Copyright © 2024

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Translators needed for documentary about Sentsov sham trial

Oleg Sentsov in court. Snapshot from the film
Translators needed for documentary about Sentsov sham trial

An international team of filmmakers has made a documentary about the sham trial of their colleague, Oleg Sentsov, whom Russia in 2015 had sentenced to 20 years in prison on absurdly fabricated charges. Titled “The Trial,” it is the first documentary about the farcical injustice inflicted on Sentsov and three others, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Gennadiy Afanasiev, and Oleksiy Chyrniy, accused of “terrorism” after they opposed the Russian occupation of their native Crimea. The filmmakers are searching for translators of good will who are willing to help the film reach international audiences.

In August 2015, a trial was held against Sentsov and Kolchenko in Russia’s Rostov-on-Don. Despite the absence of convincing evidence and one of the witnesses retracting his testimony as that given under torture, the court sentenced Sentsov to 20 years, as an alleged leader of a “terrorist group.” International human rights organizations have recognized Sentsov as a political prisoner, and international film circles are working towards the release of Oleg Sentsov.

Read more: The Sentsov-Kolchenko case: what you need to know

Sentsov was unshakeably defiant in court, and his last speech in court had become proverbial.


Read more: Unbroken after a year of show trials. Oleg Sentsov’s most inspiring quotes

“The Trial”

“The idea of the film was born from our own weakness because we couldn’t influence the fate of this person who just wants to live in a free country and shoot films. We thought that the Soviet methods of “bloody terror” have long passed, but the events of today, unfortunately, are evidence to the contrary.

We hope that the finished film will be a contribution to the international campaign to defend Oleg Sentsov and will help him return to freedom. Sometimes, we have no right to be silent,” the filmmakers wrote on the crowdfunding campaign site for the film.

Film director Askold Kurov, who personally knows Sentsov, was so shocked by the trial that he decided to show the circumstances of the case of Oleg Sentsov with the help of a documentary. He joined forces with another film director Andriy Lytvynenko in July 2014 and shooting for the film took off in Moscow and Kyiv and lasted over a year. The team also includes Estonian film producers Mariya Havrylova, Maxim Tuula, as well as Sentsov’s producer Olha Zhurzhenko.

As filming Oleg is prohibited anywhere except the courtroom, other solutions were found to introduce the hero to the audience. Oleg’s story was told through interviews with people who were close to him, through his texts, sometimes, with the help of animation, and also – through events and the stories of heroes who got involved in this story and changed their lives.

The team kept the budgets low, and the $1755 that they crowdfunded was used for professional post-production of the picture. Now, they need your help to translate the documentary in time for the Berlinale, so it would tell Oleg’s story to the widest audiences.

If you would like to help translate/edit the documentary and have your name included in the captions, please fill out this form:

You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts