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French filmmaker Eugène Green has been kicked out of the San Sebastian Film Festival after refusing to comply with festival safety procedures and wear a face mask.
The U.S.-born director was booted out of the world premiere of his latest film, Atarrabi et Mikelats, on Wednesday night.
“Eugène Green, was asked up to five times by festival staff to put on [his] mask and to put it on correctly,” festival organizers said in a statement. “Finally, due to his lack of collaboration, the festival management asked him to leave the theater. … The festival has suspended the accreditation of Eugène Green, who has lost his status as a guest of the festival, for his lack of respect for the measures agreed with the health authorities and for the festival staff and for putting the health of the spectators and the film crew at risk during and after the screening.”
The festival said it has also filed a formal complaint with local police, who will investigate the matter and could fine Green for breaking the law. Green was an official guest of the festival. His new movie, a look at Basque myth, is a contender for the Irizar Basque Film Award in San Sebastian’s Zinemira sidebar, a section dedicated to Basque cinema.
After the director was ejected from the cinema, the festival continued its Q&A with Atarrabi et Mikelats actors Lukas Hiriart and Saia Hiriart.
The San Sebastian Film Festival is being held under strict hygiene measures to prevent a Covid-19 outbreak. Spain, one of the European countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, has seen infection numbers rise sharply in recent weeks. All guests to the festival are required to fill out a responsibility statement committing themselves to take the necessary measures to “avoid causing situations likely to spread the Covid-19 virus.”
Green has not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter‘s request for comment.
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