With the crackdown on freedom of expression around the world, filmmakers are increasingly facing attacks for their work. The past few years have seen a growing number of filmmakers being threatened, arrested, imprisoned and even killed in an attempt to silence them. In these precarious situations, the international film community could make a difference in supporting these filmmakers, campaigning for their freedom or pressuring authorities for their release. As the response of the film community is now often deeply fragmentized, there seems to be a growing need for more coordinated action.
You can read a full report on the day’s actions here.
“Freemuse’s Plipat articulated the findings of his organisation that has catalogued myriad human rights violations, such as the 131 documented cases of artistic oppression against filmmakers in 2017 and the shocking degree of blacklisting (256 films and filmmakers for which India accounted for 20%), before reminding the audience of recent high profile violations, such as the Netflix pull of the satirical ‘Patriot Act’ after the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the recent censorship of Bohemian Rhapsody in Malaysia because of its gay content.
Plipat then delivered a five-point plan of action to counter worldwide abuse against filmmakers that involves wholesale reporting and documenting of all cases of violation against films and filmmakers, greater engagement in terms of national and international advocacy, the launch of a campaign to end existing “prior censorship” and to “build constituencies to defend artistic freedom of international filmmaking with international film festivals and like-minded organisations.”
The IFFR runs from 23 January to 3 February. Check out the program here.