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More controversy at the Melbourne Internation -

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PETER CAVE: A documentary on the exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer was not one of the headlining
events at the Melbourne International Film Festival but thanks to the film, the festival now has
made headlines around the world.

The Festival's website has been hacked into in protest about the decision to defy the Chinese
Embassy and show the film on Rebiya Kadeer.

Lexi Metherell reports.

LEXI METHERELL: There was little fanfare over a documentary on Rebiya Kadeer to be shown at the
Melbourne International Film Festival.

That was until the festival's director Richard Moore went public on a phone call he received from
the Chinese consulate in Melbourne, demanding that he drop the film.

RICHARD MOORE: We have leapt out of the arts pages onto the news pages and become a sort of like an
international incident.

LEXI METHERELL: Now in an act of retaliation to the festival's decision to screen the documentary,
the festival's website has been hacked into.

RICHARD MOORE: This little Chinese flag sort of popped up and went ding-da-ding-ding-ding and there
was a message on it that said basically they objected to the presence of this film. They were a
concerned Chinese citizen and Rebiya Kadeer was a terrorist.

LEXI METHERELL: Four Chinese produced films have already been pulled by their film makers who say
they're protesting against the showing of the documentary.

Richard Moore doesn't know for sure but suspects the film makers have come under pressure from the
Chinese Government.

He's told local radio today that the festival website has also been inundated with traffic and
emails from China.

RICHARD MOORE: We had 80,000 hits on our website on Sunday alone, not related to ticketing. We
normally would have 10,000 hits a day - 80,000! The volume is amazing. Apparently there are
bulletin boards going out in China saying must attack the MIFF website.

LEXI METHERELL: David Brophy is completing his PHD on Uighur History at Harvard University.

He says it's unlikely the Chinese Government would be so concerned about the film's screening if
not for the recent unrest in Western China.

DAVID BROPHY: The blog response to what happened in Urumqi has been has been quite ferocious with
only a small minority of voices calling for a more calm approach and reconciliation generally being
drowned out by the cries of Han Chinese who feel that they are getting the raw end of the stick in
this matter.

They feel wronged against in the case of Urumqi and they feel the Western press and I guess by
extension the culture industry in the West, including film festivals, have got things the wrong way
around.

LEXI METHERELL: Rebiya Kadeer is soon to arrive in Australia to speak at the festival and the
Chinese embassy has made representations to the Department of Foreign Affairs about her visit.

David Brophy says the Chinese Government has gone out of its way to demonise the Uighur leader but
he says the Government's recent action at the film festival may be working against it.

DAVID BROPHY: All of the attention that's been placed on Rebiya Kadeer through the boycott of the
film festival among other things has only increased her profile.

LEXI METHERELL: The controversy has been great publicity for the festival. It says the film on
Rebiya Kadeer has sold out.

But even so Richard Moore is considering following the covert approach the Venice Film Festival
takes to showing Chinese films in future.

RICHARD MOORE: You don't publish the information so the Chinese officials don't know it's
happening. The audience are already attuned to the fact that there is going to be an independent
Chinese film on in that slot so they go for that. So I think that is what we are going to do next
year.

PETER CAVE: The director of the Melbourne International Film Festival Richard Moore, ending that
report by Lexi Metherell.