Busan Festival Launches Petition for Jailed Ukrainian Filmmaker Oleg Sentsov

Kim Jiseok, executive programmer of the Busan International Film Festival, has launched a petition for the release of Oleg Sentsov, the imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker.

Sentsov, who directed 2011 film “Gaamer,” had supported the ‘Euro Maidan’ protests in Kiev and opposed Russia’s annexation of Crimea. In May 2014, he was arrested in Simferopol. Two months ago he was sentenced to 20 years in jail on terrorism charges.

“We are deeply worried and we truly believe that it is absolutely unacceptable to detain people for the freedom of expression, which is against the main values of democratic society. Furthermore, we realize and fear that each of us could become a ‘Terrorist’ while expressing our artistic and civilian positions. We express solidarity to our Ukrainian colleague and respectfully call for his urgent release.”

Others who have signed the Busan petition include Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, India’s Mozez Singh, Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul, China’s Wang Xiaoshuai, Indonesia’s Garin Nugroho, and Korea’s Hong Sang-soo, Shin Su-won and Ryoo Seung-wan.

A campaign for Sentsov’s release was initiated by the European Film Academy during this year’s Cannes festival.

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