Film festival bans allies

2003-03-22 11:41
Oberhausen, Germany - Wallace and Gromit may be the only Britons appearing at the 49th Oberhausen Short Film Festival, after organisers on Friday announced a ban on cultural officials from the United States, Britain, Spain and Italy in protest against the Iraq war.

In a tersely worded statement, organisers of the world's oldest international showcase for shorts, cartoons and other films under 60 minutes in length said the ban pertains to "any official representatives" from those four nations.

Ironically, a score of shorts in the competition line-up are from those four countries, including the latest Wallace and Gromit two- minute thriller, "The Snoozatron", by the British animation team of Loyd Price and Christopher Sadler.

Also on view will be films from Japan, Poland, Latvia and other countries which support the US-led war in Iraq.

In all, the Oberhausen festival has scheduled 360 entries from some 50 countries. Of those, 70 will be up for awards at the fest, which runs May 1-6 in the town of Oberhausen.

The move comes amidst a wave of anti-war sentiment in Germany, which broke ranks with the United States on the Iraq issue six months ago when German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder vowed not to have any part in what he call "American adventurism" in Iraq.

Polls show 80 per cent of Germans oppose the war, and tens of thousands of Germans have taken to the streets this week to protest against the outbreak of hostilities.

"The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen denounces the aggressive policies espoused by the governments of Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the USA, which have led them to disregard international law and condone the deaths of thousands of innocent human beings," the festival said in a statement.

"In the almost 50 years of its existence, the oldest short film festival in the world has discovered and promoted many artists from all over the world. Our work, as that of any other international festival, is geared towards a better understanding between different nations.

"We have therefore decided not to tolerate the presence of any official representatives of the Aznar, Berlusconi, Blair and Bush administrations at our festival."

Festival press spokeswoman Sabina Niewalda told Deutsche Presse- Agentur and not to filmmakers from those four countries.

"In the past we have always sent invitations to embassy and consular officials who have generally showed great interest in attending the ceremonies," she said.

"This year, in view of the situation, it was decided they should not be invited. But this exclusion does not extend to representatives of cultural organizations from those countries."

Films are chosen from more than 350 entries each year for the festival which has a reputation for innovation and controversy - as demonstrated again this year. - Sapa-DPA

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.