Director Kirill Serebrennikov banned from Cannes over conviction

The organizers of the 74th Cannes Film Festival have announced that the filmmaker’s latest feature film, Petrov’s Flu, would compete for the Palme d’Or.

Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, whose new film will compete in Cannes, is banned from leaving Russian territory and will therefore not be able to go legally to the festival, his lawyer said on Monday. “Kirill (Serebrennikov) cannot leave Russian territory», Affirmed Me Dmitri Kharitonov, specifying that this prohibition would be in force until the end of the suspension of the prison sentence to which his client was sentenced, ie until June 2023.

The 51-year-old artist was sentenced at the end of June 2020 to a three-year suspended prison sentence and a fine in a case of embezzlement of public subsidies that he contests. In August 2017, he was arrested and then placed under house arrest for more than a year and a half, accused with associates of having embezzled around 130 million rubles (1.8 million euros) between 2011 and 2014.

For his supporters, the director and director has in fact been punished for his sometimes daring works mixing sexuality – including homosexuality -, politics and religion, while the Kremlin defends a return to “traditional values”. The lawsuits sparked a wave of international support for Kirill Serebrennikov. The organizers of the 74th Cannes Film Festival announced on Thursday June 3 that his latest feature film, Petrov’s Flu, would compete for the Palme d’Or.

The film is an adaptation of a novel by Russian writer Alexei Salnikov, in which the sad daily life of a family from Yekaterinburg, an industrial city in the Urals, takes a surreal turn when all three members contract the flu. The feature film is due for release in Russia on September 9, according to its distributor, Sony Pictures. After the news of his Cannes appointment, Kirill Serebrennikov claimed to be “happy” that the film can be seen at the Festival, according to a press release issued by its distributor.

“I wasn’t planning to shoot this movie. He came to me, captured me and I became his prisoner with great pleasure. It came at a rather difficult moment in my life, as an enforceability, an essential joy, even as a kind of lifeline ”, did he declare.

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