Festival de Cannes released a statement Tuesday announcing that they will be banning Russian delegations from their 75th annual festival in May as a direct result of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
“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,” the Festival de Cannes team said in a press statement. “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.”
This year’s festival is scheduled to take place from May 17-28 and will not include Russian delegates or members of the Russian government.
They expressed their support for Ukraine by saying that they “would like to salute the courage of all those in Russia who have taken risks to protest against the assault and invasion of Ukraine” and “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.”
The team cited their beginnings in 1939 as resistance to fascist and Nazi dictatorship at the time as a contributor to the decision. They followed this by assuring their purpose of serving “artists and industry professionals that raise their voices to denounce violence, repression, and injustices, for the main purpose to defend peace and liberty.”
Other film institutions and festivals have made similar decisions, including the European Film Awards announced they will exclude Russian films and openly deemed Putin’s actions as “atrocious and totally unacceptable.”
An array of film production companies has pulled major international releases from Russia, most notably Warner Bros., Disney, and Sony.
“Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia, including the upcoming Turning Red from Pixar. We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation.” Disney said in a statement. “In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees.
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