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THE CREATORS of the film Of Good Report have filed a claim for R28 million against the Film and Publication Board.
The claim is for damages allegedly caused by the board’s assertion that the movie contained child pornography.
In papers served to the board on Monday, the legal representative of the film’s producers, Gugulethu Mdlanga, said the board had to pay R15m for damages the producers suffered and R13m for revenue and lost potential earnings “due to the (board’s) incorrect association of the film with child pornography”.
The film was due to be screened on the opening night of the Durban International Film Festival in July, but was banned after the board refused to classify it.
This decision was later overturned by the board’s appeal tribunal on the basis that the board had “erred… in not assessing this film in context and by not having regard to whether the intent of the film-makers was to stimulate erotic sentiments in the target audience”.
The film was subsequently classified as “16 VSN”, which allowed it to be screened on the last day of the festival.
Mdlanga said the film had the potential to rake in R3m locally and R10m on the international market. This had all been lost because of the board’s actions.
He said the board had 30 days to respond to the litigation.
The film’s producers have also given the board 30 days to issue an “unequivocal public apology” to the film-makers and to withdraw “defamatory” statements it made against its creators.
The board’s spokesman, Prince Ndamase, confirmed that they had received the papers.
He said the board was waiting for instruction from its legal advisers on how to respond to the litigation. - The Star