The Ukrainian Film Academy has called for an international boycott of Russian cinema as military troops step up their invasion of Ukraine.
The academy, which said it speaks on behalf of the society of Ukrainian film professionals and cultural figures, filed an online petition calling on film institutions and professionals around the world to impose sanctions on Russia.
Among the demands, he asked international festivals to ban Russian films from their programming and producers to end all dealings with companies linked to the Russian Federation.
In a statement, the organization said that “at a time when world powers are imposing economic and political sanctions on the Russian Federation, the country continues to be active in the cultural field.”
It comes as Boris Johnson said the West was ‘tightening the economic tie’ around Russia, with Britain, the United States, Canada and the European Union jointly announcing that some Russian banks would be excluded from the system Swift global payment system.
The Ukrainian Film Academy wrote in a statement on the Change.org online petition page: “The outbreak of war in Ukraine is an attack on a civilized world with a democratic system, a crime committed at the heart of Europe.
“But at a time when world powers are imposing economic and political sanctions on the Russian Federation, the country continues to be active in the cultural field.
“In particular, several Russian-made films are regularly admitted to the programs of most world film festivals and significant resources are devoted to their promotion.
“The result of this activity is not just the dissemination of propaganda messages and distorted facts.
“It also reinforces the loyalty of Russian culture – the culture of the aggressor state, which has unleashed an unjustified and unprovoked war in Central Europe.
“Even the presence of Russian films in the program of world film festivals creates the illusion of Russia’s involvement in the values of the civilized world.”
The online petition has so far received nearly 1,500 signatures at the time of publication.
It comes as Russian State Ballet company performances have been canceled at theaters across the UK, including Wolverhampton, Northampton and Peterborough.
The Royal Opera House has also announced that it is canceling a tour by the Moscow-based Bolshoi Ballet, which was due to take place in London this summer.
The Kremlin was also recently stripped of two prestigious events that were to be held in their country.
May’s Champions League soccer final was moved to Paris and September’s Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix was cancelled.
The British Film Academy and the British Film Institute have been contacted for comment.