Police Probe Into Putin Critic Alexander Sokurov's Film Foundation Finds No Wrongdoing

Alexander Sokurov - H 2012
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The police say they found no wrongdoing in the organization's operations.

Police in St. Petersburg, Russia, have found no wrongdoing in the operations of film foundation Primer Inotnatsii (Example of Intonation), run by well-known director and prominent Vladimir Putin critic Alexander Sokurov (Faust, Russian Ark).

No criminal charges against the foundation or any individuals involved in its activities will be brought, Interfax news agency reported, citing a police statement.

"The police conducted a thorough probe into allegations made in a complaint," read a statement from the police. "Based on the results of the probe, a decision was made not to open a criminal case since no wrongdoing was discovered."

Law enforcers were quick to report on the probe after news about it spread all over the Russian media last week.

The Kremlin was aware of the situation, President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Interfax, adding that, according to his knowledge, the police have no problems with Sokurov's foundation.

Example of Intonation was founded five years ago to support young filmmakers. Since then, the foundation has produced several shorts and feature-length films, including Kantemir Balagov's Tesnota (Closeness), which took part in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes last year.

Sokurov is known as an outspoken critic of Russian president Putin. He has repeatedly spoken out for the release of Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director imprisoned in Russia on terrorism charges.

Sokurov, a favorite on the international festival circuit, has had five films in competition in Cannes — including the ground-breaking, single-shot feature Russian Ark (2002) — and won the Golden Lion in Venice in 2011 with his drama Faust.