‘Sparta’: Ulrich Seidl’s film withdrawn from Toronto will be at the San Sebastian Film Festival

Sparta from Ulrich Seidl has been withdrawn since Toronto International Film Festival with allegations of impropriety and child exploitation, but its premiere at the San Sebastián Film Festival next week’s there will be as expected.

A spokesman for the Spanish festival told a variety that Sparta will remain in competition.

Providing a three point list explaining their reasoningSan Sebastián states that:

“the festival team evaluates films after their viewing based on their interest and quality” and that the event “does not have the ability to judge how a film was made and whether a crime was committed during filming . If anyone has any evidence of a crime, he should report it to a judge.”

This means that Sparta will have its world premiere on September 18 in San Sebastian, where it will compete for the festival’s top Golden Shell prize as part of the Official Selection.

Glenn Close she is overseeing the judging panel for the 70th edition of the festival, which includes French casting director and director Antoinette Boulat. Danish director and screenwriter Tea Lindeburg; thethe Argentine producer Matías Mosteirín. Spanish author and journalist Rosa Montero; Lesotho filmmaker and visual artist Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese; and Icelandic director and screenwriter Hlynur Pálmason.

The news comes a day after the Toronto Film Festival pulled out following an explosive investigation by German magazine Der Spiegel.

The investigation, published on September 2, claims that Seidl did not communicate the film’s pedophilia theme to its young actors, who ranged in age from 9 to 16 and did not come from professional backgrounds. It is also alleged that the actors were confronted with alcoholism, nudity and violence during production without proper preparation or support.

Der Spiegel says its reporters have spent more than six months investigating the production of Sparta in Germany, Austria and Romania, and spoke to dozens of crew members, including some actors.

Seidl he denied all allegations. In a lengthy statement the director wrote: “My films are not the product of me manipulating my actors, misrepresenting the film for them, much less abusing them. On the contrary: without the trust that we build over weeks and months together, the long shooting periods that my films require would be impossible. I have the utmost respect for all my actors and would never make a decision that would in any way endanger their physical and psychological well-being.”.

Seidl Films

Seidl is a prominent European director best known for his gritty and hard-hitting German-language films that often feature explicit sex scenes. His films”Import Export” (2007) and “Paradise: Love” (2012) both competed for the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

rimini seidl sparta

His latest film, “Rimini”, it screened in Official Competition at the Berlinale earlier this year. The film centers on singer Richie Bravo who returns to his hometown of Rimini in the dead of winter to find the money his estranged daughter is asking for. Sparta is meant as an accompaniment to “Rimini” and follows Richie Bravo’s brother.

Sparta centers on his 40-year-old brother, who moves to a remote part of Austria to start a new life and, together with a group of young boys from the area, transforms a rundown school into a fortress. However, the man is forced to deal with his pedophile impulses.

The film was scheduled for five screenings in Toronto, including press and industry screenings, before being pulled ahead of its world premiere on September 9.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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