Ulrich Seidl To Screen New Combined Version Of His Films ‘Rimini’ & ‘Sparta’ At Rotterdam Film Festival

Austrian filmmaker Ulrich Seidl is set to debut a new combined version of his 2022 films Rimini and Sparta at the Rotterdam Film Festival later this month.

The new pic is titled Wicked Games Rimini Sparta and runs 205 minutes long. A description of the pic on the Rotterdam festival website states that footage from both films is “tightly interwoven,” creating a “devastatingly bleak vision of lost childhood as a state of mind.”

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Rimini debuted at Berlin 2022. Sparta was set to screen at Toronto but was pulled from the lineup following a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel that raised concerns about the treatment of younger cast members during the production. Filmfest Hamburg also scrapped plans to give its prestigious Douglas Sirk Prize to the director following the newspaper report. However, the film continued to screen at San Sebastian.

Sparta follows a German man battling his inclination to pedophilia who seeks a fresh start in a Romanian backwater where he transforms a decaying school into a safe place for local children. The production features Romanian child actors aged between 9-16.

According to Der Spiegel’s investigative report, the parents of these actors were not made aware of the film’s themes or subject matter during production.

Seidl denied that any improprieties took place during the shoot, posting a statement on his website responding to the article.

“Inaccurate representations, rumors or events taken out of context on the set of SPARTA are assembled into a distorted picture that in no way corresponds to the facts,” he wrote.

Ulrich Seidl, Philippe Bober, and Michel Merkt are producers on the new combined film. Coproduction Office is on sales.

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