Animal Advocates Demand Director & Alleged Animal Abuser Be Ousted As Cannes Film Festival Jury President

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Film Director Pedro Almodovar in Cannes in 2016. Photo Credit: Reuters/Regis Duvignau/Files 

Animal protection advocates on both sides of the Atlantic are demanding that the Cannes Film Festival replace its jury president, Pedro Almodovar, claiming the award-winning director is an alleged animal abuser.

A petition by FLAC (Fédération des Luttes pour l’Abolition des Corridas) demanding Mr. Almodovar’s removal from the prestigious jury has already gathered over 25,000 signatures.

The French anti-bullfighting organization will be screening the documentary “Alinea 3” by Jérôme Lescure about the cruelty of bullfighting which will be followed by a debate in Cannes on May 24, at the Hotel Cannes Palace during the film festival. A list of international celebrities attending the screening has yet to be announced.

Pascal Durand, a member of the Green Party and European Parliament who will be attending the screening, has added his support to the movement to remove Almodovar as jury president.

The controversial Spanish film director, who was appointed to be jury president of the 2017 Festival de Cannes, has been under fire from international animal protection organizations for filming the torture and killing of six bulls for two of his movies, “Matador” and “Talk to Her.”

Photo Credit (medium.com) An animal being stabbed to death for the camera, directed by Pedro Almodovar

“Whatever talent Mr. Almodovar has as a director, it is unacceptable to have an animal torturer as jury president of a world class film festival,” said Roger Lahana, president of No Corrida, a French anti-bullfighting organization. “Art is the result of creative genius, a celebration of life. Bullfighting is the exact opposite — it is based on torture and agony, its only aim being to entertain those thirsty for blood and suffering.”

No Corrida, FLAC and California film industry animal rights org Los Angeles for Animals have joined forces to conduct a campaign to remove Mr. Almodovar as jury president of the film festival, claiming that it is unconscionable to elect a person who is involved in the deliberate torture and killing of animals for entertainment. They want him off the jury.

“Almodovar is, without a doubt, a talented filmmaker, “ says Jean-Paul Richier, French psychiatrist and animal protection advocate who disapproves of the choice. “He’s a bullfighting fan, and we can’t expect artists to be perfect, but the problem is that he mingles his passion for bullfighting with his filmmaking. In “Matador” and “Talk to Her,” the limit of decency was clearly shattered when six bulls were butchered during filming.”

Claims of animal abuse have shadowed Mr. Almodovar since 2001

In 2001, before the release of the movie, Spanish organization Amnistía Animal filed formal complaints against Mr. Almodovar with the national department of Agriculture and the government environmental agency, stating that the director had violated the animal protection law that any and all mistreatment of animals on film must be simulated and that no harm must come to the animals filmed. After the release, in March 2002, four more animal rights orgs filed additional complaints in Madrid.

Matilde Cubillo, a spokeswoman for Amnistia Animal, said: “We have denounced him for causing the suffering and death of four bulls purely in order to make his film.”

Almodovar’s production company, El Deseo, has continually denied the allegations. It said that the director, who won a best foreign film Oscar for his film “All About My Mother,” had simply filmed some training sessions which would have been held anyway.

Calls and emails to Mr. Almodovar’s representatives went unanswered.

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