Distributor says release of the gay drama will prove “a huge challenge”.


Russian distributor Arthouse has picked up Todd Haynes’ Carol but anticipates challenges over its release due to the film’s central relationship between two women.

Carol is no doubt the main film event of this year, and definitely the most exciting love story to hit the screen recently,” said Yan Vizinberg, co-founder and CEO of Arthouse and its US-based parent company Lorem Ipsum Corp.

“It’s a dream for everyone at Arthouse to be releasing this film in Russia. It’s also a huge challenge because of the federal ‘gay propaganda’ law that victimizes the Russian LGBT community.

Carol is rated R in the US, but in Russia the film will certainly be assigned an 18+ age rating due to these laws.”

The film, which debuted at Cannes, stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and leads the upcoming Golden Globes with five nominations.

Based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, the story is set in 1950s New York where a department-store clerk (Mara) who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman (Blanchett).

A law against “gay propaganda among minors” was introduced by Russia in 2013. There have since been attempts to disrupt screenings of LGBT-related films, such as Blue Is the Warmest Colour.

Arthouse will release Carol in Russia and CIS in early March 2016.

The Russian distributor released British gay drama Pride ealier this year but could not sell the film to major TV channels or secure advertising on federal networks as a result of the gay propaganda law. It also saw some cinemas refuse to play the film.