Anger over far-right party being invited to the opening of the Berlin Film Festival

The invitation of the far-right Alternative for Germany party to attend the opening of the 74th Berlin International Film Festival on 15 February angered many artists attending the global event, and 250 people working in the film industry in Germany issued a statement. Had signed. The invitation is being condemned. But according to Deadline, it was removed due to party backlash and fear of retaliation from those who signed the statement.

Several German newspapers addressed the call and criticized it, and several German actors, writers and directors expressed their dissatisfaction on social media.

Dennis Gansel – one of the most prominent German directors to participate in the festival, and producer of the 2008 film “The Wave” and the series “The Boat” – sent a message to the “Deadline” website in which he said, “Inviting “The opposition from far-right people is a big problem for a film festival that represents cultural diversity and liberalism.”

He added, “The number of supporters of the Alternative for Germany party is constantly growing, so civil resistance at any level is extremely important.”

The German director – despite refusing to invite party representatives – did not rule out expected reactions as a result of banning any party, indicating that communication is a necessity.

He said, “We must not forget that banning a political party or banning its members will not save us in the long run. We must continue dialogue and debate with supporters of the Alternative for Germany party, many of whom are voters. We can and should debate with those we are with. This is our best opportunity to avoid “further damage to our democracy.”

Gansel – who most recently directed 11 episodes of the World War II series “The Boat” – became cinematically famous for his film “The Wave”, which achieved great success at the “Sundance” Festival in 2008. And it's an exciting political allegory in which a teacher creates a social experiment during which he plays the role of a dictator to show his students the nature of life.

Gansel has won several German Film Awards and Bavarian Film Awards, and is also known for directing the Jason Statham film “Mechanic” in 2016.

In terms of response to voices criticizing the festival, its administration released a statement in which it said, “The Berlin Festival stands against right-wing extremism,” and that it would write to the Alternative for Germany party to express this. “Clearly and clearly.”

Festival directors Mariette Reisenbach and Carlo Chatrian during a press conference ahead of the 74th session (Getty Images)

In contrast to the position of the artists and filmmakers, German Culture Minister Claudia Roth supported the invitation and told local journalists that the invitation was sent based on a “suggestion” from her office.

The Alternative for Germany party currently ranks second in opinion polls in Germany, but in recent weeks thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest against the party, whose ideology has been described as anti-Islam and anti-immigration.

Last week, the festival administration revealed the 20 films selected for the official competition, and announced that the festival's inaugural film is “Little Things Like These”, based on a novel by Irish author Claire Keegan to be published in 2021. Was.

American director Martin Scorsese will receive an honorary “Golden Bear” for lifetime achievement during this year's festival, and Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o will chair the international jury.

The Berlin International Film Festival, in its 74th season, brings together a group of the world's most prominent cinematic productions in its official competition, including an American film for the opening, 6 films directed by women and an Iranian film.

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