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  Moralist Preacher...

Lebanese film censor bans the Egyptian film Mawlana


Link Here 26th March 2017
Poster Mawlana 2016 Magdy Ahmed Aly Mawlana is a 2016 Egypt mystery drama by Magdy Ahmed Aly.
Starring Amr Saad, Dorra Zarrouk and Ahmed Magdy. IMDb

A seemingly traditional journey of a young sheikh in a governmental mosque who moves from leading prayers to becoming a TV celebrity issuing "fatwas" that are accepted by millions who have become fans of his as a result of his courage and his attempts to deviate from the usual religious rhetoric in a society heavily influenced by fundamentalism. The TV spotlight only shows his eloquent yet sarcastic answers he gives to the callers in a preset scenario, while in the dark and cloudy space around him, bloody struggles for power are raging, struggles he had always tried to avoid.

The organizers of Beirut Cinema Days are inviting everyone to join them in speaking up against censorship in Lebanon. They have organised a protest and discussion panel saying:

We the organizers of Ayam Beirut Al Cinema'iya refuse to accept the censorship of creative art in all its forms and invite you to join us in protest.

During the 9th edition of Ayam Beirut Al Cinema'iya the censor was stricter than in any previous year and did not grant screening permissions for two films Beit El Baher (The Beach House) and Mawlana (The Preacher).

In the statement the organizers also note that the censor asked many other filmmakers participating in the festival to edit out parts of their films.

The Egyptian political thriller Mawlana revolves around a Sheikh who becomes a TV celebrity issuing fatwas to TV audiences across Egypt. The film highlights the issue of close ties between the state and religious institutions. Mawlana is directed by Magdy Ahmed Ali and based on journalist Ibrahim Eissa's novel of the same name.

Upon its release in Egypt, the film sparked controversy but was given a release permit and went on to become a box office hit. In Lebanon, however, the general security censorship board banned the film after it caused a stir among religious authorities in the country. They refused to permit its screening at Ayam Beirut Al Cinema'iya.

Beit El Baher by Roy Dib revolves around Rayya and a group of her friends who reunite for the first time in years at her beach house in the South of Lebanon. Over a casual dinner the characters feast on the building blocks of their personal and communal identities, and recount stories of their past.

In a statement posted on the film's Facebook page, Dib says there wasn't a specific scene or phrase in the film that the censor board had a problem with, they simply notified us that the entire film annoyed them. Even though the film hasn't received an official ban, it wasn't given a screening permit in time for the festival.

In recent months, films including Mounia Akl's short Submarine and Karl Haddad's My name Is have been banned.

 

 Update: Cat Sick Blues...

New Zealand film censors ban horror film rated 15 in Australia after the distributor refuses to implement cuts


Link Here 24th March 2017  full story: Banned Films in New Zealand...OFLC sees films as somehow 'objectionable'
Cat Sick Blues DVD Cat Sick Blues is a 2015 Australia horror by Dave Jackson.
Starring Matthew C Vaughan, Shian Denovan and Noah Moon. IMDb

When Ted's beloved cat dies, the trauma triggers a terrible mental breakdown. His broken brain prompts him to bring his feline friend back - all he needs is nine human lives. Ted dons vicious deadly cat claw gloves and a creepy cat mask, and goes on a murderous rampage. As the butchery escalates, a twisted romance blossoms between Ted and Claire, a young woman who has also recently lost her cat in a horrifying incident.

This Australian censorship board classified the film MA 15+ for strong horror violence and coarse language.

However the New Zealand film censors at the OFLC banned the film as objectionable , with the explanation:

The publication is a low-budget horror film from Australia about a demented serial killer who chooses a rape victim as his next target.

Two excisions were required to remove part of a scene (and related content in a behind-the-scenes component) that causes the DVD to tend to promote and support the use of violence to compel a person to submit to sexual conduct, and the infliction of extreme violence and extreme cruelty under s3(2)(b) and s3(2)(f) of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993.

If the excisions had been made, the DVD would have been classified R18 due to the high extent and degree of gruesome horror, the infliction of serious physical harm and cruelty, and sexual violence.

The distributor declined to make the excisions, so the DVD is classified as objectionable.

 

 Updated: Beastly homophobic film censors...

Beauty and the Beast banned in Kuwait, effectively banned in Russia, and recently unbanned in Malaysai


Link Here 24th March 2017
Poster Beauty and the Beast 2017 Bill Condon Beauty and the Beast is a 2017 USA family musical romance by Bill Condon.
Starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Luke Evans. IMDb

Disney's animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.

Malaysian censors ordered cuts to the cinema release of Beauty and the Beast, removing what its creators say is a gay moment. Even after the cuts, the censors imposed a P13 rating (a 13A in UK terms). But according to a media report, Walt Disney decided anyway to shelve the film's Thursday release in the country.

Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF) chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid told The Star Online the film has been approved with a P13 parental guidance classification, with a minor cut.

