This year’s closing keynote speakers at the International Fundraising Congress are Natasha Sindeeva and Vera Krichevskaya who created the award-winning documentary F@ck This Job, broadcast by the BBC in the UK as Tango with Putin.
The film charts the rise and transformation of Russian TV station Dozhd, or TV Rain, “the optimistic channel” that Natasha Sindeeva set up in 2010 to broadcast lifestyle content.
Its investigative journalism and sharing of material deemed “provocative” by the authorities resulted in increasing persecution of the channel and its staff. They received threats, suffered cyberattacks and were evicted, and in 2021 designated as a “foreign agent” by the Russian government.
Many of its staff, including Sindeeva and Krichevskaya, have since fled the country.
Sindeeva is the founder, main owner and CEO of Dozhd, and is a three-time laureate of the Media Manager of Russia prize, and is an honorary academician of the Russian Academy of Radio.
After her designation as a foreign agent, Sindeeva responded with an open letter, in which she wrote:
“[Dozhd] is almost 200 people who, just like me, love their country, cheer for it and want Russia to become better – more humane, safer, fairer, more honest, richer, freer. […] You can joke as much as you like about the status of ‘foreign agent’ and call it a ‘seal of excellence’. But, in fact, all this is terrible. It is quite awful when the state divides people into ‘friends’ and ‘strangers’.”
F@ck This Job’s director Vera Krichevskaya, who co-founded Dozhd with Sindeeva, is an award-winning journalist, screenwriter, television director, and producer.
In an interview with The Guardian, she explained that one of her main motivations to make the film was to show western audiences that “despite what you see on the news, we [Russians] are not freaks, not all of us. […] Some people can’t imagine that we might be normal and live in a free way. The cliche of Russia is so bad.”
A plenary session at the International Fundraising Congress.
The closing keynote at IFC has always been designed to motivate delegates to take what they have learned and apply it out in the world.
Commenting on the selection process for the closing keynote, Ruby Chadwick, Head of Global Engagement and Events at the Resource Alliance, said of Natasha and Vera:
“Their work aligns so closely with the theme of IFC 2022. Shaping the Future Together is a bold, aspirational concept. I wanted our delegates to hear from people whose work and whose commitment to speaking the truth is changing the world – and shaping the future – even when to do so creates hardship or puts them in danger.”
“Most of us can voice our opinions and speak our minds without fearing the consequences. Natasha and Vera didn’t have that freedom, and they carried on regardless,” Ruby Chadwick said. “Tango with Putin is a powerful piece of documentary cinema and we know that Natasha and Vera’s story, told in their own words, will inspire us all in our own work.”
WATCH: Tango with Putin promo
You can watch the full film in the UK on the BBC.
International Fundraising Congress
The International Fundraising Congress (IFC) was established in 1981 and is the world’s longest-running fundraising conference, attracting up to 1,000 fundraisers, campaigners, and changemakers annually to Noordwijkerhout in the Netherlands.
The IFC returns to Noordwijkerhout from 18-21 October for the first time since 2019. This year, for the first time, it will be presented in a hybrid format.
Early bird priced tickets are available until 16 September.
View the full IFC programme.