It has been three years since Ukrainian director and Euromaidan activist Oleg Sentsov disappeared during a demonstration in Simferpol. Arrested and sent to Russia, he was sentenced in 2015 to 20 years in prison on terrorism charges. Numerous calls for his release have been made by the European Film Academy and the American PEN Club, among others, but they have not had any impact thus far. In a letter smuggled out of Siberia-where he is serving out his sentence-a few months ago, the director wrote about himself and other political prisoners:If we're supposed to become the nails in the coffin of a tyrant, I'd like to become one of those nails. Askold Kurov's documentary covers Oleg Sentsov's trial, as well as how his family, friends, and international organizations have been fighting for his release. In our view, there is no clear evidence for the absurd charges against the director (who supposedly organized terrorist attacks in Crimea); bribed "witnesses" provide false testimony and the Kafkaesque trial ends with a conviction- all the injustice is captured on-camera.
Docs Against Gravity FF 2017 – Amnesty International special mention
Born in Uzbekistan, Askold Kurov is a director, producer, and former packaging designer who currently lives in Russia. He completed a documentary course at a film school in Moscow in 2012. His work deals primarily with human rights issues and social conflicts in contemporary Russia. His film Winter, Go Away! was screened at the Locarno Festival. Kurov's documentaries are controversial in Russia, including Children 404, which deals with LGBTQ teens. Kurov and his colleague Pavel Loparev were interrogated by Russian prosecutors after the film's premiere.
2010 25 Sientiabria / September 25 (doc.)
2012 Zimo, idź precz! / Zima uchodi/ Winter Go Away (doc.)
2013 Leninlend / Leninland (doc.)
2014 Dzieci 404 / Dieti 404 / Children 404 (doc.)
2017 Proces. Federacja Rosyjska vs Oleg Sencow / Procies. Rosijska Dierżawa proti Olega Sencowa / The Trial - The State of Russia vs. Oleg Sentsov (doc.)