Ai Weiwei appointed to filmfest jury
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei was appointed to be on the jury of the Stockholm Film Festival on Monday, Sept 23, even though he was unlikely to be allowed to attend in person, festival organizers said.
The artist who is restricted by Chinese authorities was chosen because he is a "symbol of the repression of artists and journalists," festival director Git Scheynius told AFP.
"He is one of the most interesting artists on the planet right now. He can't express himself and he has been in jail because of his regime-critical opinions," Scheynius said, adding it was unlikely Beijing would grant permission for Ai to attend the festival.
"But he was thrilled, he said he loves films and is looking forward to taking part."
The festival's theme for 2013 is "freedom," and Scheynius said she hoped it would highlight the plight of journalists and artists unable to do their work without the influence of censorship.
"We're doing this to put pressure on the Chinese authorities," she said.
It was unclear how Ai would participate, as organizers noted his inaccessibility. But Scheynius said she was "optimistic" about Ai's participation.
The annual festival will run on November 6-17 with more than 180 films from over 50 countries in competition. - Rappler.com
Here's the trailer of 'Never Sorry,' Alison Klayman's documentary on the Chinese artist: