You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes clarifies competition guidelines

Fremaux enforces rules after 'Burnt' violation

The Cannes Film Festival will take a more stringent line on competition films after it emerged that Russia’s entry, Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus,” had been released outside its home territory before the fest unspooled.

Cannes generally demands that films vying for the Palme d’Or must be international premieres that have not been shown publicly outside their country of origin.

Mikhalkov’s film — a $55 million blockbuster set during WWII — was released in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan on April 22.

It was also released shortly afterward in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, former Soviet republics that are now part of the European Union.

Mikhalkov tried to stop the screenings in Lithuania (where Russian films rarely screen later than a Moscow release, to reduce piracy) and sent a letter of apology to filmgoers about the cancellation, but the distrib had already spent money on marketing and, in the end, the film opened as planned to a paltry $46,000 for five weeks.

Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux said, “We learned the film had been released in other territories during the event; we decided not to remove it from the schedule, but from now on the rule for a film in this case will be to remove it from the program.”

At a Cannes news conference on the day the film screened in competition, Mikhalkov brushed off the subject with a joke, remarking that “perhaps these countries are not outside our frontiers!”

More Film

  • Phantom Thread Daniel-Day-Lewis

    Watch the Stunning Trailer for Daniel Day-Lewis' Final Film, 'Phantom Thread'

    The Cannes Film Festival will take a more stringent line on competition films after it emerged that Russia’s entry, Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus,” had been released outside its home territory before the fest unspooled. Cannes generally demands that films vying for the Palme d’Or must be international premieres that have not […]

  • Judith Light

    Judith Light, Roberta Colindrez to Star in Drama 'Ms. White Light' (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Cannes Film Festival will take a more stringent line on competition films after it emerged that Russia’s entry, Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus,” had been released outside its home territory before the fest unspooled. Cannes generally demands that films vying for the Palme d’Or must be international premieres that have not […]

  • Negative Space animated short by Max

    Award-Winning Animated Short 'Negative Space' Makes Online Debut

    The Cannes Film Festival will take a more stringent line on competition films after it emerged that Russia’s entry, Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus,” had been released outside its home territory before the fest unspooled. Cannes generally demands that films vying for the Palme d’Or must be international premieres that have not […]

  • Paddington 2

    'Paddington 2' Producers Seek to Exit Distribution Deal With Weinstein Company

    The Cannes Film Festival will take a more stringent line on competition films after it emerged that Russia’s entry, Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus,” had been released outside its home territory before the fest unspooled. Cannes generally demands that films vying for the Palme d’Or must be international premieres that have not […]

  • Ashley Judd

    Ashley Judd Sets First TV Interview After Harvey Weinstein Allegation

    The Cannes Film Festival will take a more stringent line on competition films after it emerged that Russia’s entry, Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus,” had been released outside its home territory before the fest unspooled. Cannes generally demands that films vying for the Palme d’Or must be international premieres that have not […]

  • 'Suburbicon' film premiere

    George Clooney 'Glad' Academy Took Action Against Weinstein: 'It's Long Overdue'

    The Cannes Film Festival will take a more stringent line on competition films after it emerged that Russia’s entry, Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus,” had been released outside its home territory before the fest unspooled. Cannes generally demands that films vying for the Palme d’Or must be international premieres that have not […]

  • 4106_D025_00081_R2_CROPKristin Scott Thomas and Gary Oldman

    'Darkest Hour' Gets Endorsed by Churchill Family, Experts

    The Cannes Film Festival will take a more stringent line on competition films after it emerged that Russia’s entry, Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus,” had been released outside its home territory before the fest unspooled. Cannes generally demands that films vying for the Palme d’Or must be international premieres that have not […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content