As Belarusian filmmakers, we are proud to announce the establishment of Belarusian Independent Film Academy.
We cannot remain silent observers of the crimes perpetrated by the illegitimate Belarusian government, unleashing socio-political and human rights crises in our country, while also decimating contemporary Belarusian culture.
The regime, which persecutes political opponents, peaceful protesters, and anyone who expresses their disagreement in any way, is also destroying independent organizations and public initiatives. Among the associations liquidated by the authorities are those that maintain and encourage Belarusian culture, cinema included.
As a result, Belarusian filmmakers either work in the conditions of repression – under the constant threat of persecution, imprisonment, and torture – or they are forced to leave the country in order to continue their professional activities.
In addition to the Belarusian regime’s war against its own people, we are also outraged by its complicity in Russia's war against Ukraine. The Belarusian Independent Film Academy supports Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in their struggle for freedom and against the Russian occupation. In February 2022, the Belarusian film community publicly spoke out against Russian military aggression against Ukraine: more than 130 Belarusian filmmakers signed a statement condemning Russia's actions.
All of this prompted us, independent Belarusian filmmakers, to unite. Our principled position is to refuse cooperation with any Belarusian state structures, while supporting filmmakers who continue working in Belarus as well as those filmmakers who are working in exile.