The German Federal Supreme Court has lifted the ban on Martin Weisz’s Butterfly – A Grimm Story (Rohtenburg), a horror film based on the true story of a cannibal.

The award-winning film was inspired by the story of Armin Meiwes, dubbed the “Cannibal of Rotenburg”. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in May 2006 for killing and eating a man he had met over the internet in 2001.

In spring 2006, the upper state court in Kassel upheld a complaint from Meiwes’ that the film unjustifiably infringed his personal rights and dismissed the production company Atlantic Streamline’s argument about the right to artistic freedom. However, the Supreme Court has now reversed its ruling with the filmmakers’ rights now taking precedence of Meiwes’, which means the film can now be released theatrically in Germany.

Senator Entertainment previously held the distribution rights to the film and planned to release it on March 9 2006. Following the injunction, Senator returned the rights Atlantic Streamline.

Commenting on the court decision, Senator Entertainment board member Helge Sasse said he was “very satisfied” with the decision. “It is a positive signal to the whole industry. I am pleased that the way is now also free for this prize-winning film in Germany and Marco’s film may at last see the actual light of day.”

Weisz’s film won prizes at festivals in Sitges, South Korea’s Puchon and Luxembourg in 2006.