An open letter from the Russian Animation Film Association
Today the Russian Animation Film Association published an open letter to the global cultural community. The full text of the letter follows:
Open letter from the Board of Directors of the Russian Animation Film Association to the world cultural community:
It is with great regret that we note that the current world situation has negatively affected international cooperation in the field of culture and in particular in the field of animation. Many of our partners from Europe and the United States refuse to work with us, have terminated existing agreements and block Russian content for children. They do not allow 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 severs the fundamental human and cultural bonds that are important to 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 aid, respect for loved ones and environmental protection. Regardless of the political climate, our creators have always made films with simple and important messages for communities around the world. And today, we continue and will continue to do our job and ensure that our young viewers and their parents and grandparents can continue to enjoy their favorite characters.
We all share a common wish: that children in all regions of our planet can live in peace and harmony. Cartoons allow them to communicate without words and to understand and feel each other’s emotions, to rejoice and marvel at the world around them, and to create and learn together. We believe that no one should get in the way of this live affirmation dialogue and cannot support restrictions and bans of any kind aimed at our work, because 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 humanist values. Emotional and irrational measures such as the refusal to perform the music of Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Dmitri Shostakovich, and the discrimination against Russian productions, films, performers and authors only serve to deprive listeners and viewers of access to an important part of the world’s culture and to erect even more boundaries between people.
Cultural cooperation knows no borders. And we, creators of animated films, are able to initiate and support humanitarian and cultural exchanges between the different peoples of our small but beautiful planet.
We believe in the existence of a global cultural community because we are more united than apart. And we urge the public to listen to our words!
May animation and culture in general continue to serve as a bridge that connects people around the world, rather than dividing them!
International Communication/SMF Animation Studio
Debbie Diamond Sarto is associate editor at Animation World Network.