Russian authorities have taken action against a documentary film festival by the internationally renowned director Vitaly Manski in St. Petersburg. Two venues had to cancel all planned demonstrations, as the organizers of the “Artdocfest” wrote on Facebook today.
The day before, the police appeared in one of the cinemas and ended the opening evening with reference to violations of CoV regulations. According to the organizers, hygiene rules were observed. A man who was known for hostility towards homosexuals and artists had lodged a complaint with the authorities, it said.
At the “Artdocfest” a total of around 100 documentaries were to be shown by April 10th in St. Petersburg and the capital Moscow. According to the organizers, the first demonstrations in Moscow went as planned. In St. Petersburg they took note of the actions of the authorities „with great regret, but even more with anger“.
Festival founder Manski is known in Russia for his anti-government stance. At the beginning of the year, for example, together with other celebrities, he called for the release of the imprisoned Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny in a video. In his report “Putin’s Witnesses”, published in 2018, he tells how President Vladimir Putin came to power more than 20 years ago.