×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Free Oleg Sentsov: Polish Film Academy Joins Fight to Release Ukrainian Filmmaker

Dariusz Jablonski, president of the Polish Film Academy, and Polish artist Olena Leonenko, hold signs reading 'I am Oleg Sentsov'

LONDON — The Polish Film Academy has added its voice to the campaign calling for the release of Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, who is being held in jail in Russia on terrorism charges.

At the ceremony for the academy’s Eagle Awards this week, Dariusz Jablonski, academy president, led a protest designed to draw attention to the plight of Sentsov, who was initially detained in his native Crimea, following its annexation by Russia. At Jablonski’s request, guests raised signs reading “I am Oleg Sentsov” as an act of solidarity with the filmmaker.

Olena Leonenko, a Polish artist born in Kiev, told Sentsov’s story to the ceremony’s guests and the TV audience watching at home. Sentsov had protested against the annexation of Crimea. Arrested and taken to Moscow, he has been held in the Lefortovo prison without trial for more than nine months. He faces 17 years in prison for alleged acts of terrorism. As Sentsov himself stated in his speech in court, which was screened at the ceremony, despite beatings, torture and threats of rape, he did not confess to any of the charges and did not renounce his Ukrainian citizenship.

Leonenko said: “A camera and words were Oleg’s only weapons. Whoever saves one person, saves the entire world.”

Jablonski added: “Today we, all Polish filmmakers, are Sentsovs. The Polish Film Academy symbolically takes care of him. Oleg, hold on!”

Sentsov’s words written to Polish director Agnieszka Holland, who is chair of the European Film Academy, were read out during the ceremony: “I would like to thank all filmmakers who support me, especially Poles, who have been helping Ukraine in these difficult times and have proven to be true brothers.”

Jablonski appealed to the Polish film community to continue its campaign: “We, Poles, know very well what the imprisonment for words means. Let us not abandon in prison our Ukrainian fellow filmmaker, who wanted to live peacefully in the country where he was born in and made his films.”

The Polish Film Academy has posted on its website pictures of leading Polish filmmakers standing with “I am Oleg Sentsov” placards in front of a photograph of Sentsov standing behind bars.

Agnieszka HollandPolish director Agnieszka Holland adds her support to the campaign
 Janusz ZaorskiPolish director Janusz Zaorski was among those expressing solidarity with Oleg Sentsov

More Film

  • Alita Battle Angel

    Box Office: 'Alita: Battle Angel,' 'Lego Movie 2' to Lead President's Day Weekend

    “Alita: Battle Angel” is holding a slim lead ahead of “Lego Movie 2’s” second frame with an estimated four-day take of $29.1 million from 3,790 North American locations. “Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” meanwhile, is heading for about $25 million for a domestic tally of around $66 million. The two films lead the pack [...]

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Bruno GanzSwiss Film Award in Geneva,

    Bruno Ganz, Star of 'Downfall' and 'Wings of Desire,' Dies at 77

    Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor best known for dramatizing Adolf Hitler’s final days in 2004’s “Downfall,” has died. He was 77. Ganz died at his home in Zurich on Friday, his representatives told media outlets. The cause of death was reportedly colon cancer. In addition to delivering one of the definitive cinematic portrayals of Hitler, [...]

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content