A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise funds for the post-production of Release Oleg Sentsov: A Documentary, a film dedicated to investigating the criminal case against Sentsov, a filmmaker who was arrested by Russian security services last spring for his alleged involvement in terrorist activities. The film, directed by documentary filmmakers Askold Kurov and Andriy Lytvynenko, features a number of interviews with Russian and international film directors, including Wim Wenders and Agnieszka Holland, who voice their support for the jailed director.
“We hope that these videos, as well as the finished film, will contribute to the worldwide campaign and help him to eventually get back to freedom,” the statement reads on crowdfunding website Indiegogo. “[Sentsov’s case] isn’t only a politically themed inquiry into the injustice in contemporary Russia. This is an absurd and frightening Kafka-esque story about how anyone can become a victim of the soulless state machine.”
Talking to The Calvert Journal, Kurov spoke of the difficulty of organising solidarity events in Russia. “There are many festivals in Europe that organise different events: screenings of Oleg’s films, flashmobs and so on. Unfortunately it’s impossible to organise these types of events at Russian festivals because organisers are afraid of reprisals from the authorities.”
Sentsov stands accused of being a member of right-wing Ukrainian political group Pravy Sector (Right Sektor), a claim decried as politically motivated by his supporters. In June last year, over a dozen film industry heavyweights, including Wim Wenders, Ken Loach and Pedro Almodóvar, signed an open letter to President Vladimir Putin urging him to ensure the safety of Sentsov.