Ai Weiwei hits out at film censorship over Berlin I Love You

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Ai Weiwei attended the Cinema For Peace Gala at the Berlin Film Festival on 11 FebruaryImage source, EPA
Image caption,
Ai Weiwei attended the Cinema For Peace Gala at the Berlin Film Festival on 11 February

Artist Ai Weiwei has accused the producers of a film he worked on of cutting his part because they didn't want to upset the Chinese authorities.

Ai directed a segment of Berlin I Love You - but his "episode" didn't end up in the finished version.

He told German news outlet DW that producers had told him his involvement might damage their chances of making a new film in Shanghai.

He also said the Berlin Film Festival refused to show the unedited version.

"The festival told them, if Ai Weiwei's in there, the film can never be accepted," he told DW.

"Also they told me because they're involved in making a Shanghai I Love You, the producer there also thinks that putting my episode in their film would damage their possibilities."

Ai has long been an outspoken critic the Chinese government and was arrested for several months in 2011 and had his passport confiscated. He then moved to Berlin in 2015.

DW reporter Melissa Chan quoted Berlin I Love You's producer Claus Clausen as saying: "We had to decide. We wanted to do it [include Ai's segment]. We were desperate to do it but we couldn't.

"I never thought there would be so much fear and influence out there."

The film wasn't screened at the Berlin Film Festival, which ended on Sunday.

A spokeswoman for the festival told BBC News they would only comment on films that had been selected for the event.

She added: "But we can confirm that the involvement of Ai Weiwei would never be a criteria for choosing or not choosing a film."

Mr Clausen has not responded to a request from BBC News for comment.

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