Armando Iannucci is “hopeful” that his political satire The Death of Stalin will still be shown in Russia and said that the move to pull it from theaters by the government has made it more “infamous” in the country.

Last month, the comedy, which depicts the chaos of the regime after Stalin’s death in 1953 and 30 years of iron-fisted rule and is an adaptation of Fabien-Nury’s graphic novel, was pulled after it was criticized by Russian authorities.

The film was due to be released in Russian theaters in late January by local distributor Volga Film after it received an 18+ certificate. However, following an advanced screening, the culture ministry withdrew this certificate.

However, Iannucci, speaking on the red carpet at the BAFTA Film Awards at London’s Royal Albert Hall, said that he was in touch with Volga and was optimistic that it would end up getting a release in Russia. “There’s a Russian election coming up [in March 2018]. I’m hopeful that it will still come out. [The ban] has made it more infamous in the country, which is the opposite of what they wanted to do,” he added.

Andrea Riseborough, Rupert Friend, Paddy Considine, Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor and Olga Kurylenko star in the pic, which centers on the last days of the Soviet dictator. Yann Zenou, Laurent Zeitoun, Nicolas Duval Adassovsky and Kevin Loader produced, and Jean-Christophe Colson executive producing.

The Death of Stalin made its World Premiere at Toronto, and won three awards at the British Independent Film Awards. It debuted in the U.S. at the Sundance Film Festival in January in the Spotlight section and will be released by IFC Films on March 9.