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May 32 Film Festival Forced to Move

Published: May 7, 2014 (Issue # 1809)



  • Organizers were told by police that it was improper to screen films on sensitive subjects.
    Photo: Judgement in Hungary / Eszter Hajdu

The opening of May 32 human rights documentary film festival, scheduled for Monday, was abruptly shut down earlier that same day when fire inspectors paid a visit to the festival venue and closed it for what they termed fire safety violations.

The unplanned inspection was preceded by talks with Moskovsky District police chief Yevgeny Saunin, according to the prganizers, who say that they were summoned on Sunday to find out whether they had permits to screen the films, which included “Putin’s Games,” an account of large-scale corruption at the construction of facilities for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, and “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer,” about the trial of three members of the feminist punk group in Moscow in 2012.

According to the organizers, they argued that no permits were required by law for festival screenings, but were then told it was improper to screen films on such sensitive subjects ahead of Victory Day on Friday, and in the view of the current events in Ukraine.

Sasha Klein, the Israeli producer of “Putin’s Games,” who spoke at an impromptu press conference outside the closed venue on Monday, expressed his surprise at the actions of the authorities.

“I think those who took the decision to prevent the film from being shown simply have not seen it,” Klein said.

“First, the film is available on the Internet; secondly, we don’t say anything new; we speak about what is already known. Of course, it features opposition figures Boris Nemtsov and Garry Kasparov, but on the other hand, it has representatives of the authorities speaking, it has the Mayor of Sochi and the representatives of the Moscow Olympic Committee.”

The organizers said the screenings would be held at the offices of Yabloko Democratic Party, located at 13 Shpalernaya Ulitsa, through Thursday.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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