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Montreal fest pulls Homolka film
MONTREAL (CP) – The Montreal World Film Festival has cancelled its premiere of a film based on the slayings of two Ontario schoolgirls by Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka.
In a tersely worded statement released late Wednesday, the festival said it had decided to cancel the showing of Karla scheduled for the opening of the festival on Aug. 26, citing opposition to the film.
“Following the debate raised by the announcement of a showing of Karla during the festival, as well as the discomfort expressed by a number of the sponsors concerning their clients, the management of the World Film Festival has decided to not present this film at the festival,” the statement said.
The film, originally titled Deadly, has been subjected to vocal opposition in Ontario from the public and politicians alike with numerous calls for a boycott.
Karla, set for release this fall, chronicles the ominous courtship of Homolka and Bernardo and their sordid murders of Ontario teens Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy in the 1990s.
It stars Laura Prepon, best known for playing Donna on the TV comedy That ’70s Show. The film’s website suggests the storyline is sympathetic to Homolka, who was released from prison in Montreal last month.
She is said to be living in Montreal and has kept a low profile since her release with the exception of one interview with Radio-Canada, the French-language network of the CBC.
Tim Danson, lawyer for the French and Mahaffy families, has called the film exploitive and sensational and criticized the festival’s initial decision to book it.
The French and Mahaffy families have been assured by the film’s producer, Michael Sellers, that an exclusive screening would be arranged for them in Toronto and that some of the film’s more explicit scenes have already been edited out.