Altogether, as the representatives of the Czech documentary film community, we demand an immediate release of our colleague, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who was arrested by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation on 10 May 2014 and brought to Moscow to face what Amnesty International described as “an unfair trial in a military court.”
On May 14, 2018 Oleg Sentsov, sentenced to 20 years in jail, announced an indefinite hunger strike demanding the release of all 64 Ukrainian political prisoners convicted in Russia, denouncing their torture and restrictions in the access to a lawyer and medical care. After 46 days of a hunger strike, Oleg’s kidneys and heart are collapsing.
As Oleg himself stated, “A big betrayal sometimes begins with a small act of cowardice.” In front of an imminent risk of a death of an innocent filmmaker, we urge the political representatives and legal authorities all across the Europe for a strong personal engagement in the matter of Oleg Sentsov.
We firmly believe in the free artistic and political expression as essential and basic values of any society. As documentary and film institutions, we cannot stress enough the vital work documentary filmmakers do, while bringing up stories of violations of freedom and justice.
According to the film by award-winning Russian director Askold Kurov The Trial: The State of Russia vs. Oleg Sentsov, it was indeed Oleg Sentsov’s critical filmmaking and political actions that stood in the background of his indictment. Thanks to the courtesy of its producer Marx Film, film’s co-producers Czech Television and Message Film, and the Rise and Shine world sales, the film is available on Vimeo (HERE with English subtitles).
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
• Write to your foreign minister
• Add your name to the letter of the European Film Academy by sending them an e-mail
• Donate for the coverage of legal expenses and to support Oleg’s young children.
European Film Academy e.V.
IBAN: DE69 1005 0000 0190 3335 70
Reason for payment: Donation for Oleg Sentsov
Audiovisual Producers' Association (APA)
Czech Film Center
Doc Alliance Films
Institute of Documentary Film
Karlovy Vary IFF
One World IDFF