Cannes film festival bans Russia from 2022 event

Director Spike Lee, jury president, is pictured at the Cannes film festival closing ceremony in 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (REUTERS) - The Cannes film festival said in a statement on Tuesday (March 1) it would ban official Russian delegations from its 2022 festival unless the Ukraine conflict ends.

It added the festival will only admit official Russian delegations if the Ukraine conflict ends in a manner acceptable to the Ukrainian people.

The festival organisers however saluted the courage of people in Russia who have taken the risk of protesting against the aggression and invasion of Ukraine.

"Among them there are artists and movie professionals who have never stopped fighting against the current regime and who are in no way associated with these intolerable acts and with those who are bombarding Ukraine," they said.

Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, was started in 1939, partly in protest against Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's interference with the then leading Venice film festival.

"Loyal to its own history, which started in 1939 in resistance against the fascist and nazi dictatorships, the Cannes Festival will always be on the side of artists...who denounce violence, repression and injustice," it said.

Follow The Straits Times' live coverage on the Ukraine crisis here.

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