DAILY NEWS: Film Stopped in Canada; MIX Fest Anniversary
by Eugene Hernandez and Anthony Kaufman/indieWIRE
>> "Fat Girl" Blocked by Ontario Film Review Board
(indieWIRE/11.14.01) -- Catherine Breillat's "Fat Girl" ("A Ma Soeur"),
currently playing unrated in the United States, has been dealt another
blow in its attempts to screen theatrically in Ontario, Canada. Yesterday
(Tuesday) morning, the Ontario Film Review Board (OFRB) reconfirmed its
stance that the film would not be given a rating, and therefore, not be
allowed in theaters. Unlike the U.S., it is illegal for films or videos
to be distributed or screened in Ontario without a rating.
Notably, "Fat Girl" had its North American debut in Ontario at the
Toronto Film Festival in September. The movie, about two sisters, 15 and
12-years-old, on vacation on the coast of France, includes sexually
evocative scenes with the young girls.
Last week, "Fat Girl" went in front of the board just days before it was
scheduled for release on November 9th. After ads had already been placed,
distributors Cowboy Pictures and Lions Gate were forced to postpone the
planned release and await a second hearing, after the panel initially
objected. According to Robert Warren, Chairman of the Ontario Film Review
Board, "Fat Girl" remains unacceptable, because it violates two specific
clauses of Ontario's Theaters Act, their ratings standard, which forbids: "A
scene where a person who is or is intended to represent a person under the
age of eighteen years appears (i) nude or partially nude in a sexually
suggestive context, or (ii) in a scene of explicit sexual activity." Said
Warren, "That pretty much describes 'Fat Girl.'"
Warren told indieWIRE that the distributors have only a few remaining
options if they hope to release the film in Ontario, "They can take us
to court if they are not happy or cut the film and re-submit it," he
said, adding that the distributors may also appeal again.
"We're going to appeal," Cowboy Pictures' Noah Cowan told indieWIRE
unequivocally. "We're horrified by the demands they have put on the film. We
will not cut this movie. I don't think it's possible to cut the movie," he
added, stating that the objectionable scenes amounted to about 15 minutes of
material. "Nothing like this has happened in 20 years," continued Cowan. "If
this is a new climate of censorship, I think people are going to be freaking
out in Canada."
The distributors' plan for their final appeal will include a list of films
that the OFRB has approved in the past, including "Lolita," "Pretty Baby"
(first banned, then later accepted), "American Beauty" and "Kids." After
some trouble, even Breillat's sexually explicit "Romance" was passed without
According to Cowan, they also will collect 20 letters from Canada's cultural
luminaries and major institutions, in protest of the no rating policy for
"Fat Girl." "It's horrible and it's twisted," Cowan stated.
>> MIX Fest at 15
(indieWIRE/11.14.01) -- MIX, New York's Lesbian & Gay Experimental
Film/Video Festival, is celebrating its "Quinceanera" tonight in Manhattan.
The popular downtown queer fest is marking its 15th anniversary with what
organizers call "an unmissable, cherry-poppin' lineup of the most bangin'
experimental shorts in this year's festival." Movies by Patty Chang, Peggy
Ahwesh, Bobby Abate, Pierre Yves Clouin, David Kalal, and others will populate tonight's lineup.
In addition to a retrospective sidebar looking back at previous year's
highlights, MIX 2001 will include: two free panel discussions, a new movie
by John Greyson in the Innovators section, midnight screenings, and The
Carnal Connection -- part of a month-long Ocularis series entitled,
The event's closing night will be dominated by an event dubbed "Glitter" --
a curated collection hosted by Murray Hill, with special guest Penelope
Tuesdae. [Eugene Hernandez]