Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chinese films withdrawn from PSIFF over Tibetan politics

Two Chinese films selected for the 21st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), City of Life and Death and Quick, Quick, Slow, have been withdrawn in response to the screening of the documentary of The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom about the Dalai Lama and Tibet

Commenting on the films, Festival Director Darryl Macdonald said, “After meeting with representatives from the Chinese government regarding their request to cancel our screenings of The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom, we have respectfully declined their request. I’m saddened that the Chinese film authorities have chosen to withdraw their films from PSIFF, as the Festival is an international cultural event whose mandate is to present a wide cross section of perspectives and points of view. That said, we cannot allow the concerns of one country or community to dictate what films we should or should not play, based on their own cultural or political perspective. Freedom of expression is a concept that is integral both to the validity of artistic events, and indeed, to the ethos of this country.”

The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom follows the Dalai Lama’s trials and tribulations and over an eventful year, including the 2008 protests in Tibet, the long march in India, the Beijing Olympics, and the breakdown of talks with China. The film screens on Sunday, January 10 at 1:30 p.m. and Tuesday, January 12 at 4:00 p.m.

The Festival will replace City of Life and Death with the following screenings:
For a Moment Freedom (Austria/France), which centers on a group of Middle Eastern refugees who have made their way to Turkey to apply for European visas, will screen on Friday, January 8 at 11:30 a.m.
Sticky Fingers (Canada/France/Spain), a comedy about six of the world’s worst gangsters, will screen on Sunday, January 10 at 5:30 p.m.

Replacement screenings for Quick, Quick, Slow will be announced at a later date.

The PSIFF opens today! Celebrating its 21st anniversary, PSIFF was founded in 1990 by then-Mayor Sonny Bono. This year’s Festival will include over 180 films from approximately 70 countries. The Festival presents a majority of the films submitted for consideration in the Best Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards, as well as a large number of American independent and international features and documentaries marking their world, North American or U.S. debuts. Screenings are held on 15 screens throughout Palm Springs.

For Palm Springs International Film Festival information visit
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Visit: "The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom" Facebook Group

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