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Hollywood Groups Urge Release Of Iranian Filmmakers

Katayoun Shahabi, one of numerous Iranian filmmakers arrested and sent to Evin prison in September.
Hollywood organizations and U.S. entertainment unions have joined together to call on Iranian authorities to release filmmakers who have been jailed and allow them return to filmmaking.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which gives out the film industry's top awards, the Oscars; the American Society of Cinematographers; the International Documentary Association; and the American Cinema Editors group released statements on October 19 condemning the arrests of six independent filmmakers.

The groups were joined by guilds representing directors, writers, actors, and producers.

The statements addressed the September 2011 arrests of producer Katayoun Shahabi, directors Naser Saffarian, Hadi Afarideh, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, and Shahnam Bazdar, and documentarian Mohsen Shahrnazdar.

The groups also noted the ongoing house arrest of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi, as well as the imprisonment of actress Marzieh Vafamehr, who also was sentenced to receive 90 lashes by Iranian authorities.

compiled from agency reports