Polish director takes preem in own hands

PRAGUE — Prague Film Enterprises is crying foul after Polish director Wiktor Grodecki allegedly snatched five copies of his own first feature film, “Mandragora,” canceled the its skedded premiere and arranged his own Wednesday night in a different moviehouse.

The pic has a lot of buzz on the film fest circuit and its subject matter is getting a lot of scrutiny in the Czech Republic at the moment.

The switch took place when the manager of Prague Film Enterprises — the company that produced the film — was out sick from the office just a week before the scheduled Oct. 22 premiere.

Grodecki claims the film, which deals with underage male prostitution, was so controversial he needed to handle it himself. The Grodecki-arranged premiere attracted mainly cast and crew as it was, obviously, hastily arranged.

Prague Film Enterprises claims it had arranged distribution with a small company called Astra. PFE also claims it hired Grodecki to make one film, and he turned out a violent and sexually explicit version that runs half an hour longer than intended.

Other sources contend that Grodecki has engineered the whole uproar himself in order to attract attention to the film.

In any case, “Mandragora,” which premiered in Toronto, will screen as part of the American Film Institute Festival at 2 p.m. Friday at the GCC Galaxy in Hollywood.

Unless Grodecki decides to strike again.

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