Friday, December 9, 2022

`Donbass` producer slams support for Russian filmmakers

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Denis Ivanov, the Ukrainian producer of critically acclaimed movies together with Myroslav Slaboshpytskiys `The Tribe`, Sergey Loznitsas `Donbass` and Oleh Sentsovs `Rhino`, has penned an impassioned letter in opposition to Russias battle in Ukraine, describing it as a `genocide in opposition to Ukrainians` and accusing the Russian army of battle crimes.

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In the letter, Ivanov gave his full-throated support to a boycott on Russian movies, demanding “no extra ‘enterprise as normal` with Putin`s Russia, experiences

“I think some festival selectors, film professionals and cultural managers just do not get what is happening in Ukraine,” he wrote, in gentle of an ongoing marketing campaign by the Russian army that has escalated in latest days.

“This battle of aggression by the Russians has changed into a battle on independence and a battle for values and rights. It is, initially, the genocide of Ukrainians.

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“In these circumstances, I sincerely wonder about the position, that I endlessly read about in the press and online, that: ‘culture is out of politics,` ‘we have to hear opposition voices,` ‘boycott will put limits to artistic expression,`” he added.

Calls for a global boycott of Russian movies have gathered momentum in latest days, with the Stockholm Film Festival saying that it might not be screening any Russian state-funded movies at this yr`s pageant “as long as the current war is ongoing,” and the Glasgow Film Festival including it had withdrawn two Russian titles from its 2022 program, sustaining that the choice was “not a reflection on the views and opinions of the makers of these titles…(but) that it would be inappropriate to proceed as normal with these screenings in the current circumstances.”

Other European festivals, nevertheless, have been extra circumspect.

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The Cannes Film Festival introduced that it might not welcome “official Russian delegations nor accept the presence of anyone linked to the Russian government,” leaving the door open for participation from particular person Russian filmmakers. The Venice Biennale echoed that sentiment, noting that the Venice Film Festival would ban official delegations from Russia however “will not close the door to those who defend freedom of expression and demonstrate against the ignoble and unacceptable decision to attack a sovereign state and its defenseless population.”

Russian filmmakers and their European supporters have spoken out in opposition to blanket boycotts, stressing that any strikes to close out Russian cinema from worldwide occasions are “silencing the Russian protest voice,” based on one veteran producer.

Ivanov, nevertheless, underscored that Russia`s movie business, which advantages closely from state financing, existed each explicitly and implicitly with the Kremlin`s backing.

“Most of the Russian ‘opposition` directors can work only because they were allowed to work by Putin`s regime. They have their roles in the play, written and directed in Kremlin,” he wrote. “Presentation of their work at film festivals has the only aim — to falsely show that Russia is part of the so-called civilized world. Inside Russia, each participation of a film in the film festival would be a sign that ‘business as usual` is possible, even in the times of mass murder of Ukrainian civilians.”

Rather than object to cultural boycotts, Ivanov known as on Russian filmmakers to “refuse to represent their country in international events and make a statement about it. This act of solidarity would be the most clear and eloquent anti-war message to the world and Ukrainians than their statements in social media that they are ‘against war.` It`s not the right time for red carpets for our dear Russian colleagues.”

Ivanov wrote to Variety on Wednesday night time from his dwelling some 20 miles exterior the Ukrainian capital, the place he had evacuated his girlfriend and daughter and was “volunteering for the Ukrainian army and locals…to help my country to resist.”

In his open letter, he famous that he was not alone: “Ukrainian film professionals have now gone to the army, or are helping as volunteers, or taking cover from Russian missiles in shelters, or evacuating their families from the war zone.”

The “artistic expression” of Russian filmmakers, he added, was a minor consideration within the face of the sacrifices being made by his Ukrainian colleagues. “On behalf of them, I`m asking for support of our boycott of Russian cinema at all international film events and all international organisations until Russian government will end up in Hague.”

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