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European Film Academy Joins Protest Against Polish Public Broadcaster’s Attack on ‘Ida’

LONDON — The board of the European Film Academy has backed the Polish Directors’ Guild and more than 90 Polish film journalists in their protest against the treatment of Oscar and European Film Award winner “Ida” by Poland’s public broadcaster TVP.

News of the Polish Directors’ Guild protest was first published in Variety on Monday.

Pawel Pawlikowski’s film, which won the awards for European film, director, screenwriter, cinematographer and the People’s Choice Award at the 2014 European Film Awards, as well as the foreign-language film Oscar last year, was screened on TVP2 on Thursday, following a 12-minute editorial program claiming the film to be inaccurate, alleging that it won an Oscar only because of its pro-Jewish point of view, and adding title cards in such a way that they could have been thought to be part of the film itself.

The EFA board said in a statement: “While the board of the European Film Academy defends the plurality of opinions about films, and the right for open discussions about them, it cannot accept the manipulation of such a discussion by a one-sided judgement preceding its screening.

“The board of the European Film Academy wishes to underline once again its firm belief in the freedom of speech and expression as one of the substantial pillars of modern democracy.”

“The European Film Academy defends the right of all film artists to have their films presented in an unprejudiced, unbiased forum, without any context of manipulation as has happened on TVP in the case of ‘Ida,’” EFA deputy chairman Mike Downey said. “Freedom of expression is crucial on all platforms — as opposed to the liberty of distortion that TVP2 has taken.”

The 29th edition of the European Film Awards takes place on Dec. 10 in Wroclaw, Poland, which is this year’s European Capital of Culture.

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