Born in 1976 in Simferopol on the Crimean peninsula, Oleg Sentsov studied filmmaking and screenwriting in Moscow. He made his debut in 2008 with the short film A Perfect Day for Bananafish, followed the year after by The Horn of a Bull, another short film. His first feature-length film Gaamer, about a video game tournament, premiered in 2012 at the Rotterdam International Film Festival before going on to be screened at various international film festivals including the goEast film festival in Wiesbaden (Germany) and the Kiev IFF "Molodist" and winning the FIPRESCI award at Odessa and the Russian Guild of Film Critics' Award at the IDFF "Spirit of Fire" in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia). Before his arrest, Sentsov was working on his second film, Rhino, which had previously won pitching contests in Odessa and Sofia.
Oleg Sentsov, who has been involved in supporting the Euro Maidan protests in Kiev and has opposed the annexation of Crimea by Russia, was arrested by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) in his house in Simferopol on 10 May and brought to a Moscow prison where he is still detained and awaiting trial.
There has not been any official information about the charges brought up against him for almost three weeks until, on 30 May, the Russian Federal Security Service announced publicly that Sentsov, along with three other individuals, was charged with organizing a terrorist group and preparing terrorist attacks.
Upon an initiative by the Board of the European Film Academy, an illustrious group of European film professionals has signed a letter to the Russian authorities expressing their worry and calling for fair treatment and investigation. This letter was sent on 10 June.
On 7 July, almost two months after his arrest, there was a court hearing in Moscow. In spite of his plea of not being guilty, of the appeal from Sentsov's defence and of the request to release him on bail or at least to substitute detention for house arrest, the judge ruled that Oleg Sentsov should remain in prison until 11 October when the trial will take place.
Meanwhile, a complaint has been filed with the European Court of Human Rights regarding Oleg Sentsov's arrest, pre-trial detention and ill treatment and requesting an interim measure regarding access to the case file.