Colorfully Controversial Film Fest Director Throws A Luncheon

And not in my face, ba dum pum!

At an uptown meet and greet yesterday, the Berlin International Film Festival's director, Dieter Kosslick, flaunted his eccentricities, telling me that he once got in trouble for inviting Fidel Castro to the festival.

"I created an international crisis with my behavior," he said, laughing.

The fest was showing Oliver Stone's documentary about Castro, so Kosslick nervily wrote the Cuban leader, saying, "It's normal that we invite the main actor of the film. You are the only one in this film."

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"It was before the Iraq war," he explained.

Anyway, Castro said yes, sending shockwaves around the fest, but he later decided that he couldn't make it.

No one asked why. They were probably too relieved to.

Kosslick caused another stir when he went to the North Korean Film Festival a few years ago.

"I was criticized for this by my colleagues," he told me, with pride.

Do they show international films?

"They invite filmmakers," he said, "but it could happen that you go there and your film's not there."

Oh, that wacky censorship issue!

Still, Kosslick said he was "deeply impressed" by what he saw there.

And rumors say he might go back there -- but not with Castro.


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