The Czech Republic’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) has added to the film community voices addressing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Organizers said Friday they will not be joining the boycott of Russian cinema called for by numerous Ukrainian figures, but will also not “accept anyone who is in any way associated with Russian state or governmental institutions or who stands in support of military aggression”.
In a statement, the fest condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and expressed support for the embattled nation. Scroll down to read the full statement.
Karlovy Vary will also be holding a special presentation of Vitaly Mansky’s Putin’s Witnesses, which was named best feature-length documentary at KVIFF 2018, with proceeds going to the non-profit People in Need. The fest runs July 1-9 this year.
The spa town of Karlovy Vary has been setting up emergency accommodation for Ukrainian refugees this week.
Following a call from the Ukrainian Film Academy to boycott Russian cinema, which was passionately supported yesterday in strong statements released from the frontlines by Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov and producer Denis Ivanov, numerous international festivals have responded.
The majority of major fests including Cannes, Venice and Toronto say they will not be joining the boycott, but will put restrictions on the attendance of official Russian delegations. Some events, such as Glasgow and Stockholm, have decided to ban Russian movies this year, as have the European Film Awards.
Here’s Karlovy Vary’s statement:
The organizers of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival unambiguously condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and express their unconditional support for the country.
Karlovy Vary IFF organizers condemn the Russian war aggression against Ukraine. We fully support the Ukrainian people who are at the moment defending peace and democratic values in their country, among whom are many filmmakers we welcomed in Karlovy Vary in the past.
The Karlovy Vary film festival has always supported artists’ freedom of expression. Our country’s historical experience has taught us the importance of foreign support for cultural and artistic figures who gave the world an undistorted picture of actual conditions in our country. We want to be open to all artists whose work and public positions stand for democratic values and principles.
We know that many Russian filmmakers have long been critical of the situation in Russia and of their country’s official policies and have been persecuted for their views. We will always support them. But we do not want to and won’t accept anyone who is in any way associated with Russian state or governmental institutions or who stands in support of military aggression.
The Karlovy Vary festival is also supporting Ukraine with a special presentation of Vitaly Mansky’s Putin’s Witnesses. The film, which was named best feature-length documentary at KVIFF 2018, is being brought to cinemas by our subsidiary Aerofilms. Proceeds from the screenings will be donated to the non-profit organization People in Need.
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