“Firebird is the film Putin doesn’t want the world to see” – The Guardian
Firebird shines a harsh spotlight on Russia’s long history of persecuting LGBTQIA+ people and any of those voicing dissent to their authoritarian regime. Firebird itself has already been directly targeted by the Russian government and ultra-nationalist groups. The film was silenced at the Moscow International Film Festival in 2021 where ticket sales were shut down and demonstrators stood in front of the cinema with placards demanding to “Stop Homosexual Propaganda!” After the first screening, Russian press headlines read: “A Brit, an Estonian and a Ukrainian shame the Moscow International Film Festival” and the team received dozens of death threats.
When writing Firebird, Peeter and Tom made a promise to the real Sergey Fetisov to make his life story about love, not politics. However, in light of the recent sickening invasion of Ukraine, one cannot avoid speaking about politics. And the situation is immensely personal to everyone in the Firebird team. We are truly concerned about our supporting lead, Oleg Zagorodinii, a Ukrainian actor currently in Kyiv.
In response to the current situation, we are stepping up to use the attention that Firebird is receiving to focus on the plight of LGBTQIA+ people in Ukraine and Russia. Firebird has teamed with the global advocacy group, All Out to support its work to coordinate evacuations and safe spaces for queer refugees from Ukraine.
Please join our fight for love and come see Firebird in cinemas THIS WEEKEND!