Russia just cancelled one of its only LGBT film events

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Russia has cancelled one of its only LGBT film events.

The Moscow Premiere, an anti-fascist and LGBT cinema event, was soon to take place, but was replaced with a “positive, youth-orientated” alternative, reports Digital Spy. 

The organiser of the Moscow Premiere, a free event, said he could not work with the new organiser, Yevgeny Gerasimov.

The festival had previously accepted submissions rejected by mainstream releases and festivals.

Funding was cut at a moment’s notice, and supporters of the festival, and the LGBT community as a whole in Russia have criticised the way the situation has been handled.

The Youth Festival of Life Affirming Film, which will replace the Moscow Premiere, will be unable to show any films featuring LGBT people in positive light, due to Russia’s federal anti-gay law.

Passed in 2013, it bans the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors.

The cancellation of the Moscow Premiere is being seen as part of a wider crackdown on LGBT rights in Russia.

The Youth Festival of Life Affirming Film is set to take place this coming week.

Russia last week announced plans to entirely block Wikipedia, in its latest crackdown on the internet.

The Russian government recently bolstered its watchdog’s powers to censor the internet – and over the past year a number of blocks have been placed on ‘dissenting’ groups.

Russia’s main support group for teenagers who identify as LGBT, Children-404, was quietly blocked by authorities on Russian social media site VKontakte in April.