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BULLY Loses MPAA Appeal by One Vote, Retains R Rating

 
 

TWC Considers Leave Of Absence From MPAA

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a hearing this morning, The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced that it has lost an appeal of the R rating given to its forthcoming documentary BULLY by the Motion Picture Association of America.  The MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration originally bestowed the R on the basis of some language that is used in the film, an urgent and intimate look at America's bullying crisis by award-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch.

Although more than half of the appeals board felt that the movie should be rated PG-13, the MPAA rules stipulