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Ukraine Gets Support From Film Festival Toppers

Campaign for action targets directors, producers and sales agents

The Warsaw Film Foundation, which oversees the Warsaw fest, has sent out a letter to the entertainment industry and the media calling for solidarity and support of the various film festivals and staff in Ukraine.

The Russian government has recently shut down several websites criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in the wake of the ouster of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych and Russia’s incursion into Crimea, according to the Guardian.

The letter begins: “We are deeply concerned by the situation in Ukraine. And so are you. For our friends, who run film festivals in Ukraine, 2014 will most probably be the toughest year in their careers.”

The letter asks for members of the international film community to “show their help and generosity.” It specifically calls for directors, producers and sales agents to give their pics for free to all festivals in Ukraine and for film institutes to “support travel of your filmmakers and send prints at your expense.”

It ends with the plea: “We would like our voice to be heard. Please disseminate this message by any means available.”

The festivals and directors named are Julia Sinkevych, executive director of Odessa Intl. Film Festival (July 11-19); Andriy Khalpakhchi, general director, Kiev Intl. Film Festival Molodist (Oct. 25-Nov. 2); Irina Kaplichnaya, general director of Krok Intl. Animated Film Festival (Sept. 29-Oct.6); Gennadiy Kofman, program director, Docudays UA Intl. Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (March 21-28); and Victoria Yarmoshchuk, director, Kiev Media Week, Filmbusiness Conference (Sept.15-19).

Letter is signed by more than 70 festival heads, including Thierry Fremaux of Cannes, Jerome Paillard of the Cannes Market, Christoph Terhechte of Berlin, Alberto Barbera of Venice and Piers Handling and Cameron Bailey of Toronto. The letter is also signed by the toppers of several Russian festivals.

The complete text can be found on wff.pl.

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