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Iraq Filmmaker Withdraws U.S. Visa Application To Attend Miami Film Festival

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Director Hussein Hassan, Producer Mehmet Aktas
Hussein Hassan, Director of RESEBA – THE DARK WIND, had planned to attend North American premiere 
of his film in Miami

Hussein Hassan, the director of the award-winning Iraqi film "Reseba – The Dark Wind," has withdrawn his visa application to the United States Consulate for clearance to attend the North American premiere of his film at the 34th edition of Miami Dade College's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,” Laplante said. “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.

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