Together with many Dutch film institutions, IFFR signed a letter urging the European Parliament to do everything in its power to ensure the immediate release of Ukranian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. Sentsov is now on day 17 of a hunger strike in a Yakutia prison. He says he will follow through until death should his demands not be met.
Sentsov visited IFFR in 2012 for the premiere of his feature film debut Gaamer. In 2013, he participated in the Euromaidan protests opposing the Russian annexation of Crimea. He was arrested in May 2014 and has been held captive since, accused of having committed “crimes of a terrorist nature”. After what Amnesty International called “an unfair trial in a military court” he was sentenced for 20 years in prison.
GaamerOleg Sentsov IFFR 2012 92′
The protagonist of Gaamer is a young Ukrainian guy who spends most of his time playing video games. He is great at shooting enemies in Quake but not so successful in his real life, from which he tries but fails to escape. A very likeable docu-style film about the collapse of illusions and beginning of maturity. Made for 20,000 USD.
Since Sentsov’s imprisonment, the film world has tried to make its voice heard in an attempt to have him released. IFFR sincerely hopes the international film world can gather enough political traction to ensure Sentsov’s safety and freedom.
The letter is an initiative by Filmproducenten Nederland.
Read the joint letter to Anne-Marie Mineur hereLetter (Dutch PDF)