TIFF to ban state-backed Russian delegations from festival, to only program independent films
Toronto/IBNS: Following the moves of the Cannes Film Festival and Venice Biennale this week, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has also banned state-backed Russian film and media bodies from participating in this year’s festival in response to the invasion of Ukraine, TIFF has stated.
The Festival which is set to take place Sept 8-18, also blocked Russian-supported film organizations and media outlets, as well as Russian cultural ambassadors and delegations from the Festival.
However, TIFF’s year-round programming and the work by independent Russian filmmakers will continue to be included at the festival.
”TIFF stands against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the declaration of war this signifies,” read an excerpt from the statement. ”We hope for a swift return to peace and stability in the region and we extend our support to the people of Ukraine and those within Russia who stand against these attacks.”
Fierce fighting by Russian troops in Ukraine has engulfed several major cities, including capturing the southern city of Kerhson.
A 40-mile armoured convoy is heading for the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, although intelligence reports today suggested it has stalled for unknown reasons.
TIFF’s full statement appears below:
TIFF stands against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the declaration of war this signifies. We hope for a swift return to peace and stability in the region and we extend our support to the people of Ukraine and those within Russia who stand against these attacks.
As an arts organization dedicated to transforming the way people see the world through film, we support artists and their freedom of expression. TIFF will continue to include films from independent Russian filmmakers in our programming at the Toronto International Film Festival and year-round at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
TIFF will suspend participation by film organizations and media outlets supported by the Russian state, as well as Russian cultural ambassadors and delegations related to our Festival.
As we do this, we will seek to amplify the voices of Ukrainian and independent Russian filmmakers who continue to illuminate our understanding of conflict in the region. Alongside our international colleagues in the film world, our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and the many Ukrainian artists and film professionals who have traveled to TIFF over the years.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)