Director Nikita Mikhalkov wrote a statement against the director, organizer of the festival "Artdocfest" Vitaly Mansky and accused him of slander. A criminal case is being investigated against Mansky (part 2 of article 128.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). This was reported by journalist Ksenia Sobchak in Telegram. Mansky himself told The Insider that he would not stoop to counterclaims against Mikhalkov, especially about "such a public event as the Moscow International Film Festival."
The case was opened because of Mansky's statement about corruption at the Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) Nikita Mikhalkov. The director stated this during an interview with the YouTube channel "Caution: Sobchak" in May. The journalist herself is a witness in the case: she was summoned to the Office for the Organization of Inquiry of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation:
“Mikhalkov was offended, came to the police, wrote a statement, a criminal case was opened there, they asked me to testify.”
In a conversation with The Insider, Mansky clarified that one does not need to be an expert to determine that the MIFF is "neither international nor prestigious and is not worth the space money that the state allocates to it." If Mikhalkov wants to prove otherwise, he has all the tools for this, the director emphasized:
“I cannot defend my position in the court of the Russian Federation, because I do not live in Russia and do not come to it. The lawyer is still figuring out what the case is and what its essence is.”
The director also told RBC that he learned about the criminal case from journalists:
“I don’t have official documents in my hands, I know from the press that something about honor and dignity - he has some kind of claims that he is not a thief, that he is an honest person. He probably wants to prove it."
On May 16, Mansky said in an interview with Sobchak that the budget was being stolen at Russian film festivals, including Mikhalkov's MIFF:
“No less than 85 percent of the budget is stolen from the MIFF. Not less. Because I, as a festival manager, can accurately calculate how much this festival costs. And he costs at best 15 percent of the amounts that he receives directly from the state. I am ready to defend my rightness on this issue in court.”