Gay film 'DINX' appears to be latest target in CBSA Censorship
Gay film 'DINX' appears to be the latest target of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) censorhip action at the border in Emerson, Manitoba. The CBSA is accused of censorship for its latest target, DINX, an award-winning short film by filmmaker, Trevor Anderson.
According to xtra.ca, the Gay film was detained by Canadian border agents for over a month. The film had been detained on October 21. Anderson received a letter from the CBSA on November 24, informing him that his short film DINX had been detained on October 21, and was being investigated for obscenity. According to Anderson, it was flagged because custom officials did not know what it was and decided to investigate it. The film was on its way back from the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival.
Anderson said 30 days is 'overkill' and "A Google search on that title should've been enough,..."
This incident is the latest in a string of actions by border agents targeting gay films. On Nov 20, CBSA officials flagged three films destined for the Inside Out film festival in Ottawa. The films — I Can't See Straight, Clapham Junction and Patrik, Age 1.5 — are gay and lesbian titles distributed by a gay entertainment company. All three films were eventually approved by the CBSA, but not until after the Inside Out film festival was over. Festival organizers were able to find replacement copies at the last minute, but had they not, the festival could have lost up to $12,000.
Jessica Dollard, programmer and director of Fairy Tales, has been following these incidents closely and is worried.
For them to be flagging the work of Trevor Anderson, who is an award-winning artist...is absolutely terrifying for film festivals," says Dollard. "If we have ordered a film, and it doesn't get to us because customs is holding it up, that could potentially be a very big hardship for a festival."
Dollard says many of the people who attend Fairy Tales are film gurus and enthusiasts. They study the festival's program and choose very carefully which films they want to see.
"For us to pull a film — not only does it look bad, but we might lose audience, we might have to do refunds, it would make us look unprofessional and disorganized," she says.
Dollard says she gets more concerned each day as next year's festival draws nearer. She says she may have to speed up the selection process in order to ensure that films arrive on time for the festival at the end of May.
Anderson is also taking precautions.
"Usually you book these tapes to go from one festival to another so that you don't have to spend the money to have many copies made," he says. "Now, whenever I've got a tape returning from outside Canada into Canada, if it's needed at another festival, I'm going to have to strike another tape and send them that one. I can't rely on it getting to its destination with the possibility of a random detention."
This is the first time that one of Anderson's films has been flagged, but he's not surprised. Anderson has followed the Little Sisters' cases for years. In 2000, the Supreme Court of Canada chastised the CBSA (then Canada Customs) for targeting gay material, but the ruling upheld Customs' power to seize and detain material.
"Of course, I'm not happy that [my tape was held], and I don't think that it's something that should be happening, but at the same time I feel like I'm part of the stuff I was studying in university about the long story of problems at the Canadian border with gay material," says Anderson.
If there's one good thing to come out of this, he adds, "It made me very glad that I named the film DINX, because now I can say, 'the border guards held my DINX for a month.' "
Canadian citizens outraged by CBSA's targeting of gay and lesbian films at the Canadian border, can take action by writing their member of Parliament.
Previously on NowPublic by this Author:
Canadian border agents seize shipment of gay media (November 24, 2009)
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