New Zealand’s censorship laws mean that if a film is restricted in Australia, it needs to be classified for New Zealand audiences by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC).
While the film is being classified the festival is not allowed to sell tickets to anyone under the age of 18. A decision on its rating is expected by July 26, but that is just three days before the documentary is scheduled to screen in Auckland.
Before the Australian Classification Board’s decision, Embrace was exempt from classification in New Zealand on the grounds it was an educational documentary.
NZIFF communications manager Rebecca McMillan said the age restriction could prevent mothers taking their daughters to see the film, limiting potentially important conversations about body image.
She hoped the New Zealand OFLC would give the film a more lenient rating than its Australian counterpart.
“This is the kind of documentary that mothers should be taking their daughters to, and we would hate to se a rating that made that impossible,” she said.