Chinese films withdraw from Melbourne Film Festival to protest Rebiya's attendence

Source: [15:22 July 24 2009]

Chinese film directors Jia Zhangke and Zhao Liang have decided to withdraw the three films to be shown at this year's Melbourne International Film Festival. The move is to protest the inclusion of a documentary about Rebiya Kadeer, leader of the World Uygur Congress, and her invitation to the opening ceremony.

In a letter to the festival, Jia Zhangke says most of the families of those killed in the July 5th riots in Urumqi believe that Kadeer's World Uygur Congress was behind the violence.

The annual Melbourne festival is one of the most influential film festivals in the Southern Hemisphere. This year's event is scheduled to open on Friday.