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Indiewire Boycotts Russia

It certainly wasn’t your typical Indiewire article headline. Yesterday afternoon, LA-based editor-in-chief Dana Harris chimed in with “Indiewire Boycotts Russia, And Will Until LGBT Policies Change.”

Harris reminds via the post that she has an envious journalist position, receiving invites to glamorous film events around the world. But, she explains, there was no way she could say yes to next month’s DOORS International Film Market in St. Petersburg:

Indiewire isn’t the Olympics; as protests go, ours is unlikely to create much of a dent. However, it’s our hope that DOORS will choose to cancel its 2013 program. For now, inviting the support of American independent film community is, at best, antithetical.

Tony Safford, executive vp at Fox Searchlight, attended last year and was invited to return. His letter of rejection is printed below, as is the one I sent.

Anne Thompson traveled to the inaugural 2012 DOORS event on behalf of Indiewire. Harris’ decision is getting a majority-vote of support in the reader comments, including this one pointing to an associated event tomorrow in NYC:

RODRIGO BRANDãO: I hope this is the beginning of a meaningful and supportive relationship between Indiewire and the LGBT community in Russia. Boycotting an organization to support an oppressed minority (especially if that community is in a foreign country) is a serious step that has to be followed by positive commitments to the people who are being “supported” by the boycott. This Wednesday, August 28 (at Times Square — West 46th Street & Broadway — starting at noon), RUSA and other Russian LGBT organizations in NY will be throwing their weight against Coca-Cola, the sponsor of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Care to join them?

Harris via the comments adds this morning that while Indiewire has decided to turn down the 2013 all-expenses-paid Russian invitation, the site will continue to cover the “political situation in Russia as it relates to arts and culture (and all that extends from it).”

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