European Film Academy Strongly Condemns Russian War After Sergei Loznitsas Resignation, Excludes Russian Films From European Film Awards

The European Film Academy (EFA) has issued an unequivocal condemnation of President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine after Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa expressed his dissatisfaction with their earlier statement and resigned his EFA membership.

On Feb. 24, after Russia invaded Ukraine, the EFA had issued a statement pledging their support to the Ukrainian filmmaking community. However, Loznitsa, a frequent Cannes prize winner, including for “Donbass” and “Babi Yar. Context,” took umbrage at the relative mildness of the EFA’s statement.

The filmmaker wrote a scathing open letter to the EFA on Monday, saying, among other things: “Is it really possible that you – humanists, human rights and dignity advocates, champions of freedom and democracy, are afraid to call a war a war, to condemn barbarity and voice your protest?”

In a statement released on Tuesday, the EFA said: “The Academy strongly condemns the war started by Russia – Ukraine’s sovereignty and territory must be respected. Putin’s actions are atrocious and totally unacceptable, and we strongly condemn them.”

“What concerns us most is the fate of the Ukrainians, and our hearts are with the Ukrainian filmmaking community. We are fully aware that several of our members are fighting with arms against the aggressor. The Academy will therefore exclude Russian films from this year’s European Film Awards and we lend our support to each element of the boycott.”

“We acknowledge that this reaction should have come at an earlier point in the past days, but our democratic processes needed to be followed. Whilst those took place, the European Film Academy has, in parallel and working quietly behind the scenes, managed to raise funds and put together support structures,” the statement added.

“We therefore take this opportunity to unequivocally express our protest against this abominable war and to re-confirm and reiterate our complete and total solidarity with the heroic people of Ukraine.”

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