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The story of the Locarno Film Festival, founded in 1946, is one of dialogue and freedom of expression. Cinema has always narrated the complexity of the world, giving visibility to non-aligned and dissident filmmakers and listening to their voices. By being constantly committed to freedom and by promoting the film arts in all their forms, the cinema and film festivals can and must be places of meeting and exchange, remote from the logic of segregation, aggression, and war.
Today we stand in anguished but determined solidarity with those who live through unprecedented acts of violence, which inflict unimaginable grief and suffering in these terrible days. The consequences unleashed by this war leave us in a state of extreme anxiety, and we feel duty-bound to express our support for the filmmakers, artists, cultural representatives, and others who have been directly or indirectly affected by the tragic war being waged on a free and independent country, Ukraine.
We believe that cinema is a vital tool to sustain diversity and creativity in all nations. So we have decided we will continue to welcome in our program all films that enable us to sharpen our critical gaze on the world and cinema and foster the meeting of persons and peoples. It would be a mistake, in our view, to impose systematic or preventive boycotts of works from Russia, often involving films already subject to censorship and other restrictions in their country of origin.
Today, more than ever, in the face of such horrors, we are convinced that the cinema, as a beacon of solidarity and humanity’s higher values, must continue to be a voice of dissent, a voice that abhors and condemns violence in every shape and form.