The Prague International Film Festival - Febiofest decided to take away from Serbia's director Emir Kusturica the Festival award after he accepted to lead the Central Academic Theatre of the Russian Army three days before Russia's attack on Ukraine.
The festival’s honorary president and its founder, director Fero Fenic, asked that Kusturica be deprived of the Febiofest award he received in 2017 for his contribution to world cinematography.
Fenic said that he was against awarding Kusturica back in 2017 because „his tendency to admire and support totalitarian leaders means that despite the director’s talent, he does not meet ethical, moral and democratic values and criteria to be awarded.“
"These are the values to which we are committed. Based on them, that festival was created after the velvet revolution. No work of art can be separated from these values. At that time, the festival management did not listen to me. Now I am asking Febiofest again to take away the award," Fenic said.
The current director of Febiofest, Kamil Spácil, said that he welcomed Fenic's initiative and that the award to Kusturica would be taken away, the Czech news agency CTK reported.
Fenic also called on other Czech festivals that rewarded Kusturica to strip him of the awards for accepting the offer of Russian Minister Sergei Shoigu to lead the Russian Army Theatre.
In 2019, Kusturica was also awarded the Medal of Merit by Czech President Milos Zeman.