The organisers of the "original Diagonale" have been boosted in their resolve to stage an alternative event from March 3-7 by a wave of messages of solidarity from leading European film festivals, including Oberhausen, Karlovy Vary, and Leipzig.
Lars Henrik Gass, director of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen wrote that his festival "opposes the completely incomprehensible removal of the successful directors of the Diagonale and the obvious political misuse of cultural policy. The way in which colleagues are treated here leads us to refuse any kind of collaboration with the new directors"
Hana Cievola and Stefan Uhrik, directors of the Forum of Independents section at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, also expressed their "total support", saying that they understood the Diagonale team's situation "very well" since they had just lost the programme they had been making for Czech Television for the past ten years.
Meanwhile, Fred Gehler, director of the Leipzig's International Festival for Documentary and Animation, warned that it is "necessary more than ever to resist Philistine dirigism of ignorant and arrogant 'cultural bureaucrats' and to make a show against this. What is happening today with the original Diagonale can befall other festivals tomorrow. We are keeping our fingers crossed for you!"