Italian actor and filmmaker Bud Spencer, who starred in a number of spaghetti westerns, has died aged 86. He passed away peacefully on Monday in Rome and did not suffer from pain , his son said.
Spencer, whose real name was Carlo Pedersoli, was known among his fans as the big friendly giant of the screen because of his height and weight. He frequently appeared as part of a double act alongside Terence Hill - whose real name was
Spencer's movies included Double Trouble, Go For It, Ace High, They Call Me Trinity and A Friend is a Treasure.
Udta Punjab is a 2016 India crime thriller by Abhishek Chaubey.
Starring Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor.
What on earth can a rock star, a migrant laborer, a doctor and a cop possibly have in common? Simple, Punjab! 4 lives, 1 connection - 'Udta Punjab' takes you on a trip like never before. Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Diljit
Dosanjh play characters from different walks of life, fighting the menace of drugs in their own way. The film journeys into the artificial highs and the real lows that they face while treading the paths fraught with mortal dangers. But above
all, Udta Punjab is about the famed Punjabi spirit, that despite being fully down, has the audacity of looking you in the eye and saying - Drugs di maa di!
India's crazed film censor, Pahlaj Nihalani, is under duress after his decision to make 89 puerile cuts to a film wound up the local film industry, and let to a court battle which ended up humiliating the censor.
The film, Udta Punjab , will now be released on Friday with an adults only 'A' rating and just one cut.
India's central Board of Film 'Classification' (CBFC) originally demanded 89 cuts. The film board claimed that the movie portrayed Punjab in a bad light. The proposed cuts included removing every mention of the word Punjab from the film,
deleting swear words and also a number of other words such as parliament , legislators and elections .
Chief censor Nihalani saw the writing on the wall as the case proceeded to court and reduced the cuts list to 13, but this did not appease his opponents.
The court ruled that the film must be certified for release in the next 48 hours with one scene showing a character urinating to be removed.
The producers of the film described the ruling as a victory for democracy. The films makers challenged the censors claim that the film promoted illegal drug use and questioned the integrity of India. The court rejected the censors claims and
We have read the script in its entirety to see if the film encourages drugs. We do not find that the film questions the sovereignty or integrity of India by mentioning the names of cities, or referring to a state or by a signpost, the judge
Responding to the judgement Nihalani rued that from now on, CBFC was meaningless. He said doors for films with obscene, vulgar content are open now and questions have been raised on the working of the censor board. He said:
It is undoubtedly a good judgement for the producers. I have been a producer too, so I am glad everyone is relieved today. But the CBFC has lost its meaning today. As the chairman of the CBFC, I have come to know that the board is not here to
censor movies . I just want to point out that when the name of the board was changed from 'censor' to 'certification', the 1952 cinematograph Act that it follows, and its rule book were not changed.
We were just following those, and doing our job and was only implementing the act that was framed for CBFC to function with full honesty. I had put in place a proper system. We were doing what was expected of us -- to ensure films are free of
content that is unnecessarily abusive and defamatory. But from today, the producers are free to produce anything they want.
They will now have the liberty to have obscenity, vulgarity in their movies. It is an open world for them as anything and everything they make will be cleared with an A certificate.
The board has the option of appealing against the verdict in the Supreme Court.
Update: Film Certificate notes that the film was passed by the Mumbai High Court
The India film censors of the CBFC have made a bit of censorship history by naming the judges as the presiding film censors responsible for the decision.
The certificate states: Passed by Hon'ble High Court, Mumbai. Share This Article Share Related Article
Mumbai Regional Officer Raju Vaidya, who has signed the certificate, said it was prepared as per norms. This is the norm; the name of whoever has cleared the film is on the certificate, he told The Indian Express .
However, a CBFC employee, who did not want to be named, said till date a film's certificate has never had to bear the name of judicial officers. It will carry names of the committee members present at the screening. And in this case, the
judges anyway didn't watch the film. Other films rated after judicial intervention have not mentioned judges or the court on certificates.
After a trouble censorship process in India, it's now time for Udta Punjab to strugglewith Pakistan's film censors.
