The Birmingham director of a film starring disabled actors, which was given a 12A rating and a warning that it featured disabled people, has complained at the classification.
Special People, shot mainly in Worcestershire and Herefordshire, tells the story of a filmmaker trying to make a movie with young disabled people, and its content was initially included in a British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) advisory notice.
The film’s director, Justin Edgar, from Handsworth, called the move “bizarre”, claiming other “light comedy” films - like the Farrelly Brothers’ Stuck On You, which featured conjoined twins - did not experience the same treatment.
But he admitted his film featured the word “spaz” and a sexual reference to pregnancy, and that one of two scenes of “light violence” featured “two boys having a not-very-serious-fight with ping-pong bats”.
In a statement, the BBFC said: “The BBFC provides consumer advice to help people make informed decisions about their own viewing and that of their children. This is particularly important at the advisory categories.
“In the case of Special People, the use of strong sexual language placed the film on the 12A/15 borderline, but the board took into account the intentions of the filmmaker and what we considered to be the educational value of the film and awarded it a 12A rating, which would significantly increase the film’s potential audience.”
Mr Edgar admitted the BBFC had twice offered to amend its advisory notice, but that the film’s distributors had declined.
In the end, the BBFC said, it had changed the notice and informed the distributors on November 12, but the film’s makers said the alteration came too late to change the posters ahead of it premiere on Monday, and that some disabled actors had complained about the note.
Mr Edgar added: “It’s bizarre that (the theme of disability) has to be dragged up.