Hollywood Unions Unite Behind Iranian Filmmakers

October 20, 2011 - 5:16 AM
Iranian filmmakers

In this May 25, 2010 fil ephoto, Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi is shown at his home after he was freed from jail on bail after more than two months in custody, in Tehran, Iran. Earlier this week, an Iranian actress was sentenced to one year in prison and 90 lashes for her role in a film that is critical of the Iranian government. (AP Photo, file)

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Hollywood organizations and entertainment unions are uniting in support of filmmakers jailed in Iran.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, American Society of Cinematographers, International Documentary Association and American Cinema Editors released statements Wednesday condemning the arrests of six independent filmmakers in Iran last month. The groups were joined by guilds representing directors, writers, actors and producers.

The coalition also called for the release of other artists arrested for making movies.

Earlier this week, an Iranian actress was sentenced to one year in prison and 90 lashes for her role in a film critical of the Iranian government.

Hollywood filmmaking groups urged Iranian officials "to remember that these are artists, not political enemies, (and) they have, as all free people do, the right to hold and express opinions."