CANBERRA -- Three Chinese films have been withdrawn from this year's Melbourne International Film Festival in protest of the inclusion of a documentary about Rebiya Kadeer -- the leader of the World Uygur Congress.
The films -- "Perfect Life," "Petition" and "Cry Me a River," -- had been expected to be screened in the mid-August festival, according to the Age newspaper in Melbourne.
But in a letter to the festival, Jia Zhangke, producer of the film "Perfect Life" and whose company also produced "Cry Me a River," said he decided to withdraw both movies to protest Kadeer's attendance at the event.
"Petition," a film directed by Zhao Liang, has also been withdrawn from the festival.
Jia said most of the families of those killed in the deadly July 5 riot in Urumqi, the capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, believe Kadeer's World Uygur Congress was behind the violence.
The rioting left 197 people dead and more than 1,600 injured. The houses of 633 families were damaged and 627 vehicles were smashed or torched.
An official in the Chinese embassy in Canberra told Xinhua on Wednesday they are opposed to a screening of the documentary about Kadeer and are strongly against her attendance at the event.