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Moscow Film Festival Winner Banned in Vologda

A Russian surrealist drama that won awards and acclaim at the Moscow Film Festival has been banned from another festival for its strong language, ITAR-Tass reported.

Valeria Gai Germanika's "Yes & Yes" was dropped from the lineup of the fifth Voices Film Festival in Vologda, which features independent European cinema.

The film ran afoul of a recent law that unequivocally bans strong expletives on-screen, according to the report, published Tuesday.

Producers had previously voiced plans to edit the film's dialogues in order to remove all expletives, but this project does not yet appear to have been completed.

"Yes & Yes" earned Germanika, the 30-year-old enfant terrible of Russian filmmaking, the prestigious FIPRESSI prize and the best director award at the Moscow Film Festival last month.

The film tells a love story between a primary school teacher and a young modern artist, and is replete with scenes of partying and sex.

Russia has ramped up censorship in recent years, following a spike in ultraconservative sentiment within the ruling establishment, an apparent backlash against the liberal-driven anti-Kremlin street protests of 2011 to 2013.

Several films, including Cannes prize-holders "Blue Is the Warmest Color" and "Leviathan," were sanctioned and/or faced screening bans over such issues as the alleged promotion of child sex and strong language.

Germanika's films, which offer provocative, hyper-realistic depictions of Russian youth, have twice screened at the Cannes Film Festivals, but have also annoyed Russian conservatives before.

Several Communist Party lawmakers went so far as to urge a complete ban on her television series "The School" (2010), though to no avail. The series aired on state-run Channel One.

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