Iraq Filmmaker Withdraws U.S. Visa Application To Attend Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival In Act Of Peaceful Protest
Hussein Hassan, the director of the award-winning Iraqi film Reseba – The Dark Wind, has withdrawn his visa application to the United States Consulate for clearance to attend the North American premiere of his film at the 34th edition of Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival.
Miami Film Festival director Jaie Laplante said the Festival will proceed with the screening of Reseba – The Dark Wind as scheduled, but with a deep sense of loss and disappointment.
“One of Miami Film Festival’s core values is to bridge cultural understanding, to provoke thought and discussion, and The Dark Wind is one of the most timely, moving and important films in this year’s Festival,” said Laplante. “It is essential that roadblocks not be put in place that will prevent artists from the free discussion of their work, and equally essential that the world’s artists are made to feel welcome in the United States.”
The producer of the film, Mehmet Aktas, issued the following statement:
“Hussein Hassan shot his film RESEBA – THE DARK WIND at the front line of the war between the Kurds and the so called Islamic State. Hussein Hassan risked everything to present the true face of the war. Hassan is not a fighter at the front line, he fights with his artistic soul against terrorism and crimes. The US are the closest and most important allies for Kurdistan. Now it seems to be impossible for a Kurdish artist to visit the US to present his work. As an act of peaceful protest, Hussein Hassan decided to withdraw from his visa application. We as Kurdish filmmakers hope that Donald Trump will acknowledge the Kurdish people.”
The 34th Miami Film Festival will take place March 3-12, 2017.
About Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival
Celebrating its 34th anniversary March 3 – 12, 2017, Miami Dade College’s Miami Film Festival (MDC) is considered the preeminent film festival for showcasing Ibero-American cinema in the U.S., and a major launch pad for all international and documentary cinema. The annual Festival, produced and presented by Miami Dade College, attracts more than 60,000 audience members and more than 400 filmmakers, producers, talent and industry professionals. It is the only major festival housed within a college or university. In the last five years, the Festival has screened films from more than 60 countries, including 300 World, International, North American, U.S. and East Coast Premieres. The Festival’s special focus on Ibero-American cinema has made the Festival a natural gateway for the discovery of new talent from this diverse territory. The Festival also offers unparalleled educational opportunities to film students and the community at large. Additionally, every October, the Festival hosts a mid-season festival titled GEMS, showcasing the season’s finest new cinematic works. Major sponsors of the 2017 Festival include Knight Foundation, The Related Group and Miami-Dade County. For more information, visit www.miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-FILM (3456).
About Culture at Miami Dade College
The Cultural Affairs Department of Miami Dade College (MDC) is composed of the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, Tower Theater Miami, Koubek Center, Freedom Tower, MDC Live Arts and MDC Galleries and Museum of Art + Design. MDC is committed to providing its community with the opportunity to come in contact with innovative thinkers, creators and tradition bearers from around the world. With each presentation, MDC offers a bridge between cultures and ideas, creating new opportunities for the increasingly diverse population of Miami to come together through shared live arts experiences. For more information, visit mdc.edu/arts.