Screen cap from In Their Room: Berlin

You won’t see Community Action Centre or In Their Room: Berlin at the 2012 Mardi Gras Film Festival. The Australian Classification Board has refused to give festival organisers an exemption to show the films at the public attended event because each would likely be classified X in Australia. Why? Both contain real sexual activity.

Festival Director Lex Lindsay said in a letter to members and attendees that he felt the films were appropriate for public viewing and strongly deserving of festival screenings to an informed and sympathetic audience who have chosen to see them.

My personal view is that grown up people in a free modern world can make their own decisions about what they would like to see in a cinema. We must trust our chosen cultural curators and arts organisations to exercise their judgement over what work should and shouldn’t be promoted to the public, not an exemptions process that prohibits public screening of work that could otherwise (even if theoretically) be privately, legally owned,” Lindsay said.

Read Lindsay’s full letter here.

About the films:

Community Action is a sociosexual video which incorporates the erotics of a community where the personal is not only political, but sexual. This project was heavily inspired by 1970’s porn-romance-liberation films which served as distinct portraits of the urban inhabitants, landscapes and the body politic of a particular time and place.

In Their Room is about gay men, bedrooms, sex and intimacy. The film veers into the bedrooms of eight different men where you see them doing everything from the most banal to the most erotic. Complimenting the revealing nature of their everyday activities are confessional interviews about fantasies, turn ons and vulnerabilities. You never leave their bedrooms, but this is unmistakably San Francisco of the present.