Novaya Gazeta is one of the last independent newspapers in Russia, and that comes with its own consequences for the newsroom. Journalists receive threats, their phones are tapped, and they are obstructed at every turn. For eighteen months, filmmaker Askold Kurov follows the daily routine at the newsroom. Ali Feruz, who is a guest at the festival, works for the Novaya Gazeta and was arrested by Russian authorities in 2017 for criticizing the Russian state in his articles .
The Novaya Gazeta (‘the new newspaper’) was one of the first independent newspapers in Russia. Founded in 1993, it has been known ever since for its critical and activist-oriented journalism. The journalists at Novaya primarily investigate corruption, human rights violations and the excesses of President Putin’s policies. It is now one of the last independent newspapers in the country.
The newsroom has to deal on a daily basis with harassment, wire taps and bugs, letters containing suspicious powders, and other methods that the Russian authorities use to silence journalists. Since 2000, various journalists have even been murdered in retribution for their critical publications. The most famous among them is Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot in October 2006. To honour and continue the work of their deceased colleagues, the journalists at Novaya are more determined than ever. At the same time, they are under tremendous pressure and face many dangers due to the nature of their work.
Filmmaker Askold Kurov follows the newsroom for eighteen months, providing a unique picture of the struggle to preserve freedom of speech in a society where all criticism is slowly but surely being silenced.
Novaya has been selected for the Activist competition and will be screened at Movies that Matter Festival 2019 (22-30 March, The Hague).