The Ukrainian State Film Agency is offended by the situation with the European Film Festival in the russian Federation.


The Ukrainian State Film Agency is offended by the situation with the European Film Festival in the russian Federation.

From open sources we knew that the Festival, which is held under the auspices of the Delegation of the European Union to the russian Federation, is resuming its work after a year-long break caused by russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The screenings of films from Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Denmark and other EU countries are scheduled to take place online from November 01 to 15, 2023 at “CoolConnections”, with “Cineuropa” and the “Europulse” portal as festival partners.

We would like to draw attention to the fact that the Ambassador of the European Union to the russian Federation, Mr. Roland Galharague, actively supports the resumption of the festival's work and promotes russian cinema on the festival's website. We believe that the holding of international festivals in russia, especially the support and organization of such festivals by representatives of other countries or international organizations, is tantamount to denying, diminishing and trivializing russia's war crimes against Ukraine.

At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Ukrainian State Film Agency appealed to international organizations and international festivals, distributors, and streaming services to not allow russian films or films co-produced with russia to participate, and called for the cessation of all cooperation with russian filmmakers.

In response to our appeals, leading American film companies expressed solidarity with Ukraine - Disney, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures - decided to suspend the release of their new films in Russian cinemas. Netflix and HBO stopped operating in russia, and YouTube video hosting canceled monetization for russian channels.

Not a single russian film was presented at the world-class film festivals such as the Locarno Film Festival, the Venice International Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Warsaw International Film Festival. We are very grateful to the management of the festivals for their support and conscious position.

We are grateful for the support of Ukrainian filmmakers and for the opportunity to represent Ukraine at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

From the official program of the festival, we found out that this year the russian-Georgian film directed by Rezo Gigineshvili Patient No. 1 was selected for participation in the main competition program of the film festival, which, together with the film produced by Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Slovak Republic, Oxygen Station by Ivan Tymchenko will compete for the main prize in the main competition program.

Despite all the calls, we, unfortunately, again see the facts of cooperation with russia and therefore call for the world to stop any cooperation with representatives of "russian culture."

It is unfair to say that art is outside of politics, while russian missiles are destroying Ukrainian theaters, cinemas, and museums.

Allowing russian films to participate in international festivals is supporting the aggressor.

Cinematography is a big part of the information struggle against russian aggression. But this is not just a Ukrainian war.

Cooperation with russia has already caused irreversible reputational and image losses, which is why hundreds of companies have broken off any cooperation with the aggressor state and left its market, and governments of democratic countries continue to impose sanctions against russia.

It is very important for us to convey to the world that the war is ongoing, that no compromises with the enemy are possible, and that peace is possible in the world only if Ukraine wins this war.

The Ukrainian State Film Agency has already appealed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, law enforcement agencies of Ukraine and specialized organizations of the European Union with an urgent request to contact the diplomatic missions of the countries whose films are participating in the festival and, together with them, to take all necessary measures to prevent the festival from taking place this year and in the following years, at least until Russian society bears collective responsibility for the war crimes committed against Ukraine.

The boycott of everything russian not only by Ukraine but also by other countries of the civilized world is another important step towards victory.

We hope for the understanding and support of the whole world!