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Exclusive – Uwe Boll Sounds off On Berlin Lawsuit

The other day I reported on a Hollywood Reporter story about how Uwe Boll is filing a lawsuit against the Berlin Film Festival over the matter of the fest’s differing requirements when it comes to the 125 euro ($170) entrance fee. The man himself then shot me off an email to clarify that his lawsuit is about more than him and a petty sum of money.

Here’s what Boll had to say (I cleaned up his English a little):

Uwe BollIf you read the guidlines to the festival it is clearly stated that everybody must pay the 125 euro or you cannot run in the festival. So what the festival says is in fact untrue. Because the (fest) director (Dieter) Kosslick waived the entry fee for a lot of movies he breached the rules and I and thousands of other filmmakers have the right to get their 125 euros back. We are talking millions of dollars.”

Basically, he’s fighting not just for himself. He’s fighting for every filmmaker that has ever had to pay the entrance fee and believes every last one of them should be issued a refund because the Berlin Film Festival’s entire financial set-up is corrupt.

Boll then forwarded me a German article that details the lawsuit from his perspective better clarifying what exactly this is all about. Here’s the link to the full length article. I think these selected paragraphs pretty much get to the heart of the matter.

“Now he raises new, serious allegations against the head of the Berlinale. “I raise this criminal complaint representatively for all the umpteen thousand candidates who pay the 125€ film admission fee from their pockets and think they’d have a fair chance – but in reality do not”, says Boll to “Welt Online”. “The whole pay system is just there to rob the small directors so that the Berlinale can cover its expenses.”

“He’s also meaning the trips abroad of the festival chief and his employees on which they watch films, which they consider interesting for the Berlinale. By his own statement Kosslick won the US western “True Grit” of director brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, which got nominated for 10 Oscars, for the Berlinale on one of these travels abroad. Boll: “A film, which I could have gotten for the Berlinale with an email, because it is showed in US cinemas for two months now and badly needs publicity in Germany! You don’t have to travel for something like that!”

But Boll is also talking about other trips. Kosslick is said to have told “Focus” about a visit of actress Cate Blanchett: “We know each other quite well now and became friends, I’ve even visited her and her family last year in Australia!” Boll to that: “So, guess who’s paid for that? Hopefully not the tax payer.”

Boll is sure that this way Dieter Kosslick is on up to 20 trips per year. “Of course always with the justification of having to screen films and meet people. If he was seeing the films which got handed in for the fee of 125€, he would not have to be out making sure the world is round indeed”, says Boll.”

Expect to hear more about this lawsuit in the weeks to come.

The Foywonder

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  • GJW

    Good luck with your films guys!!!!!
    —————————————————-
    “I have all the characteristics of a human being.Blood, flesh,skin,hair;but not a single,clear,identifiable emotion,except for greed and disgust.”

    • Cinemascribe

      Hey, thanks! When (and if) I get accepted to any of these fests I’ll be sure to let you folks know.

      ______________________________________
      “I’m saying that I’m an insect who dreamt he was a man…and loved it. But now the dream is over..and the insect is awake.” – Seth Brundle

  • theGoldenSimatar

    As a film student whose movie is gonna start going on the Festival Circuit come Summer/early Fall I can kinda side with Boll here with fees for Festivals. I won’t mind paying the fee; obviously it helps pay for the festival to operate efficiently. However; if my film doesn’t get into the festival…would like at least a partial refund. I don’t mean to sound stingy, but obviously it won’t be in every festival and if I pay $25-50~ per festival, it could mean hundreds down the drain.

    If I sent the film in early and it doesn’t play if I could get a full or at least some kind of a refund; means I can use that money to send it to another festival. A cut-off ‘no money refund’ point for submission…kinda like applications for some colleges. For me, that’d be a good solution, but chances of it happening…slim to nil.

    So, from my own perspective…I can see where he’s coming from. Now suing the Berlin Film Festival…not exactly the thing to do in my opinion. His complaint I totally agree with, his method of expressing…eh not so much.

    • Cinemascribe

      I’m right there with you,man. I’m also a film school grad and my current short is going out to a few upcoming fests this week. Some of these fees can run upwards of $40..and,like you pointed out, if you don’t get in then you eat that money.

      That’s why I have a lot of respect for Tromadance ( first on my list this year). No entry fees specifically because they feel every indie project deserves a shot at being seen without breaking the bank. LLoyd Kaufman is the man.
      —————————
      “I’m saying that I’m an insect who dreamt he was a man…and loved it. But now the dream is over..and the insect is awake.” – Seth Brundle