The Mellor Affair: Actress's sex scene is art, producer insists

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The Independent Online
A TECHNICIAN who worked on The Pieman, the film Antonia de Sancha made last year, yesterday dismissed press claims that it was a pornographic movie in which she played a one-legged hooker, writes Mary Braid.

Menhaj Hudo, a producer with Dancing Fleas Productions, west London, said the film was a bizarre, artistic and avant-garde venture involving both budding and experienced film makers. The sex scene in which Ms de Sancha appeared had been 'artistically justified' and would constitute less than a sixth of the half-hour film if it was ever completed.

His words lend support to Ms de Sancha's assertion in the Independent last Friday that the film had been misrepresented. It was, she said, 'a short film, and yes, there was a bed scene. Well, so what? It was not a porn film; it was a perfectly clean, normal film, nothing wrong and my clothes remained on.'

Stills from the film were displayed on the front page of Thursday's Sun. The paper spoke of 'steamy sex scenes' which it said revealed Ms de Sancha as a 'less lofty talent' than the budding Shakespearean actress described by her friends.

Last year, video copies were made of scenes from The Pieman, which has been stuck in the cutting room through lack of funding. The videos were taken to last year's Cannes Film Festival to aid the group's search for cash. Pictures that appeared in the tabloids last week are believed to have been taken from one of the videos.

Mr Hudo said of last week's publicity: 'We are pretty disappointed about the way the film has been represented. It was an experiment in documentary drama, shot in real time. No one was paid; everyone was doing it for the experience. Antonia was a very good and very professional actress.

'It is amazing how the film has been distorted. You have to laugh but really it is an insult to all those who helped.'

Mr Hudo said the film was essentially a love story and covered the last half-hour of a pizza delivery man's life. Ms de Sancha's character had lost her leg in a motorcycle accident with him two years before and had not seen him since. The sex scene came when they were reunited.

Ms de Sancha said the film was in good taste. 'Many classical actresses have played bed scenes; look at Glenda Jackson. It's part of life.'

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