According to Fakhr-Alam, chairman of Censor Board Sindh, the film has been viewed by the Board and they have asked the distributor to make changes:
We have told the distributor to delete the bad language, swear words, which are extremely explicit and in direct conflict with the law and censor code. We will [then] review to see that the compliance has been adhered to and then issue a
The Pakistani censor board has given a green signal to the release of Indian movie Udta Punjab in Pakistan after suggesting more than 100 cuts to remove objectionable and anti-Pakistan content from the film.
The censor board has banned it's own board member Dr. Chandraprakash Diwedi's highly controversial film Mohalla Assi , which pokes fun at the commercialisation of the holy city of Varanasi.
The entire film, which features some of the most risque lines heard in films in recent times, was also leaked on the Internet before its submission. The censor board decided to ban it completely. Apparently, the film evoked extreme
reactions from some of the members within the censor board.
The story, based on the well-known novel by Hindi writer Kashinath Singh is a scathing critique on the changes that have come upon the holy town of Varanasi.
The Malayalam film Kathakali has fallen foul of the regional office of India's Central Board of Film Classificaton (CNFC) who claim that the movie contains nudity and strong language.
The Film Employees' Federation of Kerala (FEFKA), a body of Malayalam film directors and technicians, staged a protest on Monday in front of CBFC's regional office. FEFKA general secretary and B Unnikrishnan said the censor board was indulging in
politics and added that they would move the high court against the board's decision:
The CBFC is treating filmmakers as if we have committed a grave sin.
The two-hour film on the life of a Kathakali artiste is directed by Sijo Kannanaikkal. Recently, the CBFC asked for three cuts to be sanctioned for a U rating (unrestricted public exhibition).
The board wants the removal of a scene in which the protagonist Dasan is undressed and beaten up and another towards the end in which Dasan removes the Kathakali attire and walks towards the Bharathapuzha river. It also wants the cuss words
Hollywood is never very keen on people disfiguring their movies. Presumably they don't want people telling their friends that a movie is rubbish when the reason for the rubbish is badly censored dialogue or missing scenes.
Disney, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Entertainment are suing a video streaming site that lets home viewers censor Hollywood movies to their personal moral preferences.
Utah-based VidAngel launched in 2015, with the stated goal of letting viewers watch self-censored versions of popular films and TV shows. As the company describes its service, customers buy movies on the site for $20 that they can sell back for
the full purchase price after viewing, minus a $1 fee for standard definition films or $2 for HD. They then check filters showing what content they want censored, nudity, profanity, violence and watch a movie pre-scrubbed of anything they'd find
objectionable for moral or religious reasons.
The company has argued that their service is legal under the Family Movie Act of 2005, a law that specifically exempts from copyright law any technology that hides or mutes portions of audio or video during at-home viewing.
The movie companies argue that VidAngel is using the Family Movie Act to make money by renting out movies without permission.
VidAngel contends that its services are legal. CEO Neal Harmon said in a blog post:
We've hired great Hollywood attorneys. We're as confident now as we were when we launched that filtering a DVD or Blu-ray you own on your favorite devices is your right. We're ready.
VidAngel is an unauthorized VOD streaming service, trying to undercut legitimate services like Netflix, Hulu and iTunes that license movies and TV shows from the copyright owners. This case isn't about whether filtering is lawful and we are not
challenging legal uses of the Family Movie Act.
Twilight Over Burma is a 2015 Austria TV drama by Sabine Derflinger.
Starring Zoe Addams, Sahajak Boonthanakit and Daweerit Chullasapya.
The U.S. scholarships Austrian student Inge and young mining student from Burma Sao Kya Seng fall in love. But it's only at the lavish wedding ceremony that Inge discovers her husband is the ruling prince of the Shan state of Burma. After a coup
staged by the Burmese military, Sao is imprisoned. Inge does everything she can to free him. Base on the true story of Inge Sargent.
An Austrian TV movie, Twilight Over Burma, has been banned from a Burmese human rights film festival by the local film censor.
