[Filmfestivalresearch] Side by Side LGBT Film Festival Needs Your Support!

Side by Side manny at bok-o-bok.ru
Fri Jul 12 11:10:50 CEST 2013

Side by Side Needs Your Help!

** Our Work

Side by Side LGBT Film Festival has been working in Russia for over six years. Through our activities: multi-day film festivals, special one-day events, production and distribution of information brochures, development of online resources, social awareness campaigns, volunteer exchanges and trainings Side by Side has played a pivotal role in breaking the silence on LGBT issues, stimulating dialogue and discussion. Through our work we have maximised and extended the range of accurate information on LGBT and LGBT rights within the public space, challenging stereotypes and obsolete notions being expounded by conservative voices within government, the orthodox church, far right and ultra national groups. Establishing alternative discourses on LGBT issues we have sought to win over adherents to ideas of equality, respect and non-discriminatory practices and behaviour. By generating positive dialogue we have endeavoured to facilitate change, fostering respect of human rights of
LGBT persons and fundamentally bringing about greater tolerance and broader acceptance of sexual minority groups within Russian society today. Read more here... (http://bok-o-bok.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=dbede688c5271e8af4ffaca00&id=15cff12589&e=e8b8704305)

** Under Threat: Side by Side Fined €12,500

Recently gained successes have not been welcomed neither by the government (a key protagonist actively and openly pursuing a homophobic policy) nor conservative sectors of society and subsequently the last 12 – 18 months have been witness to an increasingly hardening attitude towards the LGBT community and questions concerning LGBT rights within Russia.
At present Side by Side is experiencing its most serious challenge. On 6 June, 2013 (http://bok-o-bok.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=dbede688c5271e8af4ffaca00&id=bab033d991&e=e8b8704305) the organisation was found guilty for violating the ‘foreign agent’ law (http://bok-o-bok.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=dbede688c5271e8af4ffaca00&id=25c6898787&e=e8b8704305) and fined €12,500. Evidence presented was both flimsy and insubstantial. The law, which came into force on 21 November, 2012, has met with wide condemnation at both national and international levels and has been interpreted by many as a direct attempt by Putin’s regime to stop all freedom of speech and crush civil society. In Saint Petersburg of the 40 organisations checked it is only two LGBT organisations: Side by Side and Coming Out that have been prosecuted and face fines running into thousands of Euros. The LGBT community is under persecution, a scapegoat for the country’s ills, on which the government is basing its populist policies.
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** Festival Facts
6 years, 5 cities, 16 festivals,  40 special events
Over 20,000 visitors to Side by Side
25,000 information booklets distributed
250,000 people informed through our website
30% of audience identified as heterosexual

** Support Needed!
In spite of the difficult situation we endeavour to continue with our work, promoting and advocating for LGBT rights in Russia. If you would like to make a donation please follow the link above. All proceeds go towards festival costs and legal representation.

All donations, large or small, are gratefully received and put towards fighting for the rights of the LGBT community in Russia.
Please Circulate this Information!
Side by Side's Fundraising is with the Support of the Teddy Award

Copyright © 2013 Side by Side LGBT Film Festival, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
Side by Side LGBT Film Festival
Office 625-3, 87 Ligovsky Prospect
St Petersburg 191040

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