Another film on hold

2013-07-22 00:00

THERE was a second screening controversy at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) last night after the Film and Publication Board (FPB) told organisers they could not air The Look Of Love, a movie based on the life of a British pornographer.

The DIFF organisers issued a statement last night saying that Michael Winterbottom’s film was not screened as they were unable to send a screener in time to the FPB as per their request.

“As the film has not been exempted from classification, we were unable to screen it. The film has not been classified by the board. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Tickets can be refunded at the box office. We will put a notice at the venue and on Facebook and on our website, should we have to cancel the remaining screening next Sunday.”

The Look Of Love is a biopic of Paul Raymond, described in Philip French’s review in the UK Observer as a “multi-millionaire nightclub proprieter, pornographer, owner of much of Soho and for a time the richest man in Britain”.

It was rated 18 in the UK.

It stars Steve Coogan, Anna Friel and Imogen Poots.

On Thursday, the FPB asked DIFF not to screen Of Good Report for its alleged description of child pornography.

The film’s director, Jahmil QT Qubeka, described the decision to stop the airing of the film as a “sad day for our democracy”.

UKZN academic Keyan Tomaselli likened the action to “apartheid-style censorship”.

FPB spokesperson Prince Ndamase said last night The Look Of Love could not be viewed at the festival because they had not had an opportunity to classify it.

“The organisers supplied the movie in a format [in which] we were not able to view it.

“The movie was one of seven that we requested and received on July 10.

“We immediately notified the organisers that we needed the correct format and they promised to send this through — but we are still waiting.”

Ndamase said the FPB’s hands were tied as their actions were governed by the Films Act.

“We have worked with the festival organisers for years and they know the requirements.

“This has been an unfortunate incident and we are dealing with these issues as they arise,” he said.

“We don’t have a problem, as long as it’s classified.”

He said the FPB would, at some stage, want to meet with the organisers regarding Of Good Report and the delay in sending through the correct format of The Look Of Love.

He said the FPB would host a workshop on classification guidelines at the festival on Wednesday.

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