The filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who was involved in supporting the Euro Maidan protests in Kiev and who has opposed the annexation of Crimea by Russia, was arrested by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) in his house in Simferopol on 10 May and brought to Moscow where he is still detained and awaiting trial. His trial was supposed to be on 11 October and has just been postponed for another three months to 11 January.
This means that he will have been imprisoned for EIGHT months without trial. The European Film Academy and the French Film Directors’ Guild (SRF) believe that they need to give a new dimension to this mobilisation, to get him released, by uniting their voices and the voices of all filmmakers and all those working cinema all over the world. That is why they have invited their members to repeat the following statement in any interview or public appearance they may have, so that from now on there will not be a day, not even an hour, without these sentences being repeated and heard above the noise of the world:
“I belong to the international community of filmmakers, and in the light of this, I ask President Putin to free one of our own, the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. His trial is scheduled to open on 11 January 2015 in Moscow.
Accused of “committing crimes of a terrorist nature”, which he denies totally, he faces up to 20 years of prison. Together with all filmmakers who signed this text, I denounce solemnly this trial for imaginary crimes. This aggression against Oleg Sentsov is an aggression against all filmmakers, all over the world.”
Among the first signatories are the following:
Barbara Albert, Niels Arden Oplev, Jacques Audiard, Juan Antonio Bayona, Marco Bellocchio, Catherine Breillat, Agata Buzek, Laurent Cantet, Costa Gavras, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Maria de Medeiros, Pascale Ferran, Marcel Gisler, Arto Halonen, Jerzy Hoffman, Agnieszka Holland, Agnès Jaoui, Mika Kaurismäki, Cédric Klapisch, Andrei Kurkov, Sébastien Lifshitz, Sergei Loznitsa, Angelina Maccarone, David Mackenzie, Manuel Martín Cuenca, Ulrich Matthes, Ursula Meier, Labina Mitevska, Dominik Moll, Thaddeus O’Sullivan, Paweł Pawlikowski, Mikael Persbrandt, Nicolas Philibert, Céline Sciamma, Stellan Skarsgård, Maciej Stuhr, Anatole Taubman, Bertrand Tavernier, Eskil Vogt.