A statement has been issued by the Cannes Film Festival, commenting on calls for a boycott of Russian cinema and said it will bar Russian delegations but not filmmakers. According to Variety, the statement read, "As the world has fallen into a grave crisis and sees a part of Europe in a state of war, the Cannes Film Festival would like to express all its support to the Ukrainian people and to all those who are currently in Ukraine."
It continued, "As modest as it can be, we are joining our voice to all those who are opposing this unacceptable situation and are denouncing the stance of Russia and its leaders."
"We have a particular thought for the artists and professionals within the Ukrainian film words, as with their families whose lives are now in danger," the statement added.
The festival said it will not welcome official Russian delegations and "will not accept even the smallest presence of any institutions linked to the Russian government." However, Cannes said that it praised the courage of all those in Russia who are taking risks to protest against the aggression and invasion of Ukraine." "Among them are artists and professionals who have never stopped fighting against the current regime and would never be associated to this intolerable acts and those who are bombarding Ukraine," said Cannes.
In recent years, the French festival has turned a spotlight on a new generation of politically-engaged Russian filmmakers like Kirill Serebrennikov, whose last two movies, 'Petrov's Flu' and 'Leto', have competed at the festival.
As per Variety, Serebrennikov, who is still officially under a three-year travel ban and was accused of embezzlement by the Russian government, is expected to return to Cannes' competition this year with 'Tchaikovsky's Wife'.