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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 September 2007, 17:13 GMT 18:13 UK
Royals pull out of film premiere
Camilla Duchess Of Cornwall and Prince Charles
Prince Charles has offered to reschedule the charity event
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have pulled next month's Royal Film Performance amid controversy about the chosen movie, Brick Lane.

It is the first time the annual gala has been scrapped since 1958.

Protestors claim the film, based on Monica Ali's novel, portrays residents of London's Brick Lane as uneducated.

A royal spokesman said the controversy had been taken into account, but it had also been impossible to find a date for the Prince to attend a screening.

Brick Lane, which was shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize, tells the story of a Bangladeshi woman sent to London for an arranged marriage.

Protestors at Brick Lane
Residents of Brick Lane protested during filming last year
Attempts to shoot the big screen version of the novel on the famous east London street last year sparked protests from residents.

'Beautiful film'

The UK premiere at the royal charity gala had been due to take place on 29 October.

Instead, the film, directed by Sarah Gavron, will now make its debut at the London Film Festival on 26 October.

A spokesman for Prince Charles said: "There has been quite a lot of controversy about that film which everyone was aware of.

"At the start, it had been one of a number of films proposed. None of the films and none of the dates worked."

Peter Hore, chief executive of the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF), which helps organise the screening, told reporters the cancellation would affect the charity's finances.

"It's the principle fundraising event for the CTBF so it does leave a gap in our finances," Mr Hore said.

He added: "Brick Lane [is] a beautiful film and one of the best independent British productions of the season."

Prince Charles meets Ewan McGregor at the 1999 Royal Premiere of The Phantom Menace
Previous Royal premieres include Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

"For whatever reason it no longer works in the Royal diary. The Prince's office has kindly offered to find a date in the new year."

The royals have been going to special screenings of films since 1896. Then, a number of short movies were on offer - including scenes showing a boxing kangaroo.

The Royal Film Performance was established in 1946 and has been held every year since, apart from 1958.

Last year, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended the premiere of Bond film Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig.

To compensate for this year's event being shelved, it is hoped that two Royal Film Performances will be held in 2008.


SEE ALSO
Brick Lane film heads for Toronto
16 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Brick Lane 'fury' over film plans
18 Jul 06 |  Entertainment

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