Burma's Film Classification Board's deputy director general Daw Thida Tin told the BBC that the film had been banned for the sake of national unity and also the stability of the country and of our people .
the film festival organisers say they were also told that the censors saw the film as damaging to the image of the army.
Twilight Over Burma tells the true story of an Austrian woman Inge Eberhard (now Sargent) who fell in love and married a Burmese prince from the Shan ethnic group. The film shows how their exotic life in the hills of Shan State is destroyed by
Burma's military coup of 1962. Ms Eberhard's husband Sao Kya Seng ends up being detained by the army before dying in mysterious circumstances.
An internet display ad for MUBI, a movie subscription service, seen on 4 March 2016 on www.independent.co.uk, stated Cannibal Holocaust Discover Great Films on MUBI and featured a picture of a man taking a photograph of a blood covered,
naked woman impaled on a wooden pole.
A complainant challenged whether the graphic nature of the picture was offensive.
MUBI Europe did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
The Independent explained that they required their third-party ad server to block certain categories of advertising from appearing on their website, including ads containing graphic material. They understood that MUBI Europe had incorrectly
categorised their ad and consequently the ad server had not prevented the ad from appearing on the website. The Independent said they had blocked MUBI Europe from placing ads on their site in the future.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA was concerned by MUBI Europe's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of the CAP Code (Edition 12) rule 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to respond promptly to our
enquiries and told them to do so in future.
We understood that the image featured was a scene from the advertised horror film and was likely to be representative of the film's content. However, we considered that the degree of violence portrayed went beyond what consumers would normally
expect to see in an ad for a film. The image of a blood covered, naked woman impaled by a wooden pole through her mouth, was particularly explicit and the voyeuristic nature of the man taking a photograph of the dead woman added to the overall
impression of brutality.
We acknowledged that the ad appeared in error, but nonetheless concluded that the graphic nature of the image was likely to cause serious or widespread offence and was unsuitable for publication on The Independent website.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told MUBI Europe to ensure the images used in their ads did not contain graphic content that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. We referred the matter to the CAP Compliance
The Neon Demon is a 2016 France / USA / Denmark horror thriller by Nicolas Winding Refn.
Starring Elle Fanning, Christina Hendricks and Keanu Reeves.
When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.
For some reason The Daily Mail has picked up on the film for its latest censorship rant. The latest article is titled: Has cinema ever been so depraved and the censors so amoral? See
article from dailymail.co.uk
Any way the BBFC hasn't paid any heed and the film has just been passed uncut and 18 rated for strong bloody images, necrophilia, sexual assault for:
2016 cinema release
Meanwhile in the US the film was rated R for disturbing violent content, bloody images, graphic nudity, a scene of aberrant sexuality, and language.
Offsite Comment: The Daily Mail Is Up In Arms Again!
Melon Farmers contributor, Pooch, blogs at Cinema Extreme and has written about the Daily Mail article noted above. He writes:
The beloved (that's sarcasm) Daily Mail has got its underwear in a bunch again, over another forthcoming film, and - despite the journalist concerned not actually having seen the film at all - she wants the BBFC to ban it.
The Australian Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the film X-Men: Apocalypse is classified M (Mature) with the consumer advice Frequent action violence and infrequent coarse language . The film was
previously rated MA 15+.
MA 15+ would be something like a 15A in UK terms, whilst M iis an advisory rating that would be called PG-15 in the US.
For comparison, in the US the film was rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images
The new costumes for the upcoming Power Rangers Movie have finally been revealed but a few feminists are less than impressed.
While the male red, blue and black Power Rangers are kitted out with trainer-like footwear, the female yellow and pink characters have to fight crime while wearing high heels. What's more, feminists have questioned why the female characters are
equipped with such prominent boob armour .
Hannah Shaw-Williams tweeted
OK, we're rebooting the Power Rangers! What fresh new ideas can we bring to this franchise?
[It's a bit much to expect 'fresh ideas' from Power Rangers].
Feminist blogger Louise Pennington claims the new costumes are:
Not only sexist but utterly irresponsible.
The women who play the pink and yellow Power Rangers are skilled athletes. Sexualising their outfits for a program aimed at children teaches young girls that their only value is in their appearance - regardless of their skill set and training.
Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds is supporting a Salt Lake City cinema pub being censored by Utah authorities.
Brewvies Cinema Pub is a 21 year old movie threaten that serves alcohol. Salt Lake City is persecuting the cinema, threatening a fine and a 10 day closure order just for showing the highly popular film Deadpool.
According to Utah censorship rules, an establishment that serves alcohol is forbidden to show a film that depicts a simulated sexual act, or shows a person being touched on their privates, or displaying genitals. There are numerous simulated sex
acts in the film, which were noted by a state investigator.
Brewvies and their civil rights attorney, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, have filed a federal lawsuit against the state pointing out that the theater's First Amendment right to free speech has been violated.
The theater has started a crowd-finding campaign at GoFundMe.com to fight against the censorship.
Ryan Reynolds, the actor who plays Deadpool, has donated to the campaign and joked on Twitter, Thank god, they've found a way to legislate fun.
Update: Good triumphs over evil (at least temporarily)
A Utah cinema in trouble with state censors for serving alcohol during a showing of superhero film Deadpool will not get slapped with future citations under an obscenity law mostly regulating strip clubs, at least until the theater's
lawsuit is heard in court.
The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agreed that officials would not cite Brewvies for any screenings with alcohol as long as the films are rated R or less, state lawyers said during a federal court hearing in Salt Lake City.
Utah filed a complaint against the theater under a state law generally used to require strip clubs that serve liquor to keep their dancers wearing G-strings and pasties. But the law also bans serving booze during films with simulated sex or
Playing Deadpool while serving alcohol violated the law because the movie includes nudity and simulated sex, including a suggestive scene in the film's credits involving a cartoon unicorn, the state said.
Brewvies argues that the law is so broad it would apply to an exhibit of Michelangelo's statue David. Brewvies attorney Rocky Anderson said the state has used the law to intimidate the theater and violate its free speech rights.
The theater will take advantage of its temporary grace period under the law this week by holding a midnight screening of Deadpool on Friday to raise money for its court battle.
Ger Connolly Acting Director of Film Classification introduces IFCO's Annual Report for 2015:
The year under review showed an unexpected, but welcome, increase in the number of DVD submissions. This 7% increase is very satisfying as it reinforces yet again the desire of our business partners to have their product classified by IFCO for
distribution in Ireland. Consequently it affords the consumer the opportunity to make informed choices based on a consistent level of classification.
Cinema films classified dropped very slightly to 371, while DVDs increased to 4065.
The second part of our in-house research project, undertaken during 2014, was published early in the year. With the focus on post primary students' parents, it should come as no surprise that the greatest level of concern is towards the
depiction of violence in all its forms. As a result of these consultations it is my intention to review our published guidelines during 2016 with a view to updating and expanding on the various classification issues.
Among the Believers is a 2015 Pakistan / USA war biography by Mohammed Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi.
Starring Fedor Alexandrovich.
Pakistan's film censors at the CBFC have banned the Foundation for Arts, Culture and Education (Face) Film Festival from screening Among the Believers.
In a letter, the vice chairman of the censor board, Adnan Akram Bajwa, described the award winning documentary Among the Believers as unsuitable for public exhibition. The letter reads:
It also contains dialogues, which project a negative image of Pakistan in the context of fighting the ongoing war against extremism and terrorism.
Controversial Pakistani cleric Maulana Aziz, linked to the Taliban, declares jihad against the government to impose sharia law. The government retaliates by destroying his seminary, killing his mother, brother, his only son and 150 students.
The film follows charming yet menacing Maulana Aziz on his personal quest to create an Islamic utopia, which causes the country to implode. The Red Mosque has students allied with ISIL, and strong ties to the Taliban. We meet two Red Mosque
students whose paths diverge: Talha, 12, leaves his moderate Muslim family to study to be a jihadi preacher. Zarina, also 12, escapes her madrassa and joins a normal school. Her education is threatened by frequent Taliban attacks on schools
like her own. In December, 2014, the Taliban massacred 132 schoolchildren in Peshawar, outraging Pakistan's moderate majority. Aziz's longtime opponent, education reformer Pervez Hoodbhoy joins the re-energized anti-extremist movement.
