Cannes joins chorus of support for Ukraine

Organisers 'denounce the attitude of Russia and its leaders'

by Richard Mowe

Cannes sends message of support in particular to Ukrainian artists and film industry professionals.
Cannes sends message of support in particular to Ukrainian artists and film industry professionals. Photo: Festival de Cannes
The organisers of the Cannes Film Festival, scheduled to run from 17 to 22 May, have pledged their support today for all those caught up in the Ukraine conflict.

"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.”

The statement from the Festival de Cannes team states that 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 communiqué continues: “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.”

The Festival has a history of support to such causes which started in 1939 in resistance to the fascist and Nazi dictatorships. The pledge concludes that 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."

Other film organisations have also raised their voices in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, including the international federation of film critics, FIPRESCI, which has members in both Russia and Ukraine and which also published a letter from member Elena Rubashevska, who has been forced to flee to Poland, which you can read here.

Its board said in a statement: "In this time of human catastrophes our thoughts and feelings are with our Ukrainian friends and colleagues and their families. FIPRESCI has members in both countries, in the Ukraine and in Russia. We also see and appreciate that Russian colleagues dare to openly oppose against the politics of their president.

"As long as this war rages on, FIPRESCI will not participate in festivals and other events organised by the Russian government and its offices.

"In April, 2022, FIPRESCI had scheduled a colloquium in St. Petersburg, to make us familiar with new Russian films. This colloquium has been canceled. Other events will be examined."

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