Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pacific Film Archive to Egypt: Free Director Greyson & Doctor Loubani

The senior curator for the Bay Area cineaste community's much revered and beloved Pacific Film Archive is Susan Oxtoby, pictured, who came to the PFA from Canada where she was director of programming for Toronto's Cinematheque Ontario.

When I asked her tonight to show solidarity with Canadians out filmmaker John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani, she immediately said yes. Greyson and Loubani have been held in a Cairo, Egypt, prison since August 16, when they sought directions at a police station, without cause or charges brought. Today is their 37th day in captivity and 7th day of a hunger strike.

More info on the effort to #FreeTarekandJohn is available on Twitter, this Facebook page and also a blog.

Three supporters, including Sarolta Cump on the far right, posed in front of a University of Berkeley map on the PFA's facade showing routes to the theater. Sarolta had John Greyson as an instructor when she was a student on York University where he is a professor. She happen to be at the screening tonight of the newly struck print of Pasolini's "The Gospel According to St. Matthew", and like me, is ready for more solidarity activism on behalf of Tarek and John.

With the PFA signage above the front entrance over our heads, a handful of us held up small posters reading #FreeTarekandJohn for a photo-op, in an of solidarity from the Pacific Film Archive's family with Tarek and John.

We add our voices and bodies to the growing number of people in the film world and from human rights advocates saying to the government of Egypt, free Tarek and John.

If you're in Montreal this week, please attend the Tuesday, September 24 vigil starting at 1 PM at the Egyptian consulate at 1000 de la Gauchetière O. (Metro Bonaventure, Rues Mansfield & de la Gauchetière)

Many thanks to all who assisted creating our visibility event tonight.

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