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Almost a year later and the Sitges Festival director is clear of all charges over the screening of A Serbian Film back in 2010

02.23.2012by: Marcey Papandrea

Going back almost a year ago, we found out that Sitges Festival Director Ángel Sala was being charged with exhibiting child pornography in conjunction with A SERBIAN FILM being shown at the event.

The charges sounded absolutely ludicrous to me, having seen the film in both uncut and cut formats I can say that while there are certain disturbing elements, there is never a time where it appears a child was abused in anyway with its filming and what we see on camera is implied. Its message is against abuse, and it seemed rather crazy that this action was taken.

Well the good news for Sala and Sitges is that the charges were dropped; if he did get convicted he may have faced jail time! It is also I’d say a victory for films such as A SERBIAN FILM to be allowed to be seen, and with the understanding that in this case what they claimed as not true. The charges being dropped meant that the film was ruled as not pornographic and it fell within the ‘gore genre’. Despite what it depicted its message of anti-violence was clear.

The festival made the following statement: We would like to thank all the signs of support from every corner of the world during the past few months, and in particular the trust shown by the public institutions involved in the Festival (the Government of Catalonia, Sitges Town Hall, Spain's Ministry of Culture), as well as all Festival Foundation board members, sponsors, and collaborators that make the festival possible. We would also like to extend this gratitude to our lawyers and the legal assistance team in charge of the case.

It seems a bit much that this all went down, and I hope that in the future research is done before taking such action. Of course if there was a film where the abuse was real, I’d definitely want action taken but against those that committed the acts, sounds fair no?

Extra Tidbit: This whole case reminds me of what happened to director Ruggero Deodato and how he had to go to court to prove that CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST wasn’t actually a snuff film, and the actors were all alive and well.

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