Representatives of the Toronto Film Festival demanded the immediate release of Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka, a member of the American Film Academy, who was recently imprisoned in Khartoum along with four other artists, writes The Hollywood Reporter.
“Hajooj Kuka is an exceptional filmmaker. His last two films, “Beats of the Antonov” and “Akasha”, were screened at our festival. Recently, he was invited to join the American Academy. He is now imprisoned in Sudan. We have to make some noise about it “, wrote on Twitter the artistic director and co-president of the festival, Cameron Bailey.
The film “Beats of the Antonov”, about the people of the Blue Nile state and the Nuba Mountains in Sudan and their fight with the army, was named in 2014 by the public, the best documentary at Toronto FF. “Akasha” was screened at the festival in 2018.
Bailey shared a message from “Akasha” producer Steve Markowitz, who on Thursday called for an international response to Kuka’s detention.
On August 13, Kuka announced on his Twitter account that he and other artists had been arrested by religious activists after attending a theater workshop.
“We were attacked during a theater workshop in Khartoum by Islamist instigators. The police were with the attackers and arrested us. We are now awaiting trial. Is there any support for artists or do we have to be killed first? ”He wrote.
The Sudanese filmmaker is the founder of the Refugee Club and has worked as an image editor for the Middle East Broadcast Network in Virginia and the Shilo Incorporation in New York City.