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Ukrainian Film Academy calls for boycott of Russian cinema following invasion

Ukrainian Film Academy calls for boycott of Russian cinema following invasion
The call comes as Boris Johnson said the West is ‘tightening the economic ligature’ around Russia.

The Ukrainian Film Academy has called for an international boycott of Russian cinema as military troops escalate their invasion of Ukraine.

The academy, which stated they were speaking on behalf of the society of Ukrainian film professionals and cultural figures, filed an online petition requesting film institutions and professionals globally to impose sanctions on Russia.

Among the requests, it called for international festivals to ban Russian films from their line-up and for producers to terminate any dealings with businesses connected to the Russian Federation.

In a statement, the organisation said that “at a time when world powers are imposing economic and political sanctions on the Russian Federation, the country continues to be active in the cultural field”.

This comes as Boris Johnson said the West is “tightening the economic ligature” around Russia, with Britain, the US, Canada and the European Union together announcing selected Russian banks would be excluded from the Swift global payments system.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the West is ‘tightening the economic ligature’ around Russia (Ben Birchall/PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the West is ‘tightening the economic ligature’ around Russia (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Ukrainian Film Academy wrote in a statement on the online petition Change.org page: “The outbreak of war in Ukraine is an attack on a civilised world with a democratic system, a crime committed in the heart of Europe.

“But at a time when world powers are imposing economic and political sanctions on the Russian Federation, the country continues to be active in the cultural field.

“In particular, several films made by Russia are regularly admitted to the programmes of most world film festivals, and significant resources are spent on their promotion.

“The result of this activity is not only the spread of propaganda messages and distorted facts.

“It also boosts the loyalty of Russian culture – the culture of the aggressor state, which unleashed unjustified and unprovoked war in central Europe.

“Even the very presence of Russian films in the programme of world film festivals creates the illusion of Russia’s involvement in the values of the civilised world.”

The online petition has so far received nearly 1,500 signatures at the time of publication.

The Bolshoi Ballet company’s Cinderella, at The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (Yui Mok/PA)
The Bolshoi Ballet company’s Cinderella, at The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (Yui Mok/PA)

It comes as performances by the Russian State Ballet company have been cancelled in theatres across the UK including Wolverhampton, Northampton and Peterborough.

The Royal Opera House also announced it was cancelling a tour by the Moscow-based Bolshoi Ballet, which was due to be held in London this summer.

The Kremlin has also recently been stripped of two prestigious events due to be held in their country.

The Champions League football final in May has been moved to Paris and September’s Formula One’s Russian Grand Prix has been cancelled.

The British Film Academy and British Film Institute have been contacted for comment.