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Director says film censorship attempt backfir -

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PETER CAVE: The director of the Melbourne Film Festival says he rejected a request from the Chinese
Consulate in Melbourne to remove a film from the program.

The documentary is about exiled Uighur leader, Rebiya Kadeer, who's been accused by China of
instigating the recent ethnic clashes in Xinjiang.

The film's director says if the Chinese Government wants to deflect attention from the plight of
the Uighur people, it's going about it the wrong way.

Simon Lauder reports.

SIMON LAUDER: The life of Rebiya Kadeer is fertile ground for a filmmaker, involving a rags to
riches story, as six-year stint in jail and then a new life as a leader in exile and ambassador for
the Chinese ethnic minority, the Uighur.

(Excerpt from film)

JEFF DANIELS: Released but exiled 7,000 miles away from her children, she has become one of China's
loudest forces of dissent. But at what cost to her family?

(End of excerpt)

SIMON LAUDER: Melbourne Film maker Jeff Daniels.

JEFF DANIELS: I've been working on this film for about seven years now.

SIMON LAUDER: The film is called The 10 Conditions of Love and it's clear it's a film the Chinese
authorities don't want to see. Richard Moore of the director of the Melbourne International Film
Festival, where the documentary is due to premiere next month.

RICHARD MOORE: On Friday I received a call from Ms Chen who is based here in Melbourne at the
Chinese Consulate. She said "I am urging you to withdraw this film from the festival".

I said I had no reason to withdraw the film from the festival, she then proceeded to tell me that I
had to justify my decision to include the film in the festival.

SIMON LAUDER: Just this month the plight of the Uighur people and their struggle for rights was
highlighted around the world after days of bloody clashes with Han Chinese in far western China.

Rebiya Kadeer has been nominated for a Nobel Prize for her efforts to highlight the plight of her
people. The head of the World Uighur Congress has spent six years in a Chinese prison on charges of
leaking state secrets and has lived in exile in the US since 2005.

The Chinese Government has blamed Uighur extremists for terrorist attacks in the lead up to the
Beijing Olympics and accused Ms Kadeer of inciting the recent riots.

(Excerpt from film)

REBIYA KADEER: They can't make me stop what I'm doing.

(End of excerpt)

SIMON LAUDER: The World Today has sought a response to the claim that China is using its diplomats
to try to censor the Melbourne Film Festival, but calls to the consulate have not been returned.

Filmmaker Jeff Daniels, says he's had mixed success in his efforts to consult the Chinese

JEFF DANIELS: I've, over the past 2.5 years tried to contact the Chinese Consulate in Melbourne and
Canberra, as well as in New York and Washington D.C., and talk about Xinjiang province, but the
second I talk about Rebiya Kadeer the conversation is over.

Suddenly I'm being interviewed: How do I know Rebiya Kadeer? What contact do I have with her? Who
else is involved in my film and where will it be screened?

SIMON LAUDER: How scared is the Chinese Government of Rebiya Kadeer, and any publicity she might

JEFF DANIELS: I think that a story like this is really what they fear, providing any sort of
platform for Ms Kadeer to speak and express her views is something that the Chinese Government has
been trying to stop.

I mean she tried to do that in China and she ended up in prison for six years. So I think that this
is exactly what they don't want, and I find it interesting that they've actually provoked it.

SIMON LAUDER: Monash University China expert, Dr Dennis Woodward, says Chinese authorities are
worried the problems of the Uighur people will become a popular cause in the same way the Tibetan
cause has been taken up globally.

He's not surprised they tried to pressure the film festival organisers.

DENNIS WOODWARD: A lot of Chinese officials are not unprepared to use not just diplomatic pressure,
but other pressure to achieve certain results. Typically they'll show their displeasure if someone
is seen to be doing something which is unfriendly towards China.

SIMON LAUDER: Do you think it was a mistake for China to attempt to exert this soft power over the
director of a film festival?

DENNIS WOODWARD: Oh absolutely. I think that it's totally counter-productive.

SIMON LAUDER: So why do you suspect the consular official tried it anyway?

DENNIS WOODWARD: Look I suspect that partly it was to do with a mindset where, within China the
Government has much greater controls over the activities of civil society than in Western liberal

And so they think that in the Australian case that the Australian Government have the same power,
and blame Australian governments when they don't crack down on groups that the Chinese Government
would like to crack down on.

PETER CAVE: Monash University's Dr Dennis Woodward speaking to Simon Lauder.