If you are among the poor and wretched masses that have been subjugated to one of or—God help you—all of director Uwe Boll’s films, you have our sympathy. And yet despite the avalanche of criticism against the German filmmaker, he simply refuses to quit and has gone on to challenge his critics to verbal debates, taken to publicly insulting them, even going as far as to set up boxing matches against critics. But now he may have outdone himself, as he is seeking to file criminal charges against the Berlinale film festival–over the matter of a 125 Euro ($175) entry fee.
In Boll’s latest bought with ridiculousness, the director is claiming that his required entry fee is an example of a breach of trust and unfair competition. Boll claims that the 125 Euro entry fee is unfair to his film, as many other movies have had their entry fees waived. He also believes that the festival’s director Dieter Kosslick was acting in bad faith, and would not judge the film on its own merits. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Boll plans to file criminal charges with Berlin’s state attorney next week to go with the pending lawsuit he has already filed.
“Kosslick has been fighting me for the last 25 years, as Berlin festival director and before, when he was head of (German regional film board) the NRW Filmstiftung,” Boll said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t believe the Berlinale handles all films fairly. Kosslick has his deals with the major studios and invites his old pals from the Filmstiftung days. There isn’t fair competition.”
At the heart of the dispute is Uwe Boll’s newest offering. Where the majority of his career has been spent butchering video game adaptions, Boll has decided to show the world his more artistic side, God help us all. His upcoming film is called Auschwitz, and it is of course based on the concentration camp of the same name.
If this doesn’t send shivers of weird down your spine, please go watch Blood Rayne, Postal, or In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, then try to imagine the man behind those gems being responsible for telling the true story of one of the most horrible and soul-crushing places ever to exist. When people try to think of inappropriate film pairings to use in conversation as a joke, like saying “imagine Michael Bay remaking Citizen Cane”, this example of Boll filming a story about Auschwitz should set the new standard. Feel free to google the trailer yourselves, but be warned, beyond the graphic nature of the clip, it is also very stupid. By the way, the guard at the beginning is Boll himself (the picture above is Boll in costume as the Nazi guard).
As for the entry fee, the fraud and bad feelings stem from Boll being forced to pay it, while several of his Hollywood and other well financed cohorts have had the fee waived. There is a very simple explanation for that according to the Berlinale—they were invited where Boll was not.
“The entry fee is only required for films that apply to the festival,” Frauke Greiner, Berlinale’s head of press, told THR. “[Our guidelines allow us to] waive the fee for films we invite to be submitted, which is the case for many films we screen outside of Germany. It is all legal.”
In other words, the film festival’s decision makers thought Boll’s films were kinda leaning towards terrible, so they didn’t invite him. In response Boll is suing and will seek felony charges against the festival. Thanks for keeping things spicy, Uwe.