Monday, 9 October 2023
Free Navid Mihandoust!
The International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk and its founding institutions, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and European Film Academy, protest vehemently against the arrest of Iranian filmmaker Navid Mihandoust and demand his immediate and unconditional release.
Navid Mihandoust has over 20 years of experience in cinema and television, working as a film director, director assistant, and screenwriter in several TV series and movies since 1999. On 20 August, he began serving a three-year prison sentence. Navid's unjust charges stem from a documentary about Iranian journalist and women's right activist Masih Alinejad's professional life – a documentary that was never released. Navid was initially arrested in 2019 when he endured two months of interrogations within Evin Prison's Ward. Subsequently, he was temporarily released on bail until the trial process concluded. In January 2021, the Revolutionary Court of Tehran issued a verdict, imposing a 3 1/2-year sentence based on charges of "acting against national security" and "propaganda against the regime through slogan writing." This sentence was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeals.
During the three years that Navid was waiting for his sentence to be executed, he made this feature film CAFÉ, independently and underground. The film will be screened at the Thessaloniki Film Festival next month.
We stand with Navid and all those in Iran who stand up for their basic human rights and the freedom of expression and call on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Navid Mihandoust and his colleagues. We encourage all film and culture institutions around the world to do the same.
International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk
International Film Festival Rotterdam
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
European Film Academy