FERA joins the celebration of filmmaker Oleg Sentsov’s release

Brussels, 9 September 2019

FERA joins the celebration of filmmaker Oleg Sentsov’s release

Oleg Sentsov’s release is a momentous event for his family and supporters around the world, who have stood with him for the five years he has been unjustly jailed.

For a long time, and up until the last moment, the Russian authorities were not prepared to even discuss the possibility of Sentsov’s release, despite mounting international support for the Ukrainian filmmaker from Crimea.

Russian authorities detained Sentsov in May 2014 and sentenced him to 20 years in jail on bogus terrorism charges in August 2015. In reality, Sentsov’s crime was speaking out against Russia’s occupation of Crimea and helping to deliver food and water to Ukrainian soldiers stranded at military bases in Crimea.

Last year, Sentsov spent 145 days on an open-ended hunger strike, demanding the release of all Ukrainians held in Russia and in Crimea on politically motivated charges.

In October 2018, he was awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

As we celebrate the release of Oleg Sentsov, his case reminds us of the very real threat political regimes targeting creators and freedom of speech pose to our community.

European filmmakers will always stand in solidarity and actively support artists at risk.

Contact: Pauline Durand-Vialle, CEO – pdv@filmdirectors.eu – +32 551 08 94