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Date Palm Film Festival selection board appalled

1 September 2005

Date Palm Film Festival selection board appalled by film rating of "Private"

The selection board of the Date Palm Film Festival are appalled by the Office of Film and Literature Classification's announcement yesterday of the rating of their film "Private" as R13 with the note: contains violence, offensive language and sex scenes.

Spokesperson for the selection board, Steve Lahood said "the film has been restricted to R13 which we have no problem with but the note is grossly exaggerated. The UK rating for this film is much more realistic, with a rating of 15 noting the language as infrequent & strong, sex/nudity as once & mild with the violence as 'some moderate threat'.

Film selector, Bob Maysmor said "I can't even remember a sex scene so it must have been pretty tame!"

Festival Director, Nadra Zarifeh said "I am overwhelmed with the harsh rating, and have just viewed it again noting that the sex scene is so mild with no nudity at all".

Zarifeh said "I would like film-goers who are considering seeing 'Private' not to be put-off by the New Zealand rating. This is not a blue-movie, it is a film inspired by real events, a psychological drama about a Palestinian family of seven suddenly confronted with a volatile situation in their home that in many ways reflects the larger ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel."

"Unfortunately an appeal on the decision is out of the question, as an appeal has to be lodged within 30 days of the decision. Our problem is that the NZ Film Festival Trust obtained this rating back in May 2005" said Festival Director, Nadra Zarifeh.

Festival details of films and screenings are at www.meff.org.nz

ENDS


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