Since 2010 Malaysia's film censorship rules allow the depiction of gay characters, but only if those characters show repentance or are portrayed in a negative light.

Meanwhile the Russian government has opted to give the film a rather unviable 16+ rating, a restrictive rating preventing children below that age from seeing the film.

Vyacheslav Telnov, director of the Culture Ministry's cinema department, told Russian entertainment site KinoPoisk.ru:

We will issue the film distribution license without any problems. The minimum age is 16+.

A 2013 Russian law bans promotion of homosexuality among minors. The law describes homosexuality as non-traditional sexual relations.

Update: Unbanned after Malaysia loses face

22nd March 2017 See  article from rappler.com

Malaysia flagDisney's movie Beauty and the Beast has won an appeal against censorship and will now be released uncut with a PG 13 rating.

Malaysian authorities had initially demanded cuts but Disney refused to oblige the censors, choosing to instead to appeal the decision

Disney have now won that appeal, a decision perhaps linked to some members of parliament questioning the need to censor the film, arguing that the debacle was giving Malaysia bad publicity.

Update: Banned in Kuwait

24th March 2017 See  article from al.com

UAE flagBeauty and the Beast opened in Kuwait last week with a PG-13 rating, but by this week, the nation's government-owned cinema company, which runs 11 out of the 13 theaters in the Persian Gulf country, announced that all screenings had been canceled and offered a full refund to anyone who had purchased a ticket.

One board member of the National Cinema Co. told the Associated Press:

We were requested to stop the screening and further censor the movie for things that were deemed offensive by the Ministry of Information's censorship department.

At issue, apparently, is a scene in which a supporting character, LeFou, is depicted as having a romantic fascination for Gaston and is shown dancing with another man in a ballroom scene said to be three seconds long.

 

 Update: Ban happy chief censor...

Indian film censor bans 77 films in a year


Link Here 19th March 2017  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
nice guys India's crazed film censor, Pahlaj Nihalani, has overseen the banning of 77 films in a 12 month period of 2015-16.

The CBFC banned 77 films in 2015-16, as against 47 films in 2014-15 and 23 films the year before that, clearly indicating a rise when under the governance of Pahlaj Nihalani.

Filmmakers are justifiably unimpressed. Increasing numbers of filmmakers raising their voices against the chief censor, noting that he has been imposing archaic laws on their films.

 

  Hot under the collar...

Indian film censors criticised by Amnesty International for their anti-gay ban of Lipstick Under My Burkha


Link Here 9th March 2017
Poster Lipstick Under My Burkha 2016 Alankrita Shrivastava Lipstick Under My Burkha is a 2016 India drama by Alankrita Shrivastava.
Starring Shashank Arora, Plabita Borthakur and Sonal Jha. IMDb

Set in the crowded by-lanes of small town India, Lipstick Under My Burkha chronicles the secret lives of four women in search of a little freedom. Though stifled and trapped in their worlds, these four women claim their desires through small acts of courage and stealthy rebellion.

Lipstick Under My Burkha has been deemed too lady oriented in content by the Indian film censors from the CBFC. The board banned the film complaining about continuous sexual scenes, abusive words, audio pornography and a sensitive touch about one particular section of society.

But this is also a film that won a gender equality award at the Mumbai film fest last year, and recently won the Audience Award at the Glasgow Film Festival.  The film will now be the opening movie at the 15th edition of Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA). The festival will be held from April 5-9 in Los Angeles.

Amnesty International India have now criticised the censors asking them not to indulge in moral policing . Commenting on the bans of Lipstick Under My Burkha and the gay film Ka Bodyscapes, Amnesty said:

The recent denial of theatrical release to two films because they deal with women's sexuality and same-sex relations amounts to open censorship of artistic expression.

 

  Recommended by offended churchgoers...

Supporting the hype for the US horror film, Voodoo


Link Here 9th March 2017
voodooVooDoo is a 2017 USA horror by Tom Costabile.
Starring Samantha Stewart, Ruth Reynolds and Dominic Matteucci. IMDb

When Dani, an innocent southern girl, vacations to Los Angeles to evade her increasingly complicated life, she learns that escaping her past isn't as easy as she hoped.

Tom Costabile's brutal horror flick Voodoo, now showing in theaters across the US, has the religious community up in arms over its extreme and controversial view of hades and stance on all things holy. From spiritual forums and bloggers, voicing their opinion about Costabile's depiction of hell (in one shocking sequence our heroine is molested by a demon) to other religious elements within the movie, to personal emails from offended churchgoers, the film is definitely gaining notoriety.

At the other end of the scale, the paranormal horror film -- which fixes on an innocent girl journeying down a frightening, gory path that only the worst of nightmares could summon -- is winning praise from some of the country's top critics for it's originality, old school-style scares and risk-taking.

 

 Update: No Darker...

