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The Malaga Festival withdraws a film due to accusations of sexist violence against its director | Culture

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The Malaga Festival has removed the film from its programming The day is long and dark, of the American director Julio Hernández Cordón, for having been accused of “acts of gender violence.” The management of the Malaga Spanish Film Festival, which will be held from March 1 to 10, has made this decision to “avoid situations that could threaten the vulnerability of the affected people and in line with the firm commitment of this festival to to any type of violence against women and in favor of full equality of rights, guaranteeing protection to victims in any context and circumstance,” as reported in a statement.

Sources from the Spanish association Women Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media (Cima) explain that this past Monday, February 26, they sent a letter to the director of the Malaga Festival, Juan Antonio Vigar, to warn that Julio Hernández Cordón had several complaints of sexual violence. “We write to warn. Also to say that the defense of victims must be a priority. We also asked for information about the measures that were going to be taken to address the situation and the protection of women,” the entity said. “The only thing we did was warn of the situation. We never asked for anything specific to be done, much less eliminate the work,” insist the same sources, who point out that Vigar himself responded to the letter this afternoon, at the same time that the Malaga competition made his decision public.

The accusations against Hernández Cordón became public during the month of May 2022. Four women described situations of physical and emotional violence on the website of Las Landetas, an anonymous collective of professionals in the Mexican film industry whose main objective is to “make visible the violence that It is part of the instruction and work spaces.” The testimonies describe attacks and psychological abuse, in addition to transmitting a sexually transmitted disease to one of them, knowing the director had it, according to the complainant. “He knew that this disease was active at the time and, however, he did not communicate it,” the woman states in her story. “He harassed me and insisted for months to participate as his character, when we met he was very intense and rude so I didn’t want to do it. “He continued to harass and harass me,” summarizes another of them.

In statements this Wednesday to EL PAÍS, Julio Hernández Cordón explains that the complaints are between seven and ten years old and that they pertain to “toxic relationships and arguments as a couple” that he had with those women. “What I did has no justification,” he acknowledges, but at the same time he points out that none of the complaints have reached the courts. “The strongest thing that happened was the spread of the disease. It is sexual violence. I should have communicated it ahead of time, I screwed up. I am aware that we live in a patriarchy, that I have had sexist and toxic attitudes. I have learned my lesson,” says Hernández. The filmmaker emphasizes that between the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 he participated in a course on male violence “to control frustrations and override sexist authorities.” “There is nothing against me, I did not hit anyone, there was no harassment or rape or anything like that,” insists Hernández Cordón. “During my productions, no one has complained about my filming. I believe in second chances. And my right to work is also being denied,” he emphasizes.

Hernández Cordón claims to have learned about the withdrawal of his film, the ninth in his professional career, through the press. As he explained, weeks after his work was selected to participate in the contest, he himself notified the organization of the accusations against him. Later, one of the Human Resources managers responsible for the festival’s protocols against sexist violence wrote to him to request information about what happened to make a decision. The filmmaker provided a certificate of having attended the training course for seven months, as well as a statement in which he recognized his commitment to “restore” the damage committed. “I assume that I was violent with my words, with my silences, actions and emotions,” he emphasizes in the text, to which this newspaper has had access.

The last communication with the festival, via email, was two weeks ago. According to the director himself and sources from the production company, no one, since then, has officially informed them of the withdrawal of his film. Festival sources have not responded to this newspaper as to why the film was withdrawn at the last minute, just 72 hours before the premiere of the work in the ZonaZine section. “We are not going to make any further statements regarding this,” the organization has indicated.

‘The day is long and dark’ by Julio Hernández Cordón.

Julio Hernández Cordón, born 49 years ago in North Carolina (United States) to a Mexican father and Guatemalan mother, is an independent film director, producer, documentary filmmaker and screenwriter. Your movie Buy me a revolver competed in Cannes 2018 and for I promise you anarchy He was nominated in 2016 as best director for the Ariel Award from the Mexican Film Academy. His first feature film, Gasoline (2008), was recognized with the Horizontes Latinos award at the San Sebastián Film Festival.

At the Malaga Festival, The day is long and dark It was scheduled in the ZonaZine Official Feature Film Section. This was the premiere of the film and at the moment there are no other screening dates planned. Shot in Mexico and scripted and directed by Hernández Cordón, it addresses the relationship between a daughter and her parents through vampirism. It stars Carla Nieto, Luis Alberti, Mila Mijangos and Eli Acosta.

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