Why was the Russian director Serebrenkov denied participation in the Cannes Film Festival?


Moscow – AFP
The lawyer of the Russian director Kirill Serebrenkov announced that his client will not be able to attend the Cannes Film Festival in France, where his new film is participating in the official competition, due to the decision issued against him to prevent him from leaving the Russian territory.
Dmitry Kharitonov confirmed that “Kirill (Serebrenkov) cannot leave the Russian territory,” explaining that this ban was in effect until the end of the period of stay of execution accompanying the prison sentence issued against the Russian director, that is, until June 2023.
The 51-year-old director was sentenced at the end of June 2020 to a suspended three-year prison sentence and a fine in the case of embezzlement of public aid funds, which Serebrenkov denies.
Serebrennikov was arrested in August 2017 and then placed under house arrest for more than a year and a half on charges of embezzling about 130 million rubles ($1.76 million) in public benefits between 2011 and 2014.
A prison sentence was issued against the director, despite the international stances that set out to defend him, and a petition filed by more than three thousand personalities from the Russian cultural community.
Serebrennikov has not spoken out against Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he has consistently criticized the pressure on Russian artists, while his work on topics such as politics, religion, etc. is criticized by the authorities or the clergy.
The organizers of the 74th Cannes Film Festival announced last Thursday that his latest film, Butterfly, will participate in the official competition for the Palme d’Or.
Adapted from a novel by Russian writer Alexei Salnikov, this film tells the surreal change in the daily life of a family from the industrial city of Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains after their three members contracted the flu.
The film will be shown in Russia on September 9, according to Sony Pictures, its distributor.


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