In a stunning turn of events, companies, journalists, nor film delegations with direct ties to the Iranian or Russian governments will not be allowed to attend the upcoming Berlinale.
The Berlinale is another name for the Berlin International Film Festival. Proceeding the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, the Berlinale has banned Russian-backed companies, following the lead of the Cannes and Venice film festivals. Berlin has recently added Iran to that list in the wake of the murder of Mahsa Amini, Internet cutoffs, and mass protests against the ayatollah of Iran.
Berlinale will reportedly not ban films from independent Russian and Iranian directors from participating in the festival. The animated feature The Siren from French-based Iranian director Sepideh Farsi will open this year’s Panorama section, the Berlinale’s primary sidebar.
The festival issued a statement showing its support for Ukraine:
“The Berlinale staunchly condemns Russia’s ongoing war of aggression, which violates international law, and expresses its solidarity with the people in Ukraine and all those who are campaigning against this war.”
In regards to Iran, the festival said it “stands with the courageous protesters in Iran as they defend themselves against a violent, undemocratic regime.”