State Cash Refused for Russian Doc Festival

The decision was made over the fest president's "anti-government" statements

State funding for Russia's biggest documentary film festival, Artdocfest, was refused due to its president Vitaly Mansky's "anti-government" statements, according to culture minister Vladimir Medinsky.

"Not a single project by Mansky, including Artdocfest, will receive any [government] cash as long as I am culture minister," Medinsky was quoted as saying by the news agency Interfax.

"He has said so many anti-government things," Medinsky went on to say. "Let him foot the festival's bill by himself, no one is against it. We are not banning his festival."

The culture minister didn't elaborate on what specific statements by Mansky upset him.

Earlier this year, the director, alongside some other Russian filmmakers, signed a letter that called against biased coverage of Ukrainian events in the Russian media and against Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.

This past summer, Mansky's application for funding for his new documentary project, related to Ukraine, was also rejected by Russia's culture ministry.

Earlier this month, Mansky gave an interview to the oppositionist TV station Dozhd, in which he was critical of the Kremlin, saying that "being Putin in America is impossible."

One of Mansky's most recent films, the feature-length documentary Truba (Pipe), brought him the best director's award at Russia's main film festival Kinotavr.