The Berlinale has rejected allegations that China has an influence on the selection of films. Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong said the film festival rejected a film by Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei. Wong called for a boycott. The Berlinale now replied that the accusation was unfounded.
Festival director Carlo Chatrian said Ai Weiwei had decided to show his film at another festival before the Berlinale could decide to be included in the program. He also rejected the censorship allegations. It's about Ai Weiwei's film Vivos about cartel murders in Mexico.
"It is clear to me that Ai Weiwei was not admitted to the festival because of his political status," Wong told the world on Sunday . The Berlinale officials had not explained the decision plausibly - even though they claimed that there was no censorship.
Chatrian and Mariette Rissenbeek, who jointly head the film festival, had previously spoken out against outside interference in an interview with the Spiegel . No sponsor may influence the program. Regarding Ai Weiwei's earlier allegations that the festival boycotted his films, Chatrian said the Berlinale retrospectives were decided one to two years in advance and were devoted to film history.
The artist Ai Weiwei recently criticized Germany several times. Pretend to be open, the Germans were "very narrow-minded" and "closed", the artist had said. He had lived in Berlin for years, but recently moved to the UK.