In solidarity with Ukraine

    At the 24th Gala of Eagles Awards of the Polish Film Academy, at which the winner of Eagles for Best Film, Best Directing and Best Script was AIDA by Jasmila Žbanić, the movie about Srebrenica massacre, with strong Polish artistic participation, Polish Film Academy again protested against the Russian invasion on Ukraine.

    Last year I promised you Eagles in normal times. Next time I will refrain from promises - Dariusz Jabłoński, President of Polish Film Academy, started his speech. - Life seems normal. Cinemas are open. But in fact we are aware the situation is not normal. 300 kilometers from here a terrifying war is going on as the aftermath of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Mass deportations, mass rapes and murders. This is genocide. Our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, including filmmakers, are fighting with cameras and weapons in order to defend our democracy, democracy against totalitarian regime, and our common future.

    During the gala a video message was shown recorded by Oleh Sentsov, Ukrainian director, once sentenced in a forged Russian trial to twenty years of Gulag. For six years Polish Film Academy was constantly appealing to free Sentsov. Finally, under pressure of international opinion, he was released but now is fighting on the front line in Donbas. 

    I am very grateful to the Polish colleagues for the support they offer us. I am grateful to the whole Polish people, the government and the president. Poles have become our closest, brotherly nation. Whereas Russia turned out the enemy wanting to destroy our statehood. However we will not let them do that. We will fight for our lives and culture, for our existence. Thank you for being with us. - Sentsov said.

    Then the audience gathered in the Polski Theatre in Warsaw raised yellow-blue cards with STOP RUSSIAN WAR! written on them. "Red Cranberry", a folk Ukrainian song that became the war hymn was played.

    During the gala Mariusz Wilczyński entered the scene, holding the STOP RUSSIAN WAR! banner. Wilczyński is the director of "Kill it and leave this town" feature length animated movie awarded all over the world which won Best Film Eagle last year.

    -  Never in my life hell has not been that close. I fear this volcano that got awaken and spits smoke. None of us can tell what will happen. So far this fear I have only known from the stories my grandparents told me. On the other hand, I feel like I have never lived in a more beautiful Europe - beautiful with its unity. And this consolidation gives us security. We are part of this Europe so let no one try to withdraw us from it.

    Since the very first days of war Polish Film Academy and all Polish film organizations actively support Ukrainian fellow filmmakers.