Kirill serebrennikov

Source: Wiki Commons

Kirill Serebrennikov

Russian theatre and film director Kirill Serebrennikov, whose feature Leto has been selected for Competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, will not be able to attend the event after his house arrest was extended.

According to AFP, quoting Russian news agency Ria Novosti, judge Artur Karpov extended Serebrennikov’s house arrest yesterday (18 April) until July 19, 2018.

Serebrennikov has been under house arrest on disputed corruption charges since last August. He is accused of defrauding the state of 68 million rubles ($1.15 million, €977,000) in funding for a theatrical project.

The Summer (Leto) is set against the backdrop of the Leningrad rock music scene at the beginning of Perestroika, the movement for political reform within the Communist party in the 1980s.

Last year the European Film Academy (EFA) called for his release, saying in a statement: “There is every reason to believe the arrest is politically motivated and the EFA Board respectfully calls upon the Russian authorities to have the detained released immediately and unconditionally and to guarantee his free movement and artistic expression.”

Serebrennikov’s last film The Student premiered in Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2016.

Iranian director Jafar Panahi, in Competition with 3 Faces, could also miss the festival.

The director has been at odds with the Iranian authorities throughout his career and is subject to a 20-year filmmaking ban. He was last due in Cannes in 2010 as a jury member but permission to travel was denied by the Iranian government at the last minute.

Cannes delegate general Thierry Frémaux said the festival had asked the French government to help Panahi attend.

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