Welcoming the new Belarusian Independent Film Academy

    Belarusian cinematographers unite to form the Belarusian Independent Film Academy. The organisation will be dedicated to promoting the interests of independent Belarusian filmmakers, also on international platforms.

    The idea of creating an association was born after the beginning of the war in Ukraine when more than 130 Belarusian filmmakers signed a collective statement condemning Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. The solidarity of the cinematographic community, where everyone still faced challenges individually, prompted the creation of an institution that would be able to speak on behalf of independent Belarusian filmmakers with one voice.

    “After signing the letter, our solidarity began to expand, and we thought that we need a Film Academy – an association of professional creators who make decisions together and stand up for themselves together. Similar film academies have existed in Europe for dozens years, and thanks to them we know more about the cinema of their countries. Our task is for us to know each other better and at the same time for the world to know about us”, – reads a statement by the founding members of the Film Academy.

    The founding group includes directors Darya Zhuk, Alyaksei Paluyan and Andrei Kutsila, producer, director and director of the Northern Lights film festival Volya Chaikouskaya, senior programmer and consultant Ihar Sukmanau and film critic Irena Kaciałovič. The Film Academy is now accepting new members. For more information please contact Silke Lehmann, Greenhouse PR: or Nicole Kühner, Kulturmeisterei:

    The association was created taking into account the experience of film academies of other European countries, and has already received the support of the European Film Academy.

    “We consider the establishment of the Belarusian Independent Film Academy a very timely and necessary undertaking. The European Film Academy is keen to promote the integration ofindependent Belarusian cinema further into the general European film community. Our Belarusian friends need our support in Europe: we will help establish contacts with European film institutes, film funds and film markets. We will soon welcome the Belarusian Independent Film Academy as a new member of the Association of European Film Academies”, – says the CEO and Director of the European Film Academy, Matthijs Wouter Knol.

    According to the team’s statement, the new association will give independent filmmakers a singular voice. The Film Academy becomes an alternative to film organizations sponsored by the state and intends to lobby Belarusian independent cinema, expand its opportunities, and also promote freedom from censorship and state pressure.