The great French filmmaker Agnès Varda is the latest name to take part in the project entitled 223 words, a collective film that represents the Punto de Vista festival’s response to the sentence handed down to Iranian filmmaker Keywan Karimi, six years imprisonment and 223 lashes, as a punishment for his latest film, Writing on the city, the world premiere of which will take place at the tenth edition of the film festival in Navarre. The documentary made by Keywan Karimi is an essay on the history and use made of graffiti and political murals as a means of expression and freedom in the city of Teheran.
On 23rd December of last year, there was a hearing for Keywan’s appeal, which was favourable, indicating that part of his sentence of six years in prison and 223 lashes might be reduced, although it is difficult to know exactly the terms of such a reduction. In a few days, the Court will hand down his final sentence. That is why now more than ever the Punto de Vista festival is urging people to continue speaking out, adding their words and voices since, according to Keywan Karimi himself, these international efforts are reaching the ears of the Iranian courts, which bears them in mind when sentencing. Of equal importance is the media coverage of the international campaign to support Keywan, which also includes the San Sebastián Film Festival, a campaign on change.org and the petition launched by Iraqi filmmaker Abbas Fahdel.
Through 223 words Punto de Vista aims to combine the voices of 223 filmmakers from all around the world, who have each recorded a single word as a means of reflecting on violations of freedom of expression, such as the case of Karimi. With this latest addition of Varda, who has sent in the word hope, a hundred directors have now taken part in the project, including Spanish filmmakers such as Andrés Duque (freedom), Isaki Lacuesta (thought), Fernando Arrabal (outlandish), Montxo Armendariz (solidarity) and Basilio Martín Patino (courage); along with international filmmakers from every continent, such as James Benning (peace), Ignacio Agüero (embrace), Patricio Guzmán (bravery), Alan Berliner (interconnected), Victor Kossakovsky (beauty), Jay Rosenblatt (breathing) and Lynne Sachs (warmth). The film 223 words is developing as a living being; day after day, week after week, new voices are being added from every corner of the world, shaping a common message in support of freedom of expression. The film will continue to be updated until a number is reached that, far from being magic, highlights the injustice and inhumanity of his case, alongside other cases such as that of Jafar Panahi whose freedom is being threatened in Iran. Whether or not Keywan Karimi will be able to attend the world premiere of his film in Pamplona is still a mystery.
The festival welcomes filmmakers from around the world to send in their words. They can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The development of the film can be followed on the Vimeo channel of Punto de Vista: https://vimeo.com/puntodevistafestival
For more information, go to the festival blog: http://www.puntodevistafestival.com/blog/