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The Glasgow Film Festival has reaffirmed its position after dropping two Russian films from its lineup earlier this week.
The Scottish festival — which kicks off Wednesday and runs until March 13 — announced on Monday that it would not show No Looking Back and The Execution “in light of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, and in response to a plea by the Ukrainian Film Academy.”
The move prompted a high-degree of criticism from around the world, with many prominent voices on social media describing the decision as “censorship” and punishing Russian filmmakers who may have nothing to do with Vladimir Putin’s government.
On Wednesday, with the vocal opposition to the decision intensifying and with other festivals — most notable Cannes and Venice — having said that they would only ban filmmakers with connections to the Russian state, the Glasgow Film Festival put out a statement asserting that the two films in question had links to the Kremlin.
“Both films have received state funding via the CF Cinema Fund whose board of trustees includes current Ministers of the Russian Government and the Russian Ministry of Culture,” said the statement. “We want to stress that this decision was only taken after careful consideration and is not a reflection on the views or opinions of the makers of these films. We believe that right now it would be inappropriate to proceed as normal with these screenings while the assault on the Ukrainian people continues.”
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