International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR)

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International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) — Home page

Founded by the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, International Film Festival Rotterdam and the European Film Academy, the International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk’s mission is to advocate for and to act in solidarity with filmmakers at risk.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Urgent Call for the Release of Hajooj Kuka

The International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) and its founding institutions, the European Film Academy, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and International Film Festival Rotterdam, together with the undersigning, call for the Sudanese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release filmmaker Hajooj Kuka and the four artists imprisoned with him.

Hajooj Mohamed Haj Omar (hajooj kuka) is a prominent Sudanese filmmaker and member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. As a director of both documentary and fiction films, his work has received critical acclaim world-wide. Born in Sudan, Kuka studied in Lebanon and in the United States and currently resides in Sudan. His documentary BEATS OF THE ANTONOV on war, music and the resilience of the people of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains, won the People's Choice Award at 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, in addition to six other film festival awards. Due to his work, he was listed in the Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the Leading Global Thinkers of 2014. In 2018, Hajooj Kuka’s first narrative feature film AKASHA premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for Best Film at the Venice International Film Critics Week. Alongside his filmmaking, he also teaches drama and filmmaking to young artists in Khartoum and is the co-founder of the Refugee Club, an alliance of Sudanese artists whose work reflects an awareness of the transitory state of migration.

On 10 August 2020, Hajooj Kuka was arrested together with ten other artists from the Civic Lab in Khartoum, where they were rehearsing a theatre play. After being detained and assaulted by the police, the Central Khartoum Primary Court issued a verdict against five of the ten young artists, falsely accusing them of public annoyance stipulated in Article 69 of the Criminal Code and Article 77 on disruption of public safety. On 17 September 2020, Hajooj Kuka and four other artists have been sentenced to two months of imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 SDG (76 EUR).

We are very concerned about the safety of Hajooj Kuka and his fellow artists and call on the Sudanese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him and his fellow artists and encourage all film and culture institutions around the world to do the same.

  • Mike Downey & Marion Döring, Chairman & Director, European Film Academy
  • Orwa Nyrabia & Cees van ‘t Hullenaar, Artistic Director & Executive Director, Int'l Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
  • Vanja Kaludjercic & Marjan van der Haar, Director & Executive Director, Int'l Film Festival Rotterdam
  • Jad Abi-Khalil, Chairman of the Board, Beirut DC
  • Cameron Bailey & Joana Vicente, Artistic Director & Executive Director,Toronto Int'l Film Festival Alberto Barbera, Artistic Director, Venice Int'l Film Festival
  • Lucie Borleteau, Vergine Keaton & Thomas Bidegain, Co-presidents, Société des réalisateurs de films (SRF)
  • Neil Brandt, Documentary Filmmakers Association South Africa
  • Emilie Bujès, Artistic Director, Visions du Reel
  • Carlo Chatrian & Mariette Rissenbeek, Artistic Director & Executive Director, Berlinale
  • Thandi Davids, Independent Producer Organisation South Africa
  • Margje de Koning, Artistic Director, Movies that Matter Festival
  • Jacintha de Nobrega, SWIFT South Africa
  • Jihan El-Tahri, General Director, DOX BOX
  • Hicham Falah, General Delegate, Agadir Int'l Documentary Festival
  • Marko Grba Singh, Artistic director IDFF Beldocs
  • Tabitha Jackson, Festival Director, Sundance Film Festival
  • Elise Jalladeau, General Director, Thessaloniki Int'l Film Festival
  • Judy Kibinge, executive director, Docubox East African Documentary Film Fund
  • Simon Kilmurry, Director, International Documentary Association
  • Marianne Kleven, Union Leader, Directors Guild of Norway
  • Theoline Maphutha, Writers Guild of South Africa
  • Rima Mismar, Director, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture
  • Pau Montagud, Artistic Director, DocsMX, International Documentary Film Festival of Mexico City
  • Paolo Moretti & Christophe Leparc, Delegate General & Managing Director, Quinzaine des Réalisateurs
  • Giona Nazzaro, General Delegate, Venice Critics' Week
  • Karel Och, Director, Karlovy Vary Int'l Film Festival
  • Mohamed Said Ouma, executive director, DocA
  • Thom Powers, Artistic Director, DOC NYC
  • Keri Putnam, Executive Director, Sundance Institute
  • Marten Rabarts, Director, New Zealand Int'l Film Festival
  • Christoph Terhechte, Artistic Director, DOK Leipzig
  • Tina Trapp, CEO, EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs)
  • Julie Trébault, Director, Artists at Risk Connection, PEN America
  • Tricia Tuttle, Director, BFI London Film Festival
  • Chipo Zhou, Head of Programming, Durban Int'l Film Festival
  • Mandisa Zitha, Chairperson of the Board, Durban FilmMart
  • Mandisa Zitha, Festival Director, Encounters South African Int'l Documentary Festival
  • FERA - Federation of European Film Directors
  • Freemuse
  • Human Rights Film Network
  • SNCCI -Sindacato Nazionale Critici Cinematografici Italiani

International Coalition for Filmmakers at Risk (ICFR) — Home page

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