Channel 4 has commissioned 1 x 90 mins documentary The Price of Truth from Oxford Films.

The film will tell the story of Dmitry Muratov who has risked everything, even his life, to preserve freedom of speech in Russia.

This film, made by double Bafta winner Patrick Forbes, follows Muratov every dangerous and extremely daring step.   It’s an extraordinary tale of bravery, defiance, and a simple refusal to give in to Vladimir Putin – whatever the cost.

In December 2021 Dmitry Muratov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Muratov is the editor-in-chief of Russia’s only independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta. Since he founded it six of his journalists have been murdered. Among them, war reporter Anna Politkovskaya, gunned down in the lift of her Moscow apartment.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 Muratov has done everything he can to safeguard his journalists, and denounce the war.  He has spoken out saying  ‘Putin thinks that dying is good, if it means dying for the Homeland. I think that living for the Motherland is the most important thing for Russia. We have a conflict between life and death.’

As Russia’s tanks poured into Ukraine, Muratov was – ironically – in Riga, Latvia on the jury of a documentary festival. Defying all those who advised him not to return, Muratov insisted he had to go back to Moscow to look after his paper, and its staff.

In May he announced that he was going to auction his Nobel medal and working with UNICEF give the proceeds to Russian, African and crucially Ukrainian refugees. Days later, he was on a train home to see his mother. Suddenly a masked attacker burst into his compartment and poured red paint all over him. The paint was laced with acetone and Dima’s eyesight was permanently damaged.

Undaunted, he went on with the auction. And on June 21 Muratov sold the medal for a record $103 million.

To this day, he refuses to leave Moscow, whatever the pressure on him and his team.

Director Patrick Forbes said;  “It’s been an incredible privilege to make this film, to watch my friend’s courage in facing down a tyrannical President and senseless war, and stand up for values that we in the West all too often take for granted’.

Dmitry Muratov said; “Putin lives in the clouds.  He’s thinking about how to change the past.  He thinks that death is good if it means dying for the Motherland, and I think that living for the Motherland is the most important thing for Russia.  We have a conflict between life and death.

I’m not an observer, I’m a participant.”

Sacha Mirzoeff, the documentary commissioner at Channel 4 says “We’re enormously proud about this film that brings humanity and understanding to how the independent press are trying to work within Russia during a time of conflict. Its protagonist, the Nobel prize-winning Dmitry Muratov of Novaya Gazeta has become a figure-head for independent journalists around the world in an age of increasingly controlled media. Having him present at Docfest for the international premiere of our film seems a perfect match.”

Jon Creamer

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