Chinese artist and political activist complements festival’s spotlight on “freedom”.
Ai Weiwei, the Chinese artist and subject of an award-winning documentary, is to join the jury of the 24th Stockholm International Film Festival (Nov 6-17).
Stockholm’s festival jury always features film industry figures but saves one seat for a personality from an art form other than film, which Weiwei will fill this year.
However, for the first time in the festival history, there is a risk that a jury member might not be physically present during the festival, as Ai Weiwei currently is being prohibited from travelling outside of China.
SIFF director Git Scheynius said: “We still look forward to welcoming Ai Weiwei to the festival and hope the Chinese authorities will lift his travel prohibition.”
This year’s spotlight is ”freedom” and will highlight the fact that many filmmakers, artists and journalists are still unable to perform their work without the influence of censorship.
As a political activist, Ai Weiwei has been openly critical of the Chinese Government’s stance on democracy and human rights. In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing Airport, he was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed.
The artist was the subject of a documentary last year, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, which won the special jury prize at Sundance.