At this year’s Berlinale, the scheduled gala screening of the Norwegian animated children's movie Just Super was cancelled at short notice, following inquiries by Anti-Racism Task Force for European Film (ARTEF), claiming the movie featured racist content.
The Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) have written a letter to ARTEF, questioning by what mandate ARTEF intervenes in scheduled programming at film festivals. The NFI has perceived ARTEF to be a network for training and education towards diversity in the European film industry.
The letter presents the NFIs views on the inquiries from ARTEF and the subsequent events that caused the last minute cancellation of the Just Super gala premiere. The incident was widely reported in both international and Norwegian media.
– The Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) is deeply concerned about the implications this incident might have for the artistic freedom of filmmakers, and the editorial freedom and independence of international film festivals, states Kjersti Mo, CEO of the NFI, and Dag Asbjørnsen, Head of Section International Relations at the NFI.
The letter has been sent to ARTEF, and CC-ed to the Berlinale and 24 European film industry bodies, including the European Film Academy, The European Film Market, European Film Promotion and European Producers Club.
The board of the European Film Academy has reviewed the NFI letter, and informs the NFI that EFA Director Matthijs Wouter Knol has decided to step down from his administrative role as one of three current Directors of ARTEF andf from its nine-member Steering Group.