January 14, 2021

Conversation with Filmmaker David France, Activists David Isteev and Olga Baranova of 'Welcome To Chechnya'

IDA Documentary Awards Honors 'Welcome to Chechnya' with Courage Under Fire Award | LGBTQ rights

For their incredible bravery in telling the story of LGBT+ activists, the 2020 Courage Under Fire Award honors Welcome To Chechnya filmmaker David France and his team as well as the activists featured in the film: David Isteev and Olga Baranova, and all those who work with them. In this conversation, Doc Society's Jess Search chats with France, Isteev and Baranova about anti-LGBTQ prosecution in Chechnya, the process of AI facial mapping, the working relationship between filmmakers and subjects.

David France is an award-winning American investigative reporter, non-fiction author, and Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker. His directorial debut How to Survive a Plague is hailed as an innovative and influential piece of storytelling that is credited with renewing a conversation about AIDS in the United States.

David Isteev is a human rights defender who assists at-risk LGBT+ individuals with emergency relocation from Chechnya. With his role as the Crisis Response Coordinator of the Russian LGBT Network, he has been regularly receiving threats.

Olga Baranova is the Senior Director of the Moscow Community Centre for LGBT+ Initiatives. The organization help refugees apply for asylum and safeguard them in unidentifiable safe houses while they await legal status.

The video includes ASL interpretation and open captions.