The global arts and culture sphere is cutting its ties with Russia, as various institutions, organisations, companies and individuals express solidarity with and support for Ukraine. This comes after the Ukrainian Film Academy called for an international boycott of Russian cinema. There has also been those in Russia that have publicly stated their opposition to Putin’s war on Ukraine. Below is a by no means fully comprehensive overview:
- The Cannes Film Festival has become the largest to state that it will not play any films from the Russian Federation this year or allow participation from the Russian delegation, while Glasgow Film Festival has pulled two Russian titles form its 2022 event. Later this year, the Stockholm Film Festival have Ukraine as its focus country;
- Many exhibitors have stated that they will not play event cinema from Russia, such as the Bolshoi Ballet, whose London tour has also been cancelled by the Royal Opera House;
- MIPTV will exclude any Russian participation in Cannes this April, following a statement from the event organiser RX. The BBC has demanded that Russian TV pull shows that it has licensed to them, such as “Doctor Who” and “Strictly Come Dancing” (aka “Dancing With the Stars”);
- The Russian Pavilion at the Biennale arts exhibition in Venice will not go ahead and the Venice Film Festival is also said to be considering its own response;
- Russia will not be allowed to compete in this year’s Eurovision Song Content taking place in Italy. “The inclusion of a Russian entry in this year’s contest would bring the competition into disrepute,” the EBU statement said;
- The Munich Philharmonic has severed the contract with its chief conductor, Valery Gergiev, due to his close his ties to Vladimir Putin. He has also been dropped by his management and seen several of his upcoming concerts cancelled;
- Bars and shops in the US, UK and elsewhere have been pulling bottles of Russian vodka off shelves;
- Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Louis Tomlinson, Franz Ferdinand and Green Day are some of the musicians and performers to have cancelled upcoming performances in Russia;
- There have also been cancellations of Russia’s involvement in major sporting events, including the UEFA and FIFA football (soccer) tournaments. The International Judo Federation has stripped Vladimir Putin of his title as Honorary President and Ambassador of the International Judo Federation;
- Cinema trade bodies UNIC, AG Kino and others have issued statements that they stand in solidarity with Ukraine, though without mentioning any concrete action.
Three Hollywood studios have announced that they are suspending distribution of films in the Russian Federation: Disney, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros, whose DC Comics film “The Batman” was set to be released this week. In addition to the resignation of Oleg Berezin, there have been many letters of opposition to the war from Russian cinematographers, animators, screenwriters and several other professional unions. Many Russian media channels refuse to post such letters, so social media has became the main media outlet in Russia now.