Agnieszka Holland renews appeal to help free Oleg Sentsov.

Polish director Agnieszka Holland has issued a rallying cry to continue the fight for the release of Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov.

As chair of the board of the European Film Academy, Holland sent an email to EFA members calling on them to “show our solidarity” and “collect money to support his defence and help his children”.

The director of Gamer was arrested at his home in Crimea and accused of organising a terrorist attack, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Last month, the campaign to free the film-maker from detention in Russia was taken to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). A Moscow court ruled that Sentsov should remain in prison until Oct 11 when a trial is due to be held.

Holland, who recently directed HBO miniseries Burning Bush (which centres on a political protest), said: “Knowing the current political situation in Russia and the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, the expectations of Oleg’s fate and the possible verdict are pessimistic.”

The director has been informed about the actions taken by EFA, according to Holland. “He is very touched, encouraged and grateful for our support,” she added

“It is really important to him; morally but also practically. He needs us.”