EU approves Festival of European Film in Russia despite Ukraine war, Ukraine responds
The EU is now going ahead with the Festival of European Film in Russia, which had been canceled in 2022, despite Moscow's war on Ukraine. The event will be held online from November 1 to 15. Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture has responded
Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy has responded to the return of the European Film Festival to Russia.
They noted that they appreciate the partnership and assistance of European allies, so they consider the announcement of the festival's return, spread by the EU Delegation to Russia, an "unfortunate misunderstanding."
The Ministry of Culture emphasized that in order to stop Russian aggression, it is important to impose sanctions against Russia not only in the economic sphere, but also in the cultural sphere, in particular in cinema.
"The entire European community must be consolidated and consistent in the fight against the evil that the aggressor country has become today. Millions of people are suffering from the actions of the Russian Federation, 835 cultural heritage sites and 1,702 cultural infrastructure sites have been destroyed, which are valuable not only for Ukraine but are part of the European and world cultural heritage. Therefore, the resumption of cultural dialogue with the aggressor country is unacceptable in such circumstances," the ministry added.
Earlier, the EU Delegation to Russia reported on the festival’s return to the aggressor country.
"The slogan of this year's festival is ‘Cinema Unites!’, which emphasizes the unity of cultures and interests," the statement reads.
The event program will feature 21 films from Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Denmark and other EU countries, as well as two co-productions of Russian and European film studios. All films will be shown in their original language with Russian subtitles. They will be available to Russians free of charge and without registration.
The festival will showcase feature, documentary and animated films that have participated in European and international film festivals, and received high praise from critics and audience recognition.
"All films are addressed to fans of not only high-quality genre films but also auteur films," the EU Delegation added.
Earlier, Ukraine refused to participate in the Manhattan Short Film Festival because of a similar event in Russia.