THE American film, I Want Your Love, due to be screened at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) in March has been banned by Classification Australia (CA). The film has already been shown at LGBT festivals around the world and will be screened next Wednesday at the Riverside Studios in London.
Festival films in Australia are usually granted exemptions from the classification process. The MQFF reported that CA had refused this due to “explicit sex scenes without the narrative context”. The MQFF disputes this interpretation.
They said in a statement: “We’re shocked that Classification Australia have taken this path.”
They added: “We’re sorry our audience won’t be able to make up its own mind about adult content.”
With a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology, the director Travis Matthews has stated that his movies “focus on gay men and intimacy.” This is the first feature film from the writer, director and documentary filmmaker.
The story centres on 30-year-old Jesse, a gay man who is moving back to his hometown of Ohio after a decade in San Francisco. Jesse’s leaving party with his friends and ex-lovers includes explicit gay male sex scenes. This follows the trend for documentary-style discussion and depiction of sex in films such as Shortbus passed by the CA in 2006 with a R18+ rating.
The CA banned Matthews’s previous 2010 documentary In Their Room Berlin, where he advertised for gay men to share their feelings, lives and bedrooms with his camera. This effectively led to its withdrawal from Sydney’s Mardi Gras film festival last year. His current film, I Want Your Love, began life as an online short distributed by Naked Sword, one of the largest online gay porn companies.
I Want Your Love will be shown on Wednesday February 27 at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London as part of its week-long gay cinema festival. Last year, the film was shown at the queer Fringe Film Festival in London and at LGBT film festivals in Israel, France, the Republic of Ireland and Hong Kong.