Russia will not be sending an official Oscar candidate for the upcoming international feature film race, Variety has confirmed.
The news, which was reported by the news outlet AFP, was announced by the Russian film academy on Monday evening (Sept. 27). The decision appears to be an act of boycott against the Academy Awards, reflecting the rising tensions between the U.S. and Russia which has been at war with Ukraine since Feb. 24.
Russia recently accused the U.S. administration of having a direct role in the war in Ukraine and has threatened to cut ties with the country.
The head of the Oscar committee, Pavel Tchoukhraï, said the decision of the Russian film academy was taken “behind his back” and subsequently resigned, according to the AFP.
Nikita Mikhalkov, a filmmaker who is a strong supporter of Russia president Vladimir Putin, said “it didn’t make sense” to select a film that will represent Russia in a country which, in reality, currently denies its existence,” according to the local news outlet TASS.
Russia had been consistently submitting films for the Oscars for years. Underscoring the country’s vibrant film culture and industry, Russia was nominated in 2017 for Andrey Zvyagintsev’s “Loveless” (pictured above) which won the jury prize at Cannes; and was shortlisted twice since then, in 2019 with Kantemir Balagov’s “Beanpole” which had won a prize at Un Certain Regard at Cannes, and Andrei Konchalovsky’s “Dear Comrades,” winner of the Special Jury Prize at Venice.
Variety reached out to the Academy for comment
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