Source: MIFF

Aleksey Agranovich, Darya Zlatopolskaya hosting the opening ceremony of the 2021 MIFF

The International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations (FIAPF) has paused the accreditation of Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) and St Petersburg’s Message to Man International Film Festival “until further notice”, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“Serious doubts have arisen as to how Russian Government sponsorship will impact the operations of [the two events],” said Luis Alberto Scalella, president of FIAPF.

“Since we cannot guarantee the ability of these festivals to comply with our rules and values, we have concluded that it is appropriate to pause the FIAPF accreditation previously granted to these two festivals.”

The withdrawal of accreditation is effective “from today [March 19] and until further notice” according to FIAPF.

The removal of accreditation was one of several steps called for last month by the Ukrainian Film Academy as part of a Russian cultural boycott, two days after the invasion began.

Moscow postponed

Last week MIFF postponed its 2022 edition, which had been scheduled for April 21-28, until the second half of the year, with new dates still to be announced.

Moscow is one of only 15 international film events to receive accreditation as a competitive festival for feature films, alongside events including Cannes, Berlin and Venice. These events are commonly referred to as the A-category festivals.

Prior to the pandemic, the festival was held annually in April. The 2020 edition took place in October; with the 2021 edition returning to the April slot.

Message to Man is an international documentary, shorts and animated film festival held annually in St Petersburg.

“Inasmuch as both are financed by the government of the Russian Federation, whose actions are in violation of international norms, FIAPF concludes that there is no guarantee that the operation of these festivals will fully respect the entire set of values and rules of the FIAPF accreditation programme, including in particular to act to bring together films of the world and give priority to the promotion of films,” said FIAPF’s statement.

FIAPF released a statement earlier this month in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.