Throughout the film, he passionately ...
Besieged in Quetta
The festival was also not allowed to screen Besieged in Quetta , a film by independent filmmaker Asef Ali Mohammad which shed light on the plight of the city's Hazara population. The censor board claims the film promoted ethnicity and
sectarianism (sic!) .
Produced by Hemal Trivedi and directed by Mohammad Ali Naqvi, the documentary follows the Lal Masjid and its network of seminaries, as well as two students, and contains comments from the controversial Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz.
Anam Abbas, the director of the film festival, said the documentary has already been screened in over a dozen countries, and has won multiple awards.
Maalik is a 2016 Pakistan action thriller by Ashir Azeem.
Starring Ashir Azeem, Farhan Ally Agha and Sajid Hassan.
Three weeks after the Ashir Azeem directorial Maalik premiered at theatres across Pakistan, the federal information ministry has slapped a ban on the film.
According to a notification, the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, and National Heritage declared the film uncertified according to Section 9 of the Motion Pictures Ordinance, 1979. A ministry official said:
The information ministry reserves the right to ban any film at any time. Maalik has been banned because it shows a former chief minister as a man of corruption and opulence.
An Afghan family that escapes from the ravages of the Soviet war in Afghanistan and settles in Karachi. A SSG officer who undergoes a personal tragedy and starts a private security company (Black Ops Pvt. Ltd) in Karachi. His SSG colleagues
keep joining the company on their retirements. An idealist school master who suffers greatly under a cruel Feudal lord and settles in Karachi and finally the Feudal Lord who becomes the Chief Minister of Sindh and unleashes a reign of terror on
all that cross his path. Maalik is a story of love, loyalty, honor, family value, idealism, courage and dignity against all odds, and across all sections of society from the poor and the struggling to the highest levels of wealth and power.
The MPAA representing Hollywood's major studios along with theatre owners are contesting a lawsuit ludicrously calling for an R rating for children's movies that depict smoking.
The MPAA notes that it doesn't want to be held hostage to any misguided morality play that seeks to force them not to have any movies with tobacco imagery rated G, PG or PG-13.
Court papers have been filed asking a judge to reject a putative class action that blames them for children becoming addicted to nicotine.
Anti-smoking campaigners have flagged such films as Dumb and Dumber To , Transformers: Age of Extinction and Iron Man 3 as among those featuring tobacco-related imagery that are being seen by young audiences.
The Hollywood defendants warned the judge that, soon, they might be forced to give R ratings to all films that depict alcohol use, gambling, contact sports, bullying, consumption of soda or fatty foods, or high-speed driving.
Yoga Hosers is a 2016 USA comedy horror fantasy by Kevin Smith.
Starring Johnny Depp, Austin Butler and Stan Lee.
Set in the Great White North of Canada, YOGA HOSERS tells the story of Colleen Collette and Colleen McKenzie - two teenage besties from Winnipeg who spend their lives doing Yoga with their faces in their phones, 'Liking' or 'Not Liking' the real
world around them. But when these Sophomore girls are invited to a Senior party by the school hottie, the Colleens accidentally uncover an ancient evil, long buried beneath the Manitoba earth.
The film was originally awarded an MPAA R rating for some sexual content in February 2016. Now the rating has been downgraded to PG-13.
The Director tweeted said that the MPAA had changed the rating from R to PG-13 on the eve of his scheduled appeal screening, which was subsequently cancelled.
Smith announced his intent to appeal last week and claimed the reasoning was for a cartoony drawing of testicles on a book cover. Nothing will have to be removed from the film, according to Smith. He did not quite say that no cuts had been
made, so presumably he had somehow obscured the offending book cover.
The Angry Birds Movie is cut for a BBFC U rated cinema release
26th April 2016
The Angry Birds Movie is a 2016 Finland / USA family action animation by Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly.
Starring Kate McKinnon, Jason Sudeikis and Peter Dinklage.
UK: Passed U for very mild bad language, comic slapstick, innuendo, toilet humour after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:
2016 cinema release titled Angry Birds
The BBFC commented:
This film was originally seen for advice in an incomplete form. The company was advised it was likely to be classified PG, but that their preferred U could be achieved by removing a couple of examples of word play on strong language. When the
finished version of the film was submitted for formal classification, these instances of word play had been removed and the film was therefore classified U.
In the 3D animated comedy, The Angry Birds Movie, we'll finally find out why the birds are so angry. The movie takes us to an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds - or almost entirely. In this paradise, Red (Jason Sudeikis, We're
the Millers, Horrible Bosses), a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck (Josh Gad in his first animated role since Frozen), and the volatile Bomb (Danny McBride, This is the End, Eastbound and Down) have always been outsiders. But when the
island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it's up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to.
2016 Walt Disney [No Bonus Features] R2 DVD
at UK Amazon released on 18th April 2016
Second Class Citizens
UK-based Star Wars fans are furious that the new DVD release of The Force Awakens fails to include much-publicised deleted scenes or a download link to watch the movie online.
Amazon listings for the DVD don't make the shortfall very clear. They jsut don't meantion anything about extras. Some other retailers, such as Tesco, are less clear as to whether their products feature the additional content.
Disney said iit was commonplace for extras to be included only on Blu-ray and digital-only editions. A Disney spokesprat said a few fancy words about treating DVD viewers as second rate:
As a company we are committed to seeking out the best ways to provide audiences with access to Disney content. Each territory is different, and we evaluate and enact distribution strategies on a market-by-market basis. In the UK this means we
do not include extras across our DVD products.
Visionary director J.J. Abrams brings to life the motion picture event of a generation. As Kylo Ren and the sinister First Order rise from the ashes of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is missing when the galaxy needs him most.
It's up to Rey, a desert scavenger and Finn, a defecting stormtrooper, to join forces with Han Solo and Chewbacca in a desperate search for the one hope of restoring peace to the galaxy.
Bonus Features on DVD
There are no bonus features on the DVD
Bonus Features on Blu-ray only:
Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey - for the first time, discover the complete story behind the making of The Force Awakens, revealed through in-depth footage and exclusive interviews with the actors and
filmmakers in this feature documentary
The Story Awakens: The Table Read - cast members familiar and reflect on the memorable day they all first came together to read the movie's script
Building BB-8 - see how the filmmakers brought the droid to the screen, creating an instant fan favourite in the Star Wars universe
Crafting Creatures - watch movie magic as the filmmakers bring a cast of creatures to life
Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight - go deeper into the epic, climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren
John Williams: The Seventh Symphony - the legendary composer shares personal insights of his work on Star Wars and The Force Awakens
ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force - an insider's look into the remarkable digital artistry of the movie's visual effects
Force For Change - heroes come in all shapes and sizes. See how the Star Wars: Force for change initiative has united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others
Dirty Grandpa is a 2016 USA comedy by Dan Mazer.
Starring Robert De Niro, Julianne Hough and Zac Efron.
India: Banned in March 2016
Dirty Grandpa has been rejected by the CBFC and the appeals Tribunal for its bold content. A source from the CBFC added:
We've placed a ban on Dirty Grandpa because this grandpa is dirtier than any 70-year old man has the right to be. In fact de Niro in this film makes Rishi Kapoorin Kapoor & Sons look like a saint. We wonder why an actor of De Niros caliber
did such a foul-mouthed cheap film.
For comparison, in the UK, the Unrated Extended Version was passed 15 uncut for strong sex references, strong nudity, drug use, strong language for:
2016 Lions Gate [Extended + Theatrical Versions] RB Blu-ray
at UK Amazon
Right before his wedding, an uptight guy is tricked into driving his grandfather, a perverted former Army general, to Florida for spring break.
Unrestricted Public Exhibition - but with a word of caution that Parental discretion required for children below 12 years
Perhaps such a rating would be called a PG-12 in US terms, but it is not a long way off the PG rating in the UK and US, which is exactly how the film was rated in these two countries
US: MPAA Rated PG for some sequences of scary action and peril. (A US PG means some material may not be suitable for children).
UK: BBFC rated PG for mild threat (A UK PG film is suitable for general viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children. A PG film should not unsettle a child aged around eight or older).
Positive Hell is a 2014 UK / Spain documentary by Andi Reiss.
POSITIVE HELL is the story of five individuals who have defied their doctors and lived on for nearly thirty years with a diagnosis of death. The film highlights a network of people diagnosed HIV positive in the province of Galicia, Northern
Spain. How can this be? Haven't we been told that everyone who tests positive is sure to die? Do these people have a special magic gene that protects them against HIV? Or could it be that this death sentence has been mistaken all along? The five
protagonists describe their struggle to survive when faced with a death sentence, their experiences as social pariahs, their battles with doctors and the medical orthodoxy and their absolute conviction that the science behind AIDS is cruelly
LIFF, the London Independent Film Festival has axed its screening of the film Positive Hell, scheduled for April 17, in a move described by the film's writer and narrator, Joan Shenton, as blatant censorship and the latest case
of 'no platforming' .
Shenton said that she had been contacted by LIFF director, Erich Schultz, to say that he had pulled the film after four HIV/AIDS campaign groups had threatened protests at the screening venue and at festival sponsors' premises if we
[LIFF] don't comply . Schultz also said he had received over twenty protest letters .
Positive Hell was successfully screened at the Frontline Club in Paddington, London, last year after similar threats, though no protest actually materialised at that screening.
Joan Shenton said:
Positive Hell, the right to free speech and the HIV-positive people honestly depicted in the film are the victims of barefaced censorship. The film presents a view of HIV and AIDS which is not shared by the giant pharmaceutical companies, their
lobby groups and some activists, but it is an evidence-based view nonetheless and has just as much right to be aired and debated as any other.
I am flabbergasted by LIFF's censorship in response to a handful of emails that were clearly designed to shut down this debate by intimidating the festival and its sponsors. It questions just how 'independent' the London Independent Film
Festival really is.
Following its controversial no platform banning by the London Independent Film Festival (LIFF), announced on Monday , the HIV & AIDs film Positive Hell is to be screened in London this coming Sunday, the day originally scheduled by
LIFF, but independently of the supposedly independent festival. The film's writer, narrator and co-producer, Joan Shenton, announced this afternoon:
We do not accept that London's so-called 'independent' film festival should censor our film in this high-handed way, nor that it has the right to tell London film-goers what they can and cannot watch, just because it was 'got at' by four
charities who have a vested interest in not challenging the AIDS status quo.
So the screening of Positive Hell will go ahead, irrespective of LIFF, at noon on Sunday April 17, at the Soho Screening Rooms in D'Arblay Street, W1, followed by a Q&A. And this time tickets are available at no charge. This is Britain, not
some totalitarian regime.
Other quite mainstream film festivals are very happy to screen Positive Hell. It was even nominated for best documentary at the Marbella International Film Festival, as well as being selected for LA Cinefest, the Digital Griffix online festival
and the Indie Festival 01. And the previous time we screened Positive Hell in London, we received similar threats but nothing ever came of them.
I believe this decision by Mr Shultz and his student selection panel is timid and incredibly short-sighted, as well as being blatant censorship and yet another denial of free speech through the practice of 'no platforming'. But we will not be
censored. Sunday's screening will go ahead from noon in its new venue, and will be followed by a Q&A which may well touch on censorship as well as debating, rather than silencing, the issues raised by the film.
The screening of Positive Hell will take place at Soho Screening Rooms, 14 D'Arblay St, London W1F 8DY. Doors will open at noon for a 12.30 showing, followed by a Q&A.
Offsite Comment: Positive Hell: silencing the HIV heretics
Egypt's Ministry of Culture has approved a new system of film classification, adding two new age categories for the classification of films. From now on, the certificates +12 and +16 will be applied, in addition to the pre-existing +18
The new rating criteria take into account factors such as violence and gore, sensitive subject matters and adult content.