The New Zealand Classification Office today advised that the documentary Embrace, due to screen at NZIFF in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin has been classified as “Unrestricted M: suitable for mature audiences 16 years of age and over”, with a descriptive note for “offensive language and nudity”.
A recent Australian Classification Board rating of MA15+ meant that NZIFF had to submit the documentary for classification in New Zealand, temporarily restricting ticket sales to 18 years and older, after earlier planning to screen it as exempt.
“We are thrilled that this rating decision does not restrict anyone from attending the festival screenings of this film. Embrace provides an empowering alternative to the predominantly unhealthy and unrealistic messages targeting women. The NZ classification decision means that this educational documentary can reach the people who need to see and hear body positive messages the most. New Zealanders of all ages can decide for themselves whether they are mature enough to see the film and understand the themes that it raises: themes of body positivity and representation of women in the media,” says Rebecca McMillan, NZIFF Publicity and Communications Manager.
“We’re encouraged that the Classification Office considers New Zealanders more culturally aware and willing to have these conversations with our children and whānau by allowing an unrestricted rating for the film.” says McMillan.
Taryn Brumfitt, director of Embrace, was advised of the decision this morning via email.
“I'm absolutely thrilled; this is the right decision. Embrace is an entertaining, life-affirming film that leaves audiences feeling inspired. The decision of the New Zealand Classification Office can give New Zealand audiences confidence that Embrace is a film for everyone."
Extract from the New Zealand Classification Office Summary of Reasons for Decision:
Embrace is a well-made, thought-provoking and uplifting examination of body positivity, self-worth and diversity of representation. It is artistically and technically commendable. It also is of high importance in terms of its unique exploration of the issues it addresses and also for giving agency to a diverse range of people about issues of bodies and representations of bodies. The film acts as a counter-narrative to the dominant representations of women and bodies in the media. As such, it will likely be an educational resource for younger and older viewers alike, and facilitate discussion.
Filmmaker Taryn Brumfitt will be in attendance at the Auckland and Wellington screenings of her film. See the film page for details.