Russia boycotts Oscars amid Ukraine war, won’t submit film

Russia will not enter a film for the International Feature Film category at next year’s Academy Awards as President Vladimir Putin’s forces continue to invade Ukraine.

Variety, the Hollywood Reporter and other media outlets reported Tuesday that Russia was boycotting the Oscars, citing an announcement by the Russian Film Academy. The US Film Academy did not immediately respond to a request from the Los Angeles Times for comment on Tuesday.

According to Variety, the President of the Russian Oscars Committee, Pavel Tchoukhraï, and several other members of the organization have resigned in protest at the actions of the Russian Film Academy.

In a letter from Russian journalist Larisa Malyukova, quoted in Variety, Tchoukhraï condemned the Russian Film Academy for making a “unilateral decision on the head of the committee” – a move he saw as both “unfair and illegal”. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Tchoukhraï told French news agency AFP that the Russian Film Academy withdrew from the Oscars “behind his back”.

Citing Russian film industry expert Joël Chapron, Variety reported that Nikolaï Dostal, Sergey Selyanov, Vladimir Kott and Andrey Zvyagintsev have also left the Russian Oscars committee.

Speaking to the Russian news agency Tass, Russian filmmaker Aleksei Uchitel argued that the Russian Film Academy did “an unethical thing, to put it mildly”.

“In the current situation, we should show that the Russian film industry still exists and we should nominate a film,” he said.

However, another Russian director, Nikita Mikhalkov, agreed to the boycott. As quoted in Variety, the Putin supporter and head of the Russian Cameramen’s Union said “there was no point in submitting a Russian film for consideration in a country that is “currently denying its existence.”

Since Putin launched his attack in February, the United States has continued to support and militarily assist Ukraine. At this year’s Academy Awards, the US Film Academy observed “a minute’s silence to show our support for the people of Ukraine who are currently facing invasion, conflict and prejudice within their own borders.”

“While the film is an important way for us to express our humanity in times of conflict, millions of families in Ukraine are in need of food, medical supplies, clean water and emergency services,” the academy said in a statement during the ceremony.

“Resources are scarce, and we – together as a global community – can do more.”

The Russian Film Academy has regularly submitted titles for the Oscars in the past. In 2018, Zvyagintsev’s Loveless was nominated for Foreign Language Film (now International Feature Film).

The 95th Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on March 12 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-09-27/russia-ukraine-war-oscars-boycott-international-film Russia boycotts Oscars amid Ukraine war, won’t submit film

Sarah Ridley

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