MFF Praha - Febiofest
The Kristián Award presented at the opening ceremony of the 29th Prague International Film Festival went to Karel Roden but also to Ukrainian director Oleh Sentsov.
However, he was unable to receive it in person as he is currently fighting in Donbas, Ukraine. He recorded a video message for the Prague audience in which he thanked Czechs for supporting Ukrainians. The award was accepted on Sentsov's behalf by Ukrainian ambassador Yevhen Perebyinis.
"Oleh Sentsov is not only a great director but also a brave soldier who is defending not just Ukraine but the whole Europe from Russian aggression," said the ambassador before the premiere of Sentsov's Rhino. As you may know after the occupation of Crimea in 2014, Oleh Sentsov was arrested by the Russians and spent five years in Putin's prison. He was released in an exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia and made this film after his release and before going to war. Thus, the film is a result of a creative process he realized while in prison. It won an award at the Venice festival," added Perebyinis.
The Czech premiere of Rhino was also attended by Jan Macola of the Pilot Films distribution company which released the film in theaters on the same day. This year's Prague International Film Festival presents all Sentsov's feature films.