Cannes Film Festival Bars Russian Delegations, Anyone With Ties to Kremlin

by thefestivalnews

The Cannes Film Festival has taken a position on the war in Ukraine, and will bar Russian delegations at its 75th edition this May.

“As the world has been hit by a heavy crisis in which a part of Europe finds itself in a state of war, the Festival de Cannes wishes to extend all its support to the people of Ukraine and all those who are in its territory,” reads a statement released on Tuesday. “However modest as it is, we join our voices with those who oppose this unacceptable situation and denounce the attitude of Russia and its leaders.

“During this winter of 2022, the Festival de Cannes has entered its preparation phase. Unless the war of assault ends in conditions that will satisfy the Ukrainian people, it has been decided that we will not welcome official Russian delegations nor accept the presence of anyone linked to the Russian government.”

While Russian delegations are barred, the festival has implied that individual filmmakers may still be welcome at the festival; however, it’s still unclear whether their films will be selected for competition or anywhere else in the fest.

Cannes said it praised the courage of all those in Russia who are taking risks to protest against the aggression and invasion of Ukraine, noting that it will “always serve artists and industry professionals that raise their voices to denounce violence, repression, and injustices, for the main purpose to defend peace and liberty.”

In recent years, the French festival has turned a spotlight on a new generation of politically-engaged Russian filmmakers like Kirill Serebrennikov, whose last two movies, “Petrov’s Flu” and “Leto,” have competed at the festival.

Serebrennikov, who is still officially under a three-year travel ban and was accused of embezzlement by the Russian government, is expected to return to Cannes’ competition this year with “Tchaikovsky’s Wife.” The movie is being produced by Hype Film, a Moscow-based company, with international partners including Charades Productions, Logical Pictures and Bord Cadre Films (“Monos”), while Good Chaos’ Mike Goodridge is executive producing.

Earlier today, the EFA said it “strongly condemns the war started by Russia” and decided to exclude Russian films from the European Film Awards. Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa, who had expressed his dissatisfaction with an earlier statement from the EFA that he deemed too mild, sent a letter to Variety saying he never intended to provoke this boycott of Russian cinema.

Loznitsa, who is a Cannes regular, said “many friends and colleagues, Russian filmmakers, have taken stand against this insane war.”

“When I hear today these calls to ban Russian films, I think of these [filmmakers] who are good people. They are victims as we are of this aggression,” said Loznitsa, whose credits include “Donbass” and “Babi Yar Context.” Loznitsa echoes the concern of many Russian filmmakers, as reported by Variety.

Read the full statement from Cannes below:

As the world has been hit by a heavy crisis in which a part of Europe finds itself in a state of war, the Festival de Cannes wishes to extend all its support to the people of Ukraine and all those who are in its territory.

However modest as it is, we join our voices with those who oppose this unacceptable situation and denounce the attitude of Russia and its leaders.

Our thoughts go out in particular to the Ukrainian artists and film industry professionals, as well as their families whose lives are now in danger. There are those whom we’ve never met, and those whom we’ve come to know and welcomed to Cannes, who came with works that say much about Ukraine’s history and the present.

During this winter of 2022, the Festival de Cannes has entered its preparation phase. Unless the war of assault ends in conditions that will satisfy the Ukrainian people, it has been decided that we will not welcome official Russian delegations nor accept the presence of anyone linked to the Russian government.

However, we would like to salute the courage of all those in Russia who have taken risks to protest against the assault and invasion of Ukraine. Among them are artists and film professionals who have never ceased to fight against the contemporary regime, who cannot be associated with these unbearable actions, and those who are bombing Ukraine.

Loyal to its history that started in 1939 in resistance to the fascist and Nazi dictatorship, the Festival de Cannes will always serve artists and industry professionals that raise their voices to denounce violence, repression, and injustices, for the main purpose to defend peace and liberty.

The Festival de Cannes Team 

By Elsa Keslassy

Source:  www.variety.com

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