Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei to join Stockholm Film Festival jury

Ai Weiwei, who has no Internet access and is prohibited from traveling outside of China, has been chosen for the jury at the annual Stockholm Film Festival.
(Andy Wong / Associated Press)

Ai Weiwei will join the jury of the annual Stockholm Film Festival, although it’s questionable if the Chinese dissident artist will be able to attend.

The panel, mostly composed of film industry professionals, each year reserves one seat for an artist outside of film, which Ai will fill, organizers announced Monday.

Festival director Git Scheynius said the artist was chosen for the panel to symbolize the repression of artists and journalists.

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The political activist is hard to reach: He is without Internet access and his travel outside of China is prohibited, according to reports. Still, festival officials hope he’ll somehow be able to participate.


“We still look forward to welcoming Ai Weiwei to the festival and hope the Chinese authorities will lift his travel prohibition,” Scheynius said.

The annual festival, which this year will focus on the theme of freedom, will run Nov. 6 to 17 with more than 180 films from over 50 countries in competition.

Ai, a free speech and human rights proponent who has openly criticized the Chinese government, spent 81 days in jail in 2011 without official charges being filed.

The artist and his secret detention were also the subject of the 2012 documentary “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.”


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