According to his lawyer, Dmitri Kharitonov, the Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov is barred from leaving the country, and because of that, he cannot legally attend the upcoming Cannes Film Festival of which his film Petrov’s Flu will debut.
In June 2020, the director was sentenced to three years in prison with a three-year suspension and fined for embezzlement.
“Kirill cannot leave Russian territory,” revealed his lawyer, saying the director’s travel restriction will stay in effect until June 2023. His lawyer also revealed that Serebrennikov would not have to serve any time in prison because of his suspended sentence.
This will be his second year in a row that he hasn’t appeared at the Cannes Film Festival. He previously skipped the festival in 2018, despite being nominated for the Palme d’Or for his cutting 1980s-set musical Leto.
In 2016, Serebrennikov made his Cannes debut with the religious drama, The Student, which showed in the Un Certain Regard section.
Petrov’s Flu is an adaptation of Russia’s Alexey Salnikov 2018 book. And though it was made before the outbreak of COVID-19, it depicts a strange, hallucinogenic narrative of a family’s battle to survive the unrest of a flu pandemic.
It was while under house arrest that Serebrennikov scripted the film that is expected to be released in Russian theaters on Sept. 9.
The trailer is in Russian, so be aware when watching the trailer below.