Committees: Freedom of Expression


Committee Members

Mark Freeman (chair), Betsy McLaneLaura Vazquez

"Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom."

- Benjamin Nathan Cardozo


Freedom of expression is integral to the mission of the UFVA. Among the purposes of UFVA (as described in the Constitution and Bylaws) is "to provide means for the sharing of ideas on … the production and distribution of motion pictures and other recorded materials; [and] to do everything and anything reasonably or lawfully necessary, proper or advisable for the attainment of the above purposes or for any of them or for the furtherance of any or all such purposes….”

The UFVA Board of Directors created a Freedom of Expression Committee at the annual conference August 2010. The Committee is composed of 3 members at least one of whom is a member of and liaison to the Board. The committee will concern itself with violations of and threats to the artistic freedom and human rights of filmmakers and film educators/scholars throughout the world. The members of the Committee shall serve staggered terms. Members of the Committee may be reappointed.


Background and Context

Freedom Expression is embedded within the larger framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 19:Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.


  1. The UFVA in pursuit of its mission is concerned with threats to filmmakers and film educators and scholars.
  2. Threats to the artistic freedom and human rights of a filmmaker and/or film educator/scholar may include, but are not limited to, censorship, imprisonment, fines, demotion or loss of position, forced breach of confidentiality or private communication, sanctions, restrictions on association, and travel restrictions. (Please see Appendix.)

The UFVA will consider actions in response to violations of and threats to artistic freedom and human rights that are related to the creation and/or publication of professional, educational and/or scholarly work by filmmakers and film educators and scholars.


Working Methods

The UFVA Committee on Freedom of Expression may consider and evaluate any and all potential threats and violations, as described above, that may come to its attention. A majority of the committee will determine if it will evaluate the possible threat or violation. The Committee at its discretion will propose appropriate actions to the UFVA Board of Directors. These recommendations will be made in a timely manner by email or at a formal meeting. Examples of recommended actions include letter writing campaigns, events and symposia, and research. Publication of actions taken and relevant research and action links should be available to the membership by email and on the UFVA website.


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