[Filmfestivalresearch] Threats to Side by Side Film Festival, Novosibirsk, Russia

Manny de Guerre manny at bok-o-bok.ru
Thu Jun 7 12:00:46 CEST 2012

Press Release: 7th June, 2012

Lynch Mob Like Tactics From Homophobic Youths and Inadequate Police
Protection Force Side by Side LGBT Film Festival to Cancel the Third and
Final Day of the Event in Novosibirsk. 

On the second day of the Side by Side LGBT Film Festival in Novosibirsk
organizers and audience came under serious threat from a homophobic mob of
aggressive youths. The youths, numbering around 30 or so in total, had
surrounded the shopping centre where the screening was taking place in a
multiplex on the fourth floor of the building. Prior to the start, during
and at the end of the event the youths gathered around the screening hall,
shouting insults and it was clear from their discussions with each other and
behavior that they were intent on violence. 

Organizers of the festival complained multiple times to the police, who were
in force but outside the building overseeing a picket in support of the
homophobic law that has its second reading in the local Novosibirsk
parliament today, 7th June, 2012. The youths, eventually on the request of
the police, left the multiplex only to return however within minutes and
again begin hassling organizers. This pattern was repeated throughout the
entire period of the event. Failing entirely in their duties and the attempt
to maintain effective public order and safety the threat of violence and
danger to both audience members, volunteers and organizers was imminent. 

At 21.00 when the screening came to end the mob of youths had gathered
outside the building. Transportation was organized for both audience members
and organizers. Security guards escorted visitors of the festival to their
awaiting cars and taken away safely. Last to leave were the festival
organizers. An attempt was made to smash the rear passenger window of the
taxi. The youths had organized cars and a motorcycle to follow the
organizers and police took no measures to stop their pursuit.  It was only
the high speed driving skills of the taxi driver that the organizers were
able to escape without being followed. 

In a conversation with festival director Gulya Sultanova, one of the police
heads stated: "Why have you circulated information about your festival? I
don't plan to be here tomorrow and protect you." 

Police indifference and their lack of concern to protect peaceful, law
abiding citizens from violent thugs has forced the festival organizers to
cancel today's screening out of reasons of safety. 

The Novosibirsk film festival is the second of three to take place this week
in Siberia. Last weekend the festival came up against the similar problems
in the city of Kemerovo http://bok-o-bok.ru/news.asp?lan=1
<http://bok-o-bok.ru/news.asp?lan=1&tid=763> &tid=763  The final festival is
to be held in the city of Tomsk 8 - 10 June, 2012.  In 2011 the festival in
Tomsk was banned by the authorities. It remains uncertain what the forecast
will be for tomorrow's opening. Organizers are monitoring the situation and
have already increased security at the opening. 

Manny de Guerre

Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival

 <mailto:manny at bok-o-bok.ru> manny at bok-o-bok.ru 

Тel: +7.812.313.9341  


 <http://www.bok-o-bok.ru/> www.bok-o-bok.ru  

 <http://shop.bok-o-bok.ru/> http://shop.bok-o-bok.ru








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