‘Our message is getting stronger’: Russian filmmakers spread the anti-war message | News

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Young Russian filmmakers gather in large numbers to protest against the invasion of Ukraine.

Signatories to an open letter that began circulating yesterday (March 1) include Egor Abramenko, director of the 2020 sci-fi horror film, Sputnikand Philip Yuriev, director of The whaler boywhich had its world premiere at the Giornate degli Autori in Venice in 2020.

They call for an immediate end to the war and describe “the reckless and barbaric actions of the Russian authorities”.

“Russia has always taught us: there is nothing more precious than a peaceful sky above our heads. Therefore, we consider it necessary to stop hostilities against the Ukrainian people and to withdraw troops from their territory.

Contacted by international screen, signatories answered questions about how and why they are protesting the war. “This letter was written collectively, so we would like to respond as a group, not individually,” they said.

Who drafted the statement and who started circulating it? How is it shared? Does mainstream media share it?
The statement was written collectively by a large community of administrators, more than 100 professionals in total. After we completed the first draft, many colleagues asked to join the effort and also sign the statement. We are proud that there are now all kinds of filmmakers on the list: we work in film, advertising/branded content, documentary, new media and other creative fields that involve moving images of all kinds.

Yesterday and today we shared the statement and list of signatories through our personal social media accounts. Basically, the more people know about the initiative, the stronger it gets: many admins repost the original post on their accounts, along with valuable personal commentary. We have also shared the statement with a series of independent Russian media and some of them have already published it. Meduza is one of them and we would like to thank the journalists for their support.

We believe it is essential that during the first days of these disastrous events [that the] maximum number of people who share humanitarian values ​​stand up and make their voices heard. People in Russia and all over the world should realize that the reckless and barbaric actions of Russian authorities are NOT unanimously accepted by Russian citizens. Many communities in our country condemn the brutalities currently taking place in Ukraine.

Does the statement represent a strong industry consensus? Or are there directors who support the war?
Again, our message grows stronger as it reaches new audiences: filmmakers from different backgrounds continue to sign and repost the statement all the time. Currently, the strongest, almost unanimous, consensus has been reached among business/advertising managers (the vast majority of whom are under 40) – this is an indisputable fact. Many of our senior and more experienced colleagues also support the call for peace, an immediate example is the statement issued by Kinosoyuz. We realize that many directors and other creative professionals are reluctant to speak their minds publicly because they fear losing their jobs or public funding for their projects.

We know of no top director who explicitly and publicly supports the war. This is likely due to the fact that the creative community as a whole widely condemns the ongoing conflict and that conflicting opinions or viewpoints are associated with serious reputational risks.

What are the next steps? Are there plans for direct protests?
Each of us chooses the means of protesting for ourselves. Some of us participated in street protests during the early days of the war, but that has nothing to do with community: it’s a matter of individual responsibility. We are not a political union or civic organization. We are a group of professionals who originally came together to protect our common professional interests, and not to make statements of any kind. It’s sad that we have to do it now, but we are morally obligated to do it if we want to work and live peacefully in our country.

We are pleased that the vast majority of our vast film and creative community share simple and obvious principles: the highest value of human life, respect for the views and priorities of neighbours, the supremacy of international law, the need to resolve conflicts through negotiation and not through missile attacks.

Read the full open letter below.

OPEN LETTER FROM RUSSIAN DIRECTORS AGAINST THE WAR WITH UKRAINE

We are Russian film, advertising and multi-format media makers and believe that 21st century conflicts should and can be resolved through negotiation. We are against hostilities and call on our country for peace. Bullets shatter not only concrete, but something much stronger than that – sibling bonds and families. We want to live and work in peace and harmony with other countries and in our own. Russia has always taught us: there is nothing more precious than a peaceful sky above our heads. Therefore, we consider it necessary to stop hostilities against the Ukrainian people and to withdraw troops from their territory.

  • Anya Koshka Neon
  • Sergei Ramz
  • Gasimov Mikhail
  • Sharifullin Erik
  • Roman Kholodenko
  • Perlovsky Mikhail
  • Razgulin Vladilen
  • Vladimir Vaulin
  • Ivan Chekhov
  • Artyom Ignatiev
  • Natalya Bazina
  • Minadze Sergei
  • Maxim Kulagin
  • Anna Vesselova
  • Ivan Proskuriakov
  • Marie Pronina
  • Bezhanov Tigran
  • Sergei Filatov
  • David Bintsene
  • Maxim Kitayev
  • Philip Yuriev
  • Peter Fadeev
  • Yuri Khmelnitsky
  • Lena Tsodykovskaya
  • Kirill Kulagin
  • Gina Onegin
  • Shevchenko Alena
  • Vladimir Dinets
  • Fix Matvey
  • Baibulat Batullin
  • Mirny Anton
  • Starostin Alexander
  • Alexei Khruslov
  • Tchvanov Nikita
  • Novikov Kirill
  • Olia Pankova
  • Dmitry Maseikin
  • Vasily Gubin
  • Natasha Demidova
  • Gleb Orlov
  • Ilya Sherepitsa
  • Georgi Kazakov-Pokrovsky
  • Viktor Gorbachev
  • Ruslan Aksenov
  • Katya Telegina
  • Alexei Krupnik
  • Egor Abramenko
  • Alexander Irinarkhov
  • Amir Sadykov
  • Maria Barsukov
  • Artyom Golenkov
  • Trevgoda Andrei
  • Yevgeny Nikitin
  • Ruslan Borissov
  • Artemi Ortus
  • Yevgeny Bakirov
  • Andrei Bulachik
  • Egor Rodionov30
  • Artyom Shcherbakov
  • Umarov Felix
  • Egor Ivanov
  • Dmitri Alekseev
  • Denis Gulyar
  • Sergei Frante
  • Timur Ismaev
  • Stepan Nikishkin
  • Alexander Likhovitsky
  • Yaroslav Peger
  • Zhenia Kazankina
  • Igor Isakov
  • Georgy Toidze
  • Ilya Smolin
  • Alexander Yezhevsky
  • Anna Kuznetsova
  • Elena Fonfrovich
  • Natalya Shinelyova
  • Lada Iskanderova
  • Anna Simakova
  • Natalia Gurkina
  • Alyona Mikhailova
  • Svetlana Rodina
  • Ilya Soloviev
  • Igor Marchenko
  • Sergei Ilyin
  • Vera Smolina
  • Slavic Syrkin
  • Vladimir Beck
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