Indian film censors of the CBFC ban Fifty Shades Darker


Link Here 8th March 2017  full story: Fifty Shades of Grey Movies...Kink for kids Hollywood style
Fifty Shades Darker Unmasked Edition DVD + Digital Copy DVD Fifty Shades Darker is a 2017 USA romance by James Foley.
Starring Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and Bella Heathcote. BBFC link IMDb

The Theatrical Version is 18 rated in the UK and R rated in the US, but was banned in India. An Unrated Unmasked version will be released on home video.

India: Banned in March 2017

Banned by the CBFC. The film censors nominally noted that the film could be released with all the sex scenes removed but this option was not accepted by the distributors Universal, so the film remains banned.

UK: The Theatrical Version was passed 18 uncut for strong sex.

US: The Theatrical Version was rated R for strong erotic sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language.

Summary Notes

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her.

 

 Update: Derogatory censorship...

India's film censors re-affirm their ban of the gay film Ka Bodyscapes.


Link Here 8th March 2017  full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Poster Ka Bodyscapes 2016 Jayan Cherian Ka Bodyscapes is a 2016 India / USA gay drama by Jayan Cherian.
Starring Adhithi, Tinto Arayani and Arundhathi. IMDb

Three young people, Haris, a gay painter; Vishnu, a rural kabaddi player and their friend Sia, an activist who refuse to conform to dominant norms of femininity, struggle to find space and happiness in a conservative Indian City.

Ka Bodyscapes was originally banned by the Indian film censors of the CBFC in July 2016.

The distributors challenged the ban in court resulting in a September 2016 court order for the censors to explain their ban and to consider possible cuts instead.

But the CBFC decided to appeal against the court order and re-affirmed their ban in March 2017. A 2nd Revising Committee from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has refused to certify the Malayalam film Ka Bodyscapes, saying it glorified the subject of gay and homosexual relationship and portrayed the Hindu religion in a derogatory manner by showing Hanuman in poor light as gay . It also objected to the portrayal of a Muslim woman masturbating.

 

  Ugly attitudes...

A Russian MP and a US theatre owner take action against a gay subplot in the remake of Beauty and the Beast


Link Here 6th March 2017
beauty and the beast 2017Russian officials are coming under pressure to check if Disney's new film Beauty and the Beast breaches the country's discriminatory law against gay propaganda .

Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said action would be taken after the checks while an MP described the film as shameless propaganda of sin .

The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast features Disney's first ever gay character and love scene. Director Bill Condon has spoken of an exclusively gay moment in Beauty and the Beast.  It involves LeFou, who is a sidekick of the film's main antagonist Gaston. LeFou, played by US actor Josh Gad, tries to come to terms with feelings for Gaston that swing between lust and admiration, as a side-plot to the main story.

In another groundbreaking moment, the film is to feature the first interracial kiss in a Disney live-action film.

Vitaly Milonov, an MP of the governing United Russia party, urged the culture minister to hold a screening of the film before it was released to see if it complied with the law and to take measures to totally ban it if he found elements of propaganda of homosexuality . Vitaly Milonov is one of the main supporter of the Russian law of 2013

But don't think that Russia is singularly homophobic country who is whingeing at the film. A cinema in the USA is also refusing to show the films for homophobic reasons. The owners of the Henagar Drive-In in Alabama explained:

It is with great sorrow that I have to tell our customers that we will not be showing 'Beauty and the Beast' at the Henagar Drive-In when it comes out, When companies continually force their views on us we need to take a stand. We all make choices and I am making mine.

For those that do not know 'Beauty and the Beast' is 'premiering' their first homosexual character 206 If we can not take our 11 year old grand daughter and 8 year old grandson to see a movie we have no business watching it. If I can't sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it.

I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That's fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches.

 

  Subprime...

Amazon Prime is set to ban horror and adult films from free streaming


Link Here 27th February 2017

harvest lake mong other things, Amazon Prime provides a good many of their digital videos available to stream for free. Well, until now anyway. Many indie horror filmmakers are having their videos removed from the Prime service in an apparent new policy on the part of Amazon.

Amazon says it is cracking down on extreme content and is sending out emails to film makers to explain the new censorship policy.

 Here is an example email supplied by Scott Schirmer in regards to his film Harvest Lake :

Hello,

Amazon Video Direct periodically revises our content policy in order to improve the Amazon Video customer experience. Effective March 1, 2017, Amazon Video Direct will no longer allow titles containing persistent or graphic sexual or violent acts, gratuitous nudity and/or erotic themes ('adult content') to be offered as Included with Prime or Free with Pre-Roll Ad .

We have identified the following titles within your catalog which contain adult content:

Harvest Lake

In alignment with our new policy, the Included with Prime and/or Free with Pre-Roll Ad offers will be removed from these titles on March 1, 2017.

For any title to remain available to customers with an Included with Prime or Free with Pre-Roll Ad offer, its content including cover images, metadata, and/or video content must be free of persistent or graphic sexual or violent acts, gratuitous nudity and/or erotic themes.

For more information, please see our Content Policy Guidelines .

If you have any questions regarding this policy revision and related action, please feel free to contact us.

Thanks for using Amazon Video Direct.

Best regards,

Amazon Video Direct