Occasionally, DOC is a called upon to speak up on international issues regarding documentary filmmakers and human rights. When Syrian filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia, founder of the Arab documentary film festival Dox Box, went missing in 2012, DOC urged the Canadian government to intervene. DOC also advocated for filmmakers’ and DOC members’ rights when they were curtailed during the G20 protests in Toronto. DOC believes in free speech, the circulation of ideas in documentaries, and the ability of documentary producers to work freely and without threat of harm. We vigorously defend these ideals in Canada and abroad whenever they are at risk.

DOC Responds to recent arrests of US documentary filmmakers
November 3rd, 2016

Documentary Organization of Canada Expresses Concern Over Recent Arrests of US Documentary Filmmakers.

Click here to download DOC's statement.

Sign this petition to have charges dropped against Deia Schlosberg:

December 1, 2016 Update

Charges against filmmaker Deia Schlosberg suspended.

From filmmaker Deia Schlosberg:

"I do have an update that I'd like to share: my prosecution has been officially suspended by the state of North Dakota. Which is to say, the State acknowledged that I am an established filmmaker and that no public interest would be served by continuing the prosecution.

There are still certainly many questions about press freedom that need to be addressed, particularly in light of the recent election, but I'm thankful that in my case the state of North Dakota has recognized that simply doing my job should not be criminalized.

I look forward to turning my attention back to telling the story of the action itself, which, in solidarity with those at Standing Rock, seeks to bring light to the climate emergency and resulting humanitarian crisis that's already occurring."


HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD cameraman Steve Liptay was also reporting on the Shut It Down action and has been charged with two misdemeanors in Minnesota. The State of Minnesota continues to pursue the charges against him. He is fighting the charges on the grounds it was his first amendment right to report on the action.  You can support his legal fund HERE.

DOC issues letter of support for journalist Mohammed Fahmy
February 25th, 2015

DOC has written to the Prime Minister Stephen Harper urging him to immediate action regarding the case of journalist Mohammed Fahmy. Click here, to download a copy of DOC's letter.

DOC expresses great joy at the news that Greyson and Loubani are back home
October 15th, 2013

DOC is elated to learn that John Greyson and Tarek Loubani have made their way back to Canada Friday, October 11th as reported by the CBC.

For CBC's report, click here.


DOC's letter's concerning the issue

DOC calls on the PMO to exercise more pressure in securing the release of John Greyson and Tarek Loubani

DOC's letter to the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada:

September 30, 2013

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister

80 Wellington Street

Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

We congratulate you on calling for the immediate release of filmmaker John Greyson and physician Tarek Loubani yesterday, but more pressure has to be applied to bring this matter to a conclusion that has dragged on for far too long.

John and Tarek have now been in detention for 45 days and on a hunger strike for two weeks. With their detention having been extended for an additional 45 days as announced yesterday, these two Canadians are in increasing peril. The Egyptian government has yet to formally charge the two and detaining them under these circumstances is unacceptable.

As the government of Egypt seeks favour with the international community and aims to increase trade between our two countries, the Documentary Organization of Canada and its 700 members urge you to refuse any such consideration until the men are released.

Prime Minister, we beseech you to take all necessary actions to secure the safe and immediate release of these two men. Canadians across the country turn to you to ensure a positive outcome for this grave situation.


Pepita Ferrari

Download the letter here.

Find out what you can do here:

Sign Amnesty International's petition here:


Past letters:

DOC's letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable John Baird:

DOC urges the Department of Foreign Affairs to intervene in the arrest of Canadian documentary filmmaker John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani

August 19, 2013

The Honourable John Baird
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0G2

Dear Minister Baird,

The Documentary Organization of Canada represents over 700 documentary filmmakers, producers and artisans across the country. We are writing on our members' behalf to express our deep concern over the arrest by Egyptian authorities of veteran Canadian filmmaker John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani.

The award-winning director of feature films such as Zero Patience, Lilies and Fig Trees, Greyson is one of the courageous and outspoken voices in Canadian cinema and is an esteemed professor at York University.

We are seriously alarmed by the fact that Merssrs. Greyson and Loubani are being held by the Egyptian authorities. It is of utmost importance that your department intervene immediately to obtain information about their situation and work to secure their release.


Pepita Ferrari


Download the letter here.

Syrian filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia released
April 16th, 2013

September 12 2012

Syrian filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia released. Read the announcement here.

DOC urges the Canadian government to call for the release of missing Syrian filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia
September 7th, 2012

September 7 2012

DOC urges the Canadian government to call for the release of missing Syrian filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia, founder of the Arab documentary film festival Dox Box.


September 6th, 2012
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Langevin Block
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A2


Prime Minister,


The Documentary Organization of Canada/l’Association des
documentaristes du Canada (DOC) is extremely concerned at the disappearance of Syrian filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia two weeks ago.

Nyrabia was detained at the Damascus airport on August 23rd and he has not been seen since. His family has received no information whatsoever about the reasons for his detention and are calling for his immediate release by the Syrian Authorities.

Nyrabia started Dox Box in 2008, a leading Arab documentary film festival. This year’s Dox Box was held in twelve countries around the world to raise awareness about the silencing of independent voices in Syria.

Nyrabia has now joined the silenced. It is imperative that we speak out against this blatant infringement on human rights.

DOC asks that the Canadian government demand Orwa Nyrabia’s immediate release. We call on our Government to defend the values of free speech that we, as Canadians, hold to the highest standard and speak up against this abuse.


Respectfully submitted,


Pepita Ferrari

cc Amnesty International Canada


Download the letter here.

Toronto - The Real G8/G20: A Civil Society Response
July 8th, 2010

July 8th, 2010


Toronto - The Real G8/G20: A Civil Society Response is a content-rich forum for citizen media: video, film, photography, and editorial works by artists, activists, social justice organizations and independent meda. To read the press release click here.

DOC comments on G20 detainments and arrests
July 5th, 2010

July 5, 2010


At moments of social conflict, it is important that journalists and independent media have the freedom to do their jobs - to witness and document events of public interest. 

During the G20 protests in Toronto, that freedom was repeatedly violated. Journalists and documentary filmmakers were victims of seemingly unprovoked attacks by police and the following are a few examples:


- DOC member Amy Miller was detained for more than 12 hours despite showing accreditation documents to police.


- PEI filmmaker Adam MacIsaac was detained and his equipment broken/confiscated.


- TVO journalist Steve Paikin witnessed police assaulting freelance journalist Jesse Rosenfeld, who was working for The Guardian newspaper.


Of course there are many sides to every story, and not all the details of these confrontations have been independently confirmed. But the number and pattern of these accounts make it clear that an independent inquiry into the treatment of media by police during the G20 summit is necessary.

DOC sends a letter to Minister Van Loan in regards to treatment of Amy Goodman when crossing the border into Canada
December 4th, 2009

December 4, 2009

DOC sends a letter to Minister Van Loan in regards to treatment of Amy Goodman when crossing the border into Canada. Read more here.

DOC sends its petition to the Iranian Government for the release of Maziar Bahari and issues a press release
August 17th, 2009

August 17, 2009

DOC sends its petition to the Iranian Government for the release of Maziar Bahari and issues a press release. To read the press release please click here.

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