Armenia Puts the Kibosh on Azerbaijani Film Festival
Its films did not feature the graphic violence of Pazolini’s “Salo” or the merciless satire of Sasha Baron Cohen’s “Borat." The single criticism of Armenia's "Stop" film festival was that its films were made in the enemy state, Azerbaijan. And, now, faced with a campaign of threats and abuse, the organizers have called the festival off.
After being drubbed out of the northern city of Gyumri, the organizers tried to show their collection of short, human-interest films in the nearby city of Vanadzor, but called it a day after the intimidation and threats of violence continued.
Political forces across party lines, several NGOs and media companies issued a letter that warned organizers that there would be consequences in Vanadzor, too, and that the festival organizers would bear the responsibility.
A previous attempt to screen Azerbaijani films in Armenia also fell through in 2010. The organizers said they will keep trying to promote free thinking and help audiences on both sides of the 24-year-long Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan see through the veil of propaganda.
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