The chairman of the Russian Oscar nomination committee has resigned, a state news agency reported, after the country decided not to present a film to the Oscars this year.
In a ferocious letter partially published by the Tass news agency, Pavel Chukhrai, whose film “The Thief” was nominated for an Oscar in 1997, wrote that the country’s Film Academy has unilaterally decided not to nominate a film without consulting it. .
Condemning the decision as “illegal”, Chukhrai said he would resign. Another commission director also resigned in protest, he said.
The Russian Film Academy has not said why it will not present a film at the Oscars. In his statement, however, he pointed out that Chukhrai is the president of the institution, without providing further details.
The Russian Oscar committee decides which film to submit for the prestigious award for best international feature film, formerly known as best foreign language film.
Russia last won the award in 1994 for “The Deceiving Sun”, about a Red Army officer and his wife who were struck by the return of a former lover during Stalin’s purge in 1936.
The last two Russian films nominated for best international feature film were “Leviathan” and “Without Love” in 2014 and 2017 by Andrey Zviaginstev, a director who addresses political issues in his films.