Russian TV & film export body Roskino has been banned from taking part at Series Mania next month, after the French event organisers disinvited the government-backed group.
Roskino had been due to screen an array of dramas at the Lille-based festival as part of Series Mania’s ‘Coming Next’ strand, but the Russian show screenings will now not take place.
The organisation has also been barred from attending the annual event, which is due to take place 18-25 March.
The news, first reported by Screen International, comes as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, prompting widespread condemnation from the international community.
Series Mania is backed by the French government, which has joined countries around the world in implementing sanctions on Russia as the invasion continues.
Series Mania’s MD, Laurence Herszberg, said Roskino’s attendance had been vetoed by France’s ministry of culture as part of these sanctions. “We cannot welcome an official Russian government body at this time,” she said.
The decision inevitably raises questions about the participation of Roskino at future events such as MIPTV and Canneseries, which both take place in April.
It also underlines the rapid descent of the conflict. At last year’s Series Mania, held in August, Russian period drama Red Rainbow was voted the winner of the Best Project Award at Series Mania Forum’s annual co-pro pitching competition.