The 75th International Festival de Cannes has released an official statement in response to the Russian 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.”
The letter continues: “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.”
The 2022 Cannes will take place May 17–28, but Russian delegates and members of the Russian government will not be allowed on site. The Cannes team clarified that the 2022 event does acknowledge and commend the “courage” of Russians who have protested against the invasion of Ukraine.
The statement reads: “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 European Film Awards similarly announced 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, and Sony have all pulled major releases like “Morbius,” “The Lost City,” and “The Batman” from international releases in Russia.
“In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film ‘The Batman’ in Russia,” a WarnerMedia spokesperson said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.”