The European Film Academy has pledged support to its members in Ukraine and is looking for practical ways to help them.
“We need to immediately move beyond ‘thoughts and prayers’ and start to concentrate on what practical help can be given to our membership and community,” European Film Academy chair and board member of the International Coalition for Film makers at Risk, Mike Downey, told Variety. “It’s too early to know how best to assist, but we are monitoring the situation as it unfolds and in discussion with partners and members closer to the border in Poland, and working out what is the best form of response and assistance based on knowledge on the ground.”
“There is the added problem that many in the film community have been vehemently anti-Russian in their views, and if this turns out to be a protracted occupation, this could exacerbate an already difficult situation,” Downey added.
On Thursday, the Academy sent a letter of support to its 60 plus Ukrainian members, signed by Downey, president Agnieszka Holland and CEO and director Matthijs Wouter Knol.
“We do realise the current daily increase of tension must have an impact on your life and health, morale and creative work,” the letter said. “On behalf of the community of over 4,200 members of the European Film Academy, we want to express our solidarity with you.”
“European cinema has always been shaped by important values. Human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, and human rights are key elements in creating the best circumstances for filmmakers to work. As an Academy and through our work, we strongly advocate for these values and protest any violation,” the letter added. “Rest assured we stand behind you, supporting your work in the best way we can.”
Russian armed forces are now in Ukraine, which is now the center of a military conflict.