Venice Film Festival Won’t Boycott Russian Filmmakers Who ‘Oppose the Current Regime’

Venice Film Festival Won’t Boycott Russian Filmmakers Who ‘Oppose the Current Regime’

La Biennale di Venezia, the multidisciplinary arts organization behind the Venice International Film Festival, announced that Russian films and filmmakers will be welcomed at 2022 Venice so long as their politics do not agree with President Putin.

The 79th Venice International Film Festival, organized by La Biennale and directed by Alberto Barbera, will take place on the Venice Lido August 31–September 10.

In an official statement shared with media, La Biennale di Venezia rejects “any form of collaboration with those who on the contrary have carried out or supported such a grievous act of aggression” when it comes to Russian filmmakers.

Additionally, the festival will “therefore not accept the presence at any of its events of official delegations, institutions, or persons tied in any capacity to the Russian government.”

The 2022 Cannes Film Festival similarly announced it will allow Russian films but ban Russian delegates or any members of the Russian government from attending.

The European Film Awards also vowed it will exclude Russian films and officially condemned “the war started by Russia,” in a statement shared with IndieWire. “Putin’s actions are atrocious and totally unacceptable, and we strongly condemn them,” the European Film Academy added.

Warner Bros., Paramount, Disney, Universal, and Sony have all pulled major releases like “Morbius,” “The Lost City,” and “The Batman” from international releases in Russia.

As of March 2, La Biennale di Venezia is now addressing new sanctions for the upcoming Venice Film Festival as well as the organization’s 59th International Art Exhibition, which runs April 23–November 27.

Read the statement below:

“La Biennale di Venezia intends thereby to manifest its full support to the Ukrainian people and to its artists, and express its firm condemnation of the unacceptable military aggression by Russia.

“La Biennale is also close to all those in Russia who are courageously protesting against the war. Among them, artists and authors in every discipline, many of whom have been guests of La Biennale in the past. La Biennale di Venezia will not shut its doors to those who defend freedom of expression and demonstrate against the despicable and unacceptable decision to attack a sovereign state and its defenseless people. For those who oppose the current regime in Russia, there will always be a place in the exhibitions of La Biennale, from Art to Architecture, and in its festivals, from Cinema to Dance, from Music to Theatre.

“As long as this situation persists, La Biennale rejects any form of collaboration with those who on the contrary have carried out or supported such a grievous act of aggression, and will therefore not accept the presence at any of its events of official delegations, institutions or persons tied in any capacity to the Russian government.

“La Biennale is following the events of the war as it unfolds in Ukraine with apprehension, in the hope that international diplomacy will quickly negotiate a mutually agreed solution that will put an end to the death and suffering of an entire people and restore full freedom of action and movement to the world of culture.”

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