Russia boycotts Oscars, won't submit in International Feature Film category

Russia boycotts Oscars, won't submit in International Feature Film category

Russia will reportedly boycott the 2023 Oscars by not submitting one of 122 potentially eligible domestic films for the Academy's Best International Feature Film category, amid its ongoing military assault on Ukraine and subsequent tensions with the United States government.

The Russian Film Academy told national news agency TASS Monday that it has "decided not to nominate any Russian films for the 2022 Academy Awards."

Pavel Chukhrai, chairman of Russia's nominations commission and director of the Oscar-nominated 1997 film The Thief, resigned over the issue, per per Reuters. On Tuesday, director Alexei Uchitel told TASS that he, too, was opposed to the move.

"It's not clear to me yet what's going on. All committee members received a list of movies eligible for nomination and meeting dates were being discussed. But all of a sudden, the news broke. I think that they did an unethical thing, to put it mildly," he said. "In the current situation, we should show that Russia's film industry still exists, and we should nominate a movie."

EW has reached out to the Academy for comment.

Vladimir Putin; Academy Awards
Vladimir Putin; Academy Awards

SERGEI GUNEYEV/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images; Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images Russia reportedly boycotts the Oscars amid Ukraine conflict.

Historically, Russia has a golden track record when it comes to the category, with multiple titles — recently including Andrey Zvyagintsev's 2014 film Leviathan and 2017 submission Loveless — earning nominations over the years, despite the titles ruffling feathers among the Russian government for the projects' perceived criticisms of national leadership.

Russia last won the category in 1994 with Nikita Mikhalkov's Burnt by the Sun, with preceding victories for Soviet Union-submitted titles like 1980's Vladimir Menshov-directed Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears and Sergei Bondarchuk's multi-part drama War and Peace, which was released between 1966 and 1967.

ABC will broadcast the 2023 Oscars on Sunday, March 12.

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