The National Coalition Against Censorship continues its support of student-led protests by extending the deadline for its protest-themed film contest to May 15th. This year’s contest invites aspiring teen filmmakers to create short films on the value of protest as an instrument of social change. In the weeks leading up to the March for Our Lives and National School Walkouts [...]
Maggie Budzyna's debut film, CENSORED, tackles the slippery slope of banning words from public dialogue. We spoke with the 17-year-old filmmaker about censorship, youth activism and the importance of using her artistic freedom to resist injustice. Watch her film and read the interview.
After anonymous complaints about brief images of sexual acts in an avant-garde film shown in class, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design launched a sexual harassment investigation. Saul Levine, the professor teaching the class and the target of the investigation, who is also a well-regarded avant-garde filmmaker, resigned in protest. This incident raises serious concerns beyond the individual case.
A Virginia school district's decision to ban a short video about affirmative action, along with the suggestion that it may ban other "racially divisive" material, raises serious First Amendment concerns.
The video, as it was intended to do, has sparked a lively debate. Shouldn't a school seek to nurture that discussion instead of stifling it?
Quentin Tarantino has every right to criticize the police, and they have every right to criticize him. But police officers should be mindful of the First Amendment rights of those with whom they disagree.
NCAC counts down some of the most egregious cases of censorship in the history of the Oscars — a reminder that the show can often serve as an open, free platform for people to speak out and raise awareness about important issues.
A Florida lawmaker who last year introduced a bill strengthening local control over public schools wants to make a right-wing documentary required viewing.
As a number of schools across the country let students watch Ava DuVernay’s rapturously acclaimed Selma for free, one school in Alabama didn’t let its students see the movie at all. The reason? The film contains profanity and “racial slurs.”
School officials resisted a challenge to a documentary film. But their new policies on instructional materials, while intended to reduce complaints, could actually do the opposite--giving would-be censors more power over what is taught in class.
On Sunday, Dec 21st, NCAC joined Secret Cinema and Spectrum to screen Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator in protest against the cancellation of The Interview. As NCAC noted in a statement regarding the cancellation, threats of violence have become increasingly successful in suppressing cultural expression. Before Sony Pictures Entertainment withdrew its film, The Interview, from all outlets of circulation and distribution, we saw London’s [...]
Cancellation of The Interview: There is an Urgent Need to Affirm Our Commitment to Free Speech Amid Threats of Violence
NCAC issued the following statement and joined forces with the Secret Cinema Society to protest the cancellation of The Interview: There is an Urgent Need to Affirm Our Commitment to Free Speech Amid Threats of Violence In an age of anonymous communications and instant publicity, threats of violence have become increasingly successful in suppressing cultural expression. Just this past year, [...]
The leaves are starting to change, everyone’s back to the school and work routine, and the weather’s turning chilly—the perfect time for a movie marathon of NCAC’s top 40 censored flicks. Begin reading with our #40 pick, an NC-17 film from 2013 that received a chilly welcome in Idaho.
Sex. It's impure, shameful, dirty, immoral, and… harmful? Taboos around sex have existed through the ages, so much so that the American legal system classifies obscene sexual material as a rare exception to First Amendment protection. We rely on judges to tell us if our sexual imagination is obscene or acceptable, and 41 years ago this month, the Supreme Court [...]
NCAC's Youth Free Expression Project sent a letter to the Newfound Area School District warning of the "constitutionally suspect" dissolution of a high school student film club. The official reason for disbanding the club was its supposed failure to advance "student performance in core academic subjects like reading and mathematics” or “complement their regular academic program.” But in conversation with [...]
Turn Me On, Dammit!, an indie Norwegian film about a 15-year-old girl’s struggling with her burgeoning sexuality and dealing with high school tensions, has been widely acclaimed by critics on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet, controversy led to the cancellation of a screening in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the film was scheduled to be shown as part of the Arts [...]
This Fact Sheet answers some frequently-asked questions about social science research into the effects of media violence. The bottom line is that despite the claims of some psychologists and politicians, the actual research results have been weak and ambiguous. This should not be surprising: media violence is so pervasive in our lives, and comes in so many different contexts and [...]
A Second Life user films a demonstration opposing the virtual world's ban of Rose Borchovski's The Kiss, which was intended to be shown at SL's 7th birthday celebration. For more about the incident, see "Second Life Censors Machinema Film Over Artistic Nudity."
State Governments Use Money to Censor Movies Filmed In Their States That Disturb Their Sensibilities and Egos.
Should states withhold film incentive because a film criticizes its anti-immigration policies or shows too much violence, or because a state official just finds it “objectionable”? As a way to bring business and revenue to their regions, various states have started creating tax incentives for filmmakers to make their movie there. A film’s cast and crew can bring millions of [...]
NCAC recently fielded a plea for help from a Boston University student filmmaker, at the College of Communication, whose film Wake Up had been removed from regular class consideration and critique for reasons which depended very much on point of view. The student thought it was art. The faculty called it pornography.
The school board at Council Rock School District in southeastern Pennsylvania decided last week that teachers may continue to use R-rated movies in class. Their defense of the policy comes after an extended controversy that began last fall when parent Diana Nolan asked that all R-rated films be removed from high school curricula. Parents were required to sign permission slips [...]
Avatar has incited controversy over Sigourney Weaver's character's smoking in the film, even though the character is decidedly not, as director James Cameron describes, "an aspirational role model" for teenagers. Anti-smoking advocates fear that children will mimic the vices they see onscreen -- another theory in a long line of efforts to attribute social ills to media or other cultural [...]
High school students, educators, and free speech advocates from around the city will gather at the New York Film Academy on Saturday, March 28 for Youth Voices Uncensored, an afternoon of film screenings and discussions about how youth media can address important social and political issues.
NEWSDAY Tuesday, August 5, 1997 What can explain the fact that The Tin Drum could win an Academy Award for best foreign film and Best Picture at the Cannes Film Festival in 1979, and be faced with the claim that it is "obscene" and "child pornography" in 1997? Were we all blind to obscenity and child pornography then? [...]
NEW YORK, N.Y. - National anti-censorship groups representing librarians, artists, writers, booksellers, religious leaders and educators today denounced on-going efforts by Oklahoma City authorities to suppress a wide range of First Amendment-protected material, including the Academy Award-winning film, The Tin Drum. The National Coalition Against Censorship, the National Campaign for Free Expression, the Freedom to Read Foundation, and the American [...]