Moscow's 2Morrow Film Fest Issues Funding Appeal

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Organizers of the independent film fest say government agencies haven't confirmed any support, warning that Russia could be "isolated from world culture behind yet another iron curtain."

One of Russia's leading independent film festivals could be forced to cancel its eighth edition in October for lack of funds, according to its organizers.

They said that Moscow's 2morrow International Festival of Independent Films has not received confirmation of financial support from its regular funders, the Russian Ministry of Culture and Moscow Department of Culture.

In an open letter to the international film community, festival organizers appeal for support to ensure the event — at Moscow's Central House of Artists — can go ahead.

Suggesting that the event's independence and egalitarian spirit has, paradoxically, made it harder to raise money, two organizers, actress and producer Olga Dykhovichnaya and director Angelina Nikonova, said: "The atmosphere that the festival created was free of any prejudice – national, social or sexual."

Without money from the two key funders, the event is likely to fold, they said. "As of today, the Ministry of Culture [and] the Moscow Department of Culture haven't confirmed their support. It can only mean one thing: a silent refusal to have 2morrow happening."

In a passionate appeal to international colleagues to put pressure on the authorities, they added: "At times of war, which involves all of us emotionally or otherwise, the permanent disappearance of a film festival might seem a matter of no importance. … [But we] cannot allow ourselves to let the media get us confused, to let the hate into our hearts, to get isolated from world culture behind yet another iron curtain."

The festival has set up a dedicated Facebook page, where filmmakers and industry professionals can make their voices heard.