After weeks of controversy and spin, it emerged Thursday that Competition film “Lost in Beijing,” will screen in its uncut version for the Berlin public on Friday.
Berlinale press chief Frauke Greiner said that in addition to screening prints, the fest has received a letter from pic’s producers. Letter confirms that fest screening will be the same movie that was shown to buyers in the Market last week.
Although Chinese censors have not agreed to sign off on a version suitable for public screening, per Greiner, producers’ explanation for their apparent defiance is that they did not have time to recut the film again.
Helmers and producers who show films to foreign festivals without clearance of censors normally risk punishment.
In the case of “Lost,” censors originally asked for 15 cuts to scenes involving sexual content and corrupt local officials.
Subsequent meetings between censors, helmer Li Yu and producer Fang Li saw compromises on some points but fell short of total agreement.
Producers and French sales agent Films Distribution issued a statement before last week’s Market screening that said, “The integral uncensured version” would screen for buyers “regardless of the censors’ decision.”
It concluded: “He still doesn’t know which version will be discovered by the Berlinale audience.”