BEIJING (CelebrityAccess) — Chinese authorities prevented an annual independent film festival from opening, seizing documents and detaining two event staffers hours before it was set to start.
According to the Associated Press, film critic and founder of the Li Xianting Film Fund Li Xianting said his office was searched by Chinese authorities, who confiscated years worth of materials. Both Li, and the festival's artistic director Wang Hongwei were briefly detained by police.
"In the past few years, when they forced us to cancel the festival, we just moved it to other places, or delayed the screenings," Li told the Associated Press. "But this year, we cannot carry on with the festival. It is completely forbidden."
The festival, which began in 2006, has experienced increasing obstruction from chinese officials in recent years.
Li also told the Associated Press that festival's executive director, Fan Rong, and Wang were detained by Songzhuang police on Friday afternoon and forced to sign a letter promising to cancel he event. – Staff Writers