Russia will not submit a film for the international feature category at next year’s Oscars as President Vladimir Putin’s forces continue to invade Ukraine.
Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and other outlets reported on Tuesday that Russia is boycotting the Oscars, citing an announcement from the Russian Film Academy. The American Film Academy did not immediately respond to a Los Angeles Times request for comment on Tuesday.
According to Variety, the chairman of Russia’s Oscars committee, Pavel Chukhrai, and several other members of the organization have resigned in protest at the actions of the Russian film academy.
In a letter obtained by Russian journalist Larisa Malyukova and quoted in Variety, Chukhrai condemned the Russian Film Academy for taking a “unilateral decision at the head of the committee” – a decision he considered both “unfair and illegal”. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chukhrai told AFP that the Russian film academy withdrew from the Oscars “behind his back”.
Crediting Russian film industry expert Joel Chapron, Variety reported that Nikolai Dostal, Sergey Selyanov, Vladimir Kott and Andrey Zvyagintsev have also quit the Russian Oscar committee.
Speaking to Russian media outlet Tass, Russian filmmaker Aleksei Uchitel claimed that the Russian film academy “did an unethical thing, to put it mildly”.
“In the current situation, we have to show that the Russian film industry still exists and we have to come up with a film,” he said.
However, another Russian director, Nikita Mikhalkov, endorsed the boycott. As quoted in Variety, the Putin supporter and president of the Russian Filmmakers Syndicate said “it makes no sense” to submit a Russian film for consideration in a country that “currently denies its existence”.
Since Putin launched his attack in February, the United States has continued to provide military support and aid to Ukraine. At this year’s Oscars, the American Film Academy observed “a moment of silence to show our support for the people of Ukraine currently facing invasion, conflict and prejudice within their own borders.”
“While cinema is an important way for us to express our humanity in times of conflict, the reality is that millions of families in Ukraine need food, medical care, clean water and emergency services. “, we read in the press release of the academy during the ceremony.
“Resources are scarce, and we – collectively 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).
The 95th Academy Awards are set to take place March 12 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.