The Queer Film Festival "Side by Side" in the city of Kemerovo has been cancelled. Despite preliminary agreements, the authorities have denied the use of municipal venues around the city without any explanation. Later that day, private movie theaters refused to cooperate with the festival, citing phone calls from the Oblast administration who had promised to "cut the lights."
Recall that events of the festival were supposed to be held from 17-19 of April. Festival coordinators in Kemerovo admitted to their helplessness before the tyranny of these officials.
The coordinators are asking for people to call the Culture Committee and voice their complaints directly to the administration. However, as bloggers have commented online, where "just yesterday they were kindly asking to call back, today they are simply hanging up the phone..."
"...These people (homosexuals - Gay.ru) should watch those kind of films at home ...," this is the reaction of the officials, according to Aleksei Levin, a coordinator of the "Side by Side" festival, who was quoted by the authoritative auteur Arthouse.Ru.
"That is how, just two days before the beginning of the festival, we were cut off.." continues Levin, "what’s more, I am more than certain that the officials believe they got away with it, and that there will be no consequences as a result of their behavior."
We would like to note that during the same time period, in Novosibirsk, the festival "Side by Side" was held without a hiccup. "We were given support by local authorities, though I heard that some of them had their doubts..." Taiga.Info quotes the Kemerovo organizers as saying.