran.
In late August, Tahmineh Milani was arrested and detained for several days, during which time she was interrogated and items were confiscated from her home. After being held for several days, she was released on bail following the intervention of Mohammad Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Facets Multimedia has repeatedly attempted to clarify the situation, and to follow the best course of action. A statement of solidarity by filmmakers was written and started by Los Angeles-based writer and translator Dorna Khazeni at the suggestion of French filmmaker Catherine Breillat. Prior to expanding the declaration and actively soliciting the participation of other filmmakers, Facets consulted with Mr. Nikbin and others. Mr. Nikbin has expressed repeated thanks to all those who have signed the declaration, saying â€œall the pressure and publicity will help to get the case closed.â€
Ms. Milaniâ€™s ability to travel abroad has not been hampered. She and Mr. Nikbin traveled recently to Cairo, Egypt, for a film festival, and will travel to Boston, in the United States, on November 9, 2001. They will then travel to California on November 15, and be back on the U.S. East Coast by the end of November. At some point they may stopover in Chicago. Thereafter they will return to Iran.
The charges against Tahmineh Milani remain pending. She has not been cleared and the charges have not been dropped. Facetsâ€™ ultimate goal in this campaign is for those charges to be dropped.
Over Fifteen Hundred Signatures to Declaration of Solidarity ^ Since releasing an initial declaration of solidarity with Ms. Tahmineh Milani on October 26, 2001, a declaration signed by 108 filmmakers, the declaration has grown to bear now the signatures of over 1500 people. Several hundred of these are filmmakers; many others are film world professionals; many others have no direct involvement with the film world. Facets has not tracked the nationalities of all of the signatories, however it is clear that they come from every continent on Earth, and dozens if not hundreds of countries.
Among the signatories are numerous women filmmakers, including Allison Anders, Catherine Breillat, Michelle Citron, Sofia Coppola, Faye Dunaway, Su Friedrich, Marina Goldovskaya, Mary Harron, Agnieszka Holland, Sarah Jacobson, Lucrecia Martel, Alice Nellis, Yvonne Rainer, Molly Ringwald, Greta Schiller, Cauleen Smith, Susan Sontag, Amy Taubin, and many others.
The petition has also received institutional endorsements from over seventy-five institutions, including the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, the Black Filmmaker Foundation, the Canadian Film Institute, the Directorsâ€™ Guild of Canada, Zeitgeist Films, film festivals in Greece, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and the United States, and many others.
Facets plans to send an updated copy of the petition with all its current signatories to representatives within Iran shortly.
What You Can Do ^ 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 5880; 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 Milaniâ€™s case becomes available.
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