Week-ending 9 April 2021
Artdocfest is a documentary film festival run by the organisers of the non-fiction films National Award Laurel Branch (ANO Laurel Award) and Vitaly Mansky. This week supporters of separatists in eastern Ukraine disrupted a movie screening at the Artdocfest film festival in Moscow, the second major attack this year on Artdocfest. The popular Russian documentary film festival was created to support and promote films which participated in the nominations for Best Authorial Documentary and Best Debut of the exclusive professional competition Laurel Branch. The first Artdocfest documentary film festival was held in Moscow in 2007 in the Khudozhestvenny cinema. The organisers’ website notes: “In 2014, the festival director Vitaly Mansky moved to Latvia, where in cooperation with the Riga International Film Festival Riga IFF, presented the Artdocfest documentary program. With continued pressure on the festival in Russia, censorship, and administrative obstacles to the free screenings of the most outstanding documentary films, the Artdocfest increased its activity in Riga. In 2018, the complete competition program of Artdocfest was transferred to Riga, and the jury started to work in Latvia as well.”
The Moscow Times, 8 April 2021: Ultranationalist supporters of separatists in eastern Ukraine disrupted a movie screening at the Artdocfest film festival in Moscow on Wednesday night, the organizers said on Instagram. This was the second major attack this year on Artdocfest, a popular Russian documentary film festival which has been the target of conservative and nationalist-oriented groups in recent years. About ten SERB (South-East Radical Bloc) activists tried to disrupt the screening of “The Way Home” by throwing paint on the screen, but were caught before carrying out the act, the festival’s organizers said on Instagram.