LONDON — Brit artist Tracey Emin has pulled her debut pic, “Top Spot,” from theatrical U.K. release in protest of the censor’s decision to award it an 18 certificate due to its depiction of a suicide technique. Pic bowed at the London Film Festival last month.
Young-adult channel BBC Three, which commissioned the pic and put $215,000 behind it, will air it uncut in mid-December.
Distributor Tartan Films and Emin withdrew “Top Spot,” as they feel the British Board of Film Classification’s 18-and-over ruling means it will not be able to be seen by the audience it was made for.
Emin commented, “I made this very personal film about teenage girls. I never in a million years thought they would not be able to see it.”
Emin, best known for her 1999 art installation “Bed,” collaborated with “24 Hour Party People” helmer Michael Winterbottom to make the semi-autobiographical movie about the traumatic experiences of a group of 15-year-old girls growing up in the seaside resort town of Margate.
BBFC spokeswoman Sue Clark said, “After taking the advice of the Dept. of Health experts, we decided the two shots which depict a particular suicide technique were not appropriate for a 15 film.”
The BBFC offered Emin the chance to remove the shots and score a 15 certificate. She declined.
Tartan topper Hamish McAlpine, who has had several run-ins with the BBFC, weighed in with: “Tracey was given the opportunity to mutilate her film in order to obtain a 15 certificate, but quite rightly refused to accede to this request from the BBFC.”
Exec producer Andrew Eaton also expressed dismay at the rating decision, saying, “It was always made for a theatrical release and we are naturally disappointed.”