Open letter from the Board of the Russian Animated Film Association to the global cultural community
It is with great regret that we note that the current global situation has negatively affected international cooperation in the area of culture and particularly in the area of animation. Many of our partners from Europe and the USA are refusing to work with us, have terminated existing agreements and are blocking Russian children’s content. They are not allowing us to present Russian films at international festivals or have specifically asked us not to mention the origins of Russian films. This is both very unfortunate and unfair, as it ruptures basic human and cultural ties that are important for all of us.
Russian and foreign filmmakers work together on projects that combine the creative potential of Russian animation traditions with the rich and diverse experience of the global industry. At the center of this work are cartoons that communicate timeless values to children: values such as friendship, love, creativity, mutual support, respect for loved ones, and care for the environment. Regardless of the political climate, our creators have always made films bearing simple and important messages for communities all round the world. And today we continue and will continue to do our job and ensure that our young viewers and their parents and grandparents will be able to continue to enjoy their favorite characters.
We all share a common wish: that children in every part of our the planet will be able to live in peace and harmony. Cartoons allow them to communicate without words and to understand and feel each others’ emotions, to rejoice and wonder at the world around them and to create and learn together. We believe that no one should impede this live-affirming dialogue, and cannot support restrictions and bans of any type aimed at our work, as such barriers do nothing to make the world a better place.
Throughout history, Russian artists, musicians, writers, directors, and animators have created works that support and affirm humanistic values. Such emotional and irrational measures as a refusal to perform the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Dmitri Shostakovich, and to discriminate against Russian productions, films, performers, and authors only serve to deprive listeners and viewers of access to a significant part of world culture and erect even more boundaries between people.
Cultural cooperation recognizes no borders. And we, creators of animated films, are in a position to initiate and sustain humanitarian and cultural exchange between different peoples on our small but beautiful planet.
We believe in the existence of a global cultural community, because we are united in more ways than we are separated. And we urge audiences to listen to our words!
May animation and culture in general continue to serve as a bridge which connects people around the world, rather than dividing them!