A statement from the FIFF Management Committee regarding the ongoing situation in Ukraine and submissions from the Russian Federation.
On Monday 28th February 2022 we received a Freedom of Information request from an individual asking if we have received any submissions or cash from filmmakers in the Russian Federation. In the interest of openness and transparency we would like to address the information request in two parts.
1. We, like the rest of the world are shocked, horrified and saddened by the barbaric and inhumane actions of the Russian Federation against the peaceful sovereign nation of Ukraine. The Russian acts of aggression are unacceptable and must cease immediately and a peaceful resolution must be sought. While, as a film festival, there is nothing we can do to affect change in the situation we can follow the lead of the Ukrainian State Film Agency and join other film festivals around the world by boycotting films from the Russian Federation and Belarus.
With immediate effect we will not accept any submissions from either the Russian Federation or Belarus.
Should any filmmaker based in Russia or Belarus submit their film we will immediately reject it and any monetary exchange (unlikely due to the sanctions imposed on those countries) will be forwarded to the British Red Cross’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal. We want to make it clear that this decision was not taken lightly as we know the Russian and Belarusian citizens are not to blame for the actions of the Russian and Belarusian Governments.
2. We can confirm that since 2014 we have received 48 submissions from filmmakers based in the Russian Federation. Of these 48 none were selected for screening at any of our events. These decisions were made purely for artistic and creative reasons. Our last submission from Russia was a short film on 4th October 2016 and the submitter paid $7 USD via FilmFreeway. This was the first and only payment we received from the Russian Federation as the previous submissions were made when the festival (then known as the Hellfire Short Film Festival) was a free-to-submit event. To date we have never received any submissions from Belarus.
We stand in solidarity with the great country of Ukraine and its people.
The Management Committee
Folkestone International Film & TV Festival
Ukraine help: What can people in the UK do?
A number of UK charities have launched appeals.
The British Red Cross has launched a Ukraine Crisis Appeal to support the work of the Ukrainian Red Cross to fund food, water, first aid, medicines, warm clothes, and shelter.
The UNHCR refugee agency is collecting monetary donations for humanitarian assistance, emergency shelter and relief items like blankets. It will also fund psychological support for refugees.
Unicef, the UN’s children’s charity, is accepting donations to help ensure child health and protection services are sustained and families have clean water and food.
The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain, the largest representative body for Ukrainians in the UK, is funding immediate emergency and ongoing needs such as medicine and hygiene packs.