By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Call for support to Bahman Ghobadi upon the arrest of his brother

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival wishes to express its fervent support to Kurdish Iranian film director Bahman Ghobadi and his brother, Behrouz Ghobadi, who was recently arrested and is currently detained by the Iranian authorities.

Bahman Ghobadi, one of the honored directors during the 53rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival, which was concluded 10 days ago, has made a public appeal to the Iranian government for the immediate release of his brother, who he believes is detained illegally. In his protest letter, the award-winning filmmaker, who has been a self-exile since 2009, states: “My younger brother, Behrouz Ghobadi, disappeared more than two weeks ago, and I have learned that he has been detained by Iranian authorities and accused of acting against national security…He has never been involved in any political or opposition activities.  He was interested in film, served as a production manager in some of my movies and directed a few short films. We are extremely worried about Behrouz, especially because of his chronic health issues. We ask that the Iranian authorities release him without delay.”

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival condemns any form of violation of human rights and declares its full solidarity to Bahman and Behrouz Ghobadi, hoping for the quickest and most successful resolution of the case.

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“There’s a culture of friendship in Latin American cinema, between people like Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro, which they in turn inherited from others. They’re a sensation of brotherhood, that people care abut you, look after you, which we’ve sought to maintain consciously. That ‘brotherhood’ is the best way to survive, to make better films, but it also a way of coming close to the biggest reason to make films. Filmmaking for me is like a fraternal act, like being with your family, and feeling that what we’re doing, when the film is over and makes some impact, is worth it. That intense encounter with all those people flowers, emanates for ever. You’re a kind of cousin, brother, lover, father, son of all those people with whom you worked. It’s a beautiful sensation.”
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