Distributor to Release Lesbian Drama ‘Carol’ in Russia Despite Ban on Gay ‘Propaganda’

The distributor for the lesbian drama Carol is releasing the film in Russia and tells The Hollywood Reporter that doing so will be challenging due to laws banning homosexual “propaganda” in Putin’s Russia.

Released in November, Carol stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara as two lesbian lovers in 1950s New York. The film has been nominated for five Golden Globes and is expected to be an Oscar contender.

Yan Vizinberg, the co-founder and CEO of Arthouse and its American parent company Lorem Ipsum Corp told THR, “Carol is no doubt the main film event of this year, and definitely the most exciting love story to hit the screen recently.”

Added Vizinberg, “It’s a dream for everyone at Arthouse to be releasing this film in Russia.”

A Russian law passed in 2013 banned people from passing out “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” to minors. The law also made it “illegal to equate straight and gay relationships, as well as the distribution of material on gay rights.”

Despite his excitement, Vizinberg noted the challenges of distributing the film because he said the 2013 law “victimizes the Russian LGBT community.”

Carol is rated R in the U.S., but in Russia the film will certainly be assigned an 18+ age rating due to these laws,” he said.

Vizinberg then told the site, “Gay-propaganda law will prevent Carol to be sold to major TV channels or even being advertised on federal networks.”

He said some theaters would also refuse to book the film.

Per Vizinberg, the controversy would likely help his company market the film to Russia’s “educated and open-minded intelligentsia.”

Watch a trailer for Carol below:


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