Parliament 'notes' temporary unbanning of Inxeba

2018-03-06 22:40
Inxeba poster (Supplied)

Inxeba poster (Supplied)

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Cape Town – The Film and Publication Board (FPB) should strive for a broader consultation with concerned stakeholders when dealing with controversial films such as Inxeba (The Wound), the Portfolio Committee on Communications said on Tuesday.

"The committee has noted with keen interest the decision by the Films and Publications Board to temporarily unban X-rated local film, Inxeba (The Wound)," said Humphrey Maxegwana, the chairperson of the committee.

Maxegwana said the committee understood that the decision was taken pending a court challenge to review the age restriction on the film launched by producers, Film Distribution Ltd and Uhuru Media Ltd.

"We will await the final decision on the matter, following the review proceedings at the Gauteng North High Court on 28 March 2018," he said.

The film will be back on mainstream cinemas on Friday pending the decision of the High Court.

For now, it can be screened under an 18SNL age restriction.

FPB stands by 16LS rating

Speaking via a statement issued by Mad Moth Communications' David Alex Wilson, the film's producers said their urgent application, which sought to reverse the X18 rating, was granted.

They had requested a review of the decision of the FPB's Appeal Tribunal which had awarded Inxeba a rating of X18SNLVP, overturning the FBP rating of 16LS – which essentially classified the film as hardcore pornography.

The urgent application had also sought an urgent interim court order, allowing the movie to be screened again.

OPINION: No, Inxeba isn't a disrespectful gay sex romp

In its papers, the FPB, represented by Motsoeneng Bill Attorneys, argued that it stood by its original classification of 16LS and therefore supported the application.

Wilson said the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) in Gauteng, The Man and Boy Foundation and the FPB Appeal Tribunal all opposed the application, lodged by Webber Wentzel on behalf of the producers and distributor Indigenous Film Distribution.

"All opposing parties eventually capitulated on the question of urgent interim relief and the court then granted an urgent interim order instructing the film to be screened, pending a thorough review of the appeal tribunal's decision," Wilson said.

'We are vindicated'

The High Court then ruled that the X rating be removed from the 18 classification with immediate effect, while it awaits affidavits of representation from all affected parties, both pro and opposed to the decision of the FPB Appeal Tribunal, Wilson added.

Producer Cait Pansegrouw said: "I am hopeful that the capitulation of the tribunal, Contralesa Gauteng and the Man and Boy Foundation to remove the X rating will assist in ensuring that the violent acts performed in opposition to the film are brought to an end, and that members of the public who wish to exercise their right to engage with Inxeba are no longer prohibited from doing so."

The film's distributor, Helen Kuun of Indigenous Film Distribution, also described the ruling as a vindication.

"We are vindicated by the court order against a tribunal ruling which was simply unlawful and could not reasonably be justified by anyone who has seen Inxeba.

"Now that we have secured legal means by way of a court order to make the film available to all those who want to see it publicly, we urge fans to go out there and show their support by seeing it in cinemas."

Speaking to News24 outside court, Nkululeko Nxesi, who spoke for Contralesa and the Man and Boy Foundation, said by attending the court case, traditional leaders had taken a stand.

'We are here to protect our children and our mothers'

"No one can just come here and shoot a movie that insults [us] and degrades our culture."

Nxesi said he was sure the court would decide in their favour on March 28.

"We have [a] strong case and South Africans and our communities are behind us."

He said the right to freedom of expression did not trump that of human dignity.

"We are here to protect our children and our mothers. This movie also shows sacred traditions observed in the Xhosa culture and does so in a distorted manner."

He said it was not true that the organisation was homophobic.

Read more on:    courts  |  media  |  inxeba

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