It looks likely that Russian director Alexei Mizgirev, whose hotly anticipated film Duelist is to premiere at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September, will miss his own premiere after being denied a Canadian visa.
According to a report by online news site Life.ru, the Canadian embassy in Moscow claims that Mizgirev failed to explain the reason for his visit and would be able to overstay his visa, remaining in Canada indefinitely.
“This is an outrageous situation, for which I don't see an explanation," said one of the film's producers, Alexander Rodnyansky, also well known for producing Golden Globe-winning Leviathan (2014), cited by the Exhibitor's Bulletin trade journal.
Co-producer on Duelist Gleb Fetisov offered up $1 million as a surety, hoping that this may convince the embassy of Mizgirev's return to Russia after the festival.
“While it would be inappropriate for us to speak to a specific matter, every year we work very closely with the Canadian consulates and embassies around the world to ensure our guests that require any kind of consular assistance receive it in a timely fashion,” a TIFF spokesperson stated in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, while the Canadian Foreign Affairs department omitted to comment.
One of 2016's biggest Russian releases, Duelist is set to be screened as part of TIFF's Special Presentations programme.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter