Today marks the 57th day of Oleg Sentsov’s hunger strike. IFFR urgently repeats its call for his release and safety. Sentsov’s feature film debut Gaamer (2012) is now available to watch online via streaming platform IFFR Unleashed. In an attempt to support a friend of the festival and an excellent filmmaker in a dire situation, International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) directs all pay-per-view revenue towards supporting the filmmaker's case. We sincerely hope that watching Gaamer will motivate people even more in their actions for Sentsov’s freedom.
The Ukrainian filmmaker has been on a hunger strike in a Siberian prison since 14 May. Sentsov was involved in the Maidan protests, got arrested in May 2014 and was then sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Amnesty International has closely followed developments in the case and called Sentsov’s trial “grossly unfair”. In our previous call supporting the case IFFR shared a letter, signed together with several Dutch film institutions, urging the European Parliament to do everything in its power to ensure his immediate release.
Programmer Evgeny Gusyatinskiy: “When we programmed Sentsov’s wonderful debut film in 2012, we knew he was a promising filmmaker who would have much more up his sleeve for the years to come. It’s a tragedy that things have turned out the way they have.”
Festival director Bero Beyer: “In order to raise awareness of Sentsov’s case once more and to enable people to get to know the excellent filmmaker behind the prisoner, we decided to upload Gaamer to IFFR Unleashed, our streaming platform. It’s the least we could do. Politically motivated injustice should not and will not silence independent filmmaking!”
Gaamer had its world premiere at IFFR 2012 and is a realistic film about a teenager from a Ukrainian city striving to win a gaming tournament. His skills are promising, but the endless video games are getting in the way of his study at technical college, to the great dismay of his single mother. The film can be streamed online via iffrunleashed.com/film/gaamer.