Amid Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine, several mega-corporations and institutions worldwide are breaking their ties with Russia, along with their business connections in the territory. Now the Toronto Film Festival is joining that protest.

The Toronto International Film Festival has now announced that they have banned all official Russian representatives from its 2022 program. However, it will still allow work from independent Russian filmmakers into its edition.

The festival organizers provided the following statement to Variety on Thursday regarding their upcoming program.

“As an arts organization dedicated to transforming the way people see the world through film, we support artists and their freedom of expression. TIFF will continue to include films from independent Russian filmmakers in our programming at the Toronto International Film Festival and year-round at TIFF Bell Lightbox,”

“TIFF will suspend participation by film organizations and media outlets supported by the Russian state, as well as Russian cultural ambassadors and delegations related to our Festival.”

TIFF organizers voiced their support for Ukraine and wrote they would be allowing Ukrainian and Russian independent filmmakers to provide insight into the political matters between the two regions.

“TIFF stands against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the declaration of war this signifies. We hope for a swift return to peace and stability in the region and we extend our support to the people of Ukraine and those within Russia who stand against these attacks,” the statement reads. “We will seek to amplify the voices of Ukrainian and independent Russian filmmakers who continue to illuminate our understanding of conflict in the region. Alongside our international colleagues in the film world, our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and the many Ukrainian artists and film professionals who have travelled to TIFF over the years.”

As we noted, the streaming giant Netflix announced yesterday that they are halting their active projects in Russia, Not to mention the major Hollywood studios have also pulled their theatrical release in Russia not too long ago. TIFF 2022 edition is set for Sept. 8-18.

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Bhupen Dange

Bhupen is a freelance writer for Ringside News and Thirsty For News; he is pursuing further studies in Computer Science. Since high school, he has actively participated in athletic activities, and when he is not playing video games, he spends his time in the gym training, watching movies, and walking his dog outside.

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