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Censorship Hits the Festivals Again!

Photo of Sydney Levine By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz March 10, 2011 at 10:43AM

THE FESTIVAL DIRECTORS SIGN THE LETTER BACKING THE DIRECTOR OF SITGES FESTIVAL DECLARATIONWe, the undersigned, directors of Spanish film festivals, wish, in view of the leak to the press published this weekend, to state our surprise at the legal action taken against Ángel Sala, director of the Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia, for having included in the 2010 programme of the said event, at sessions for adults only, A Serbian Film, which it is claimed contains violent, pornographic scenes conflicting with the rights of the child.Over and above our surprise at pinning responsibility of this kind on a cultural programmer, and not on those theoretically responsible for the content in question (the director and the producers, if anyone at all), we wish to recall, in addition to our support of Ángel Sala, that the film has been screened over the last twelve months in festivals in Brussels, Montreal, London, Oporto, Austin, San Francisco, Toronto, Sofia, Hamburg, Helsinki, Puchon (South Korea), Ravenna and Stockholm, among others. A Serbian Film has also enjoyed screening at the two most prestigious film markets in the world: Cannes, and the American Film Market in Santa Monica, California. All of this without anyone, to date, having taken legal steps of any kind against the film, those responsible for it or its programmers.We must also add that the film has won prestigious awards including three at Montreal (Best Film; Gold Award for Best European Film and Most Innovative Film); the Audience Award at the Fantasporto Festival in Oporto (less than a week ago); and the Best Screenplay Award at the FIPRESCI Festival in Serbia.We also condemn the fact that behaviour such as that shown by the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Barcelona appears to be taking us back to times of censorship limitations on freedom of expression and cultural programming that we sincerely believed belonged to the past.Signed by:• Javier Angulo (Valladolid Festival)• Josetxo Cerdán Los Arcos (Punto de Vista / Pamplona)• José Luis Cienfuegos (Gijon Festival)• José Luis Rebordinos (San Sebastian Festival)• Carmelo Romero (Malaga Spanish Film Festival)• José Sánchez Montes (Granada Festival / Cines del Sur)• Claudio Utrera (Las Palmas Festival)• Javier Martín Domínguez (Seville Festival)• Eduardo Trías (Huelva Festival)• Josemi Beltrán (San Sebastian Horror & Fantasy Film Festival)
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THE FESTIVAL DIRECTORS SIGN THE LETTER BACKING THE DIRECTOR OF SITGES FESTIVAL DECLARATION

We, the undersigned, directors of Spanish film festivals, wish, in view of the leak to the press published this weekend, to state our surprise at the legal action taken against Ángel Sala, director of the Sitges International Film Festival of Catalonia, for having included in the 2010 programme of the said event, at sessions for adults only, A Serbian Film, which it is claimed contains violent, pornographic scenes conflicting with the rights of the child.

Over and above our surprise at pinning responsibility of this kind on a cultural programmer, and not on those theoretically responsible for the content in question (the director and the producers, if anyone at all), we wish to recall, in addition to our support of Ángel Sala, that the film has been screened over the last twelve months in festivals in Brussels, Montreal, London, Oporto, Austin, San Francisco, Toronto, Sofia, Hamburg, Helsinki, Puchon (South Korea), Ravenna and Stockholm, among others. A Serbian Film has also enjoyed screening at the two most prestigious film markets in the world: Cannes, and the American Film Market in Santa Monica, California. All of this without anyone, to date, having taken legal steps of any kind against the film, those responsible for it or its programmers.

We must also add that the film has won prestigious awards including three at Montreal (Best Film; Gold Award for Best European Film and Most Innovative Film); the Audience Award at the Fantasporto Festival in Oporto (less than a week ago); and the Best Screenplay Award at the FIPRESCI Festival in Serbia.
We also condemn the fact that behaviour such as that shown by the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Barcelona appears to be taking us back to times of censorship limitations on freedom of expression and cultural programming that we sincerely believed belonged to the past.

Signed by:

• Javier Angulo (Valladolid Festival)
• Josetxo Cerdán Los Arcos (Punto de Vista / Pamplona)
• José Luis Cienfuegos (Gijon Festival)
• José Luis Rebordinos (San Sebastian Festival)
• Carmelo Romero (Malaga Spanish Film Festival)
• José Sánchez Montes (Granada Festival / Cines del Sur)
• Claudio Utrera (Las Palmas Festival)
• Javier Martín Domínguez (Seville Festival)
• Eduardo Trías (Huelva Festival)
• Josemi Beltrán (San Sebastian Horror & Fantasy Film Festival)

This article is related to: International Film Festival

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