Posted on January 28, 2005

Screening of Murdered Director’s Movie Pulled at Rotterdam Film Festival

AFP, Jan. 24

THE HAGUE — The producers of “Submission”, a film about Islam by the murdered Dutch movie director Theo van Gogh, have cancelled plans to show the film at this week’s Rotterdam film festival due to security fears, organisers said.

“The festival will respect the decision by Column Producties,” the organisers of the 34th International Film Festival Rotterdam, which opens on Wednesday, said in a statement.

The film, which deals with Islam and the abuse of women, was due to have been shown amid tight security on January 30 on the sidelines of a major debate about freedom of expression in filmmaking.

“This should not prevent the debate from taking place,” Column Producties stressed in a statement.

Van Gogh, an outspoken columnist and filmmaker, was murdered by a suspected Muslim extremist last November, a few months after “Submission” was shown on Dutch television, causing an uproar in the Muslim community.

Two other of his movies are due to be shown during the 10-day festival, which focuses on independent, creative and experimental filmmaking.