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Sitges fest chief faces lawsuit

'Serbian' lands Angel Sala in hot water

Adding another chapter to Spain’s “A Serbian Film” saga, the Barcelona public prosecutor has lodged a complaint against Sitges Festival director Angel Sala, accusing him of screening child porn.

Serb helmer Srdjan Spasojevic’s feature debut turns on an unemployed adult film star lured back to work on a sex opus that is, in fact, a snuff movie.

The porn charge relates to two rape scenes, one involving a baby, another a boy of around 11. The baby was represented by a doll and the child’s legs by animatronics.

“A Serbian Film” played uncut three times at October’s Sitges in latenight sessions, stirring a wide range of reactions from critics as to its artistic quality.

Those screenings moved the Catholic Confederation of Family and Student Parents to lodge a complaint with Barcelona’s public prosecutor for minors.

San Sebastian’s Fantasy and Terror Film Week in November pulled the pic after a local judge served a provisional injunction on the film banning its screening.

“Film” has played numerous fests, winning a Fipresci prize at Serbia’s Vrnjacka Banja fest. It played uncut at the Cannes market in May. On Saturday, it won a special jury prize at Fantasporto’s main competition in Portugal.

However, pic was pulled by London’s FrightFest in August after the British Board of Film Classification demanded four minutes of cuts.

The Barcelona prosecutor’s move has stirred a wave of dissent in Spain, with fest heads set to sign a letter of protest at the complaint lodged against Sala.

Writing in El Pais, helmer David Trueba argued Monday that “If we believe everything shown on a screen is real, Christopher Lee will be arrested one day accused of biting young virgins’ jugular veins.” “If it hadn’t been for the injunction, we would have screened ‘Film’ uncut at half-past-midnight in an adults-only session,” said Jose Luis Rebordinos, the former director of November’s San Sebastian’s Fantasy and Terror Film Week and now director of the San Sebastian Film Festival.

(Anson Woodring in Madrid and Martin Dale in Lisbon contributed to this report.)

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