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Cannes Blocks Russian Delegations From Attending Festival ‘Unless the War of Assault Ends’ in Ukraine

Cannes Film Festival 2022 begins May 17

The Cannes Film Festival said Tuesday that it will block Russian delegations or anyone linked to the Russian government from attending the festival in France until its aggression against Ukraine ends.

“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,” the festival said in a statement.

“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,” it continued in part.

The 2022 edition of Cannes begins May 17.

The festival in its statement also invoked its history of resisting fascism and “Nazi dictatorship” dating way back to 1939 in its pledge to “serve artists and industry professionals that raise their voices to denounce violence, repression, and injustices, for the main purpose to defend peace and liberty.”  

Other European film festivals have also been mulling responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including the Venice Film Festival scrapped a Russian art pavilion amid other calls for boycotts, while the Locarno Film Festival said it would still show films from Russian artists at its festival in August.

Movie studios too have begun taking a stand and will not distribute upcoming theatrical releases in the Russian market, including Warner Bros. pausing the release of “The Batman,” Disney pulling “Turning Red,” Sony pulling “Morbius” and Paramount pulling “The Lost City” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2.”

Read the full statement 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

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