World premier of 'The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes' at the House of Film

Press release
Oslo, 24 June 2016

The Production Company Piraya Film  has scheduled the premier of the controversial documentary film 'The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes', at the House of Film in Oslo at 1.30 p.m. on Saturday 25 June.

The film was completed yesterday, and the screening at Cinemateket in the House of Film will be the first showing open to the public. Director Andrei Nekrasov and producer Torstein Grude will introduce the film and be present to answer questions after the screening.

Two weeks ago, the planned screening of 'The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes' scheduled for the Norwegian Short Film Festival in Grimstad was cancelled.  The Festival's Board of Directors took the difficult decision to cancel because threats of a lawsuit from individuals mentioned in the film and subsequent legal costs would present an insurmountable financial risk. Moreover, a legal petition was filed for an interlocutory injunction to forestall the screening. This petition was rejected by the Stavanger City Court on 10 June.  Powerful players have attacked 'The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes' prior to its release, and have also attempted to stay all forms of screening world-wide.

Supporting freedom of expression
The Virke Producers' Association, the Fritt Ord Foundation, Norwegian PEN, the Norwegian Short Film Festival i Grimstad and the Norwegian Film Institute support the film now being screened so that the audience itself can take a position on the content of the film. There are currently extensive debates about the film in Norway and abroad, and the matter is also of profound interest as a question of principle. However, almost no one has seen the film yet. The underwriting organisations consider it to be of the utmost importance that freedom of expression is protected this way in Norway and that prior censorship be eliminated.  The organisations would also welcome a comprehensive debate on freedom of expression, the film in question, and the content of the film. They are looking forward to having the film made available to a Norwegian audience.

About the film
'The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes' deals with the death of Sergei Magnitsky and its political implications. In reviewing the so-called Magnitsky case, director Andrei Nekrasov felt he had discovered an inconsistency in the 'official' story of what actually took place with Magnitsky, and he asks about this in the film.  

'The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes' has previously received support from Fritt Ord and the Norwegian Film Institute. 

Knut Olav Åmås, Executive Director, the Fritt Ord Foundation
William Nygaard, Chair of the Board, Norwegian PEN
Tom Eilertsen, Chair of the Board, the Norwegian Short Film Festival in Grimstad
Torbjørn Urfjell, Executive Director, the Virke Producers' Association
Sindre Guldvog, Executive Director, Norwegian Film Institute

Tre nye prosjekter om status for ytringsfriheten i Norge 2020–2021
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Seminar: To år i NJP – åtte prosjekter
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Each year, Fritt Ord awards the Freedom of Expression Foundation Prize to individuals or institutions that have shown civil courage and worked to defend and strengthen freedom of expression and the conditions for it in Norway, especially by encouraging dynamic debate.