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Director unfazed by threats

Abel Ferrara's "Welcome to New York" seemed like a natural for the Cannes Film Festival: It stars one of France's most respected actors and it's loosely based one of the country's biggest recent scandals.

But the Gerard Depardieu film, inspired by the Dominique Strauss-Kahn's saga, isn't competing here. Its director says that doesn't matter, since Cannes crowds were able to see it anyway.

"They've got 35 other movies they would rather show. Show it. They own the festival, we got the street. You know, rent a theatre, put it in a theatre, see who's where, you know. It's not that important," Ferrara said in an interview Monday. "We are here with everybody else."

The movie premiered in the French Riviera city Saturday night. It chronicles an unrepentant sex addict who handles billions of dollars a day and commits a sexual assault on a hotel maid following an orgy.

Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, was accused in 2011 of sexually assaulting a New York hotel employee. Charges were dropped and he reached an out-of-court settlement with the woman.

Strauss-Kahn is charged with aggravated pimping in a separate case in France.

Although the film comes with a disclaimer, Strauss-Kahn's lawyer has threatened a lawsuit. Ferrara is unconcerned.

"I'm an artist and we are talking (in the movie) about power and greed and corruptible deeds," he said. "What, is he the first guy that ever did this? You know, come on, he thinks everything is about him? So let him think it."


The Canadian Press


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