According the the Czech press agency CTK, the seven directors were protesting reports that a government minister was attempting to instruct the jury on how to award prizes.
In an open letter to the festival organizers, the directors stated: "Since you did not take any stance on the serious accusations about the Environment Ministry's influencing the jury until yesterday's opening of the festival, we have decided that we do not want our films to participate in the programme and competition of the EKOFILM 2010 festival. We thereby ask you to cancel the screenings of our films." Five films were withdrawn from competition.
The festival management said in a statement: "The international jury is independent which will decide the competition results themselves." It concluded: "Please do not bother the visitors with unverified allegations and do not manipulate a disturbance of the festival process and its long-standing prestige."
Ekofilm (www.ekofilm.cz) is the oldest international environmental film festival in Europe. The 36th edition of the festival runs through 10 October 2010.