No one is safe: Alawi filmmaker assassinated in Damascus
"Treacherous hands assassinated" Bassam Mohieddin on Sunday, the institute said in a statement, adding the killing took place in Jdaidet Artuz, scene of recent clashes between troops and rebels.
Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, confirmed the assassination.
Born in 1955 in the coastal city of Tartus, Mohieddin held an MA in filmmaking and television from the National Academy of Film and Theater Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Mohieddin was a member of the Alawite offshoot of Shiite Islam to which President Bashar Assad belongs. The majority of Syria's population is Sunni Muslim.
Rights watchdogs have expressed fears that the Syrian uprising -- in which more than 21,000 people have been killed since March 2011 -- is becoming increasingly sectarian.