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Montreal Festival controversial situation

Herewith an information sent to foreign media by The Montreal World Film Festival regarding Spectra and Moritz de Hadeln.
We are publishing this without any comment at this stage.

"We have enjoined Spectra not to use the legal names under which the World Film Festival is registered and known worldwide. Despite this, we have been apprised from reports in the press, that Spectra is using the name Festival International de Films de Montréal and New Montreal International Film Festival. These names have belonged to us by law since the MWFF was created in 1977.

In our regulations, published annually, the names Festival International du Film de Montréal and Montreal International Film Festival have been present since 1977.

Cannes is officially registered in the name of Festival International du Film de Cannes, but everyone calls it the Cannes Film Festival, or simply Cannes. Similarly, we are often identified as the Festival de Montréal (also legally registered by us). Spectra cannot try to appropriate our name by merely adding the adjective “New”, as in “New” Montreal International Film Festival. This would be like adopting the name “New Spectra” even while Spectra exists.

Besides our name, Spectra is also usurping our mandate, which has also been established since 1977.

As for the nomination of Mr. de Hadeln as “Artistic Director” of the Spectra-organized festival, it would be hard to see how he could do more than the MWFF to help Montreal on the international scene. All he would be adding would be controversy and confusion.

In the spring of 2003, Mr. de Hadeln, during his brief stint as director of the Venice Festival, worked hard through FIAPF to attack the MWFF, even though we had renounced our FIAPF accreditation back on December 2, 2002. This is the same Mr. de Hadeln who, ten years earlier, invited the directors of all the international film festivals (save Cannes) to his office in Berlin in order to get rid of FIAPF. The MWFF opposed his efforts and they failed.

At all the festivals with which he had been associated, Mr. de Hadeln never deigned to groom a successor. Furthermore, his stays at the festivals of Berlin and Venice both ended in his leaving amid controversy. At Venice, his stint lasted just two years. Unemployed since then, he offered his services to the Teheran festival, which declined.

We find it scandalous that this individual would be imported at a cost of $650,000 of taxpayer-supported money for two years of part-time work when there are plenty of competent film people in Quebec and Canada. In no other international film festival is a programmer or director paid a similar sum. It is false to imagine that Mr. de Hadeln can organize another Montreal film festival superior to the MWFF, whose international reputation has long been established. We have flown Montreal’s banner internationally – without Mr. de Hadeln’s help – for 28 years! "

The Montreal World Film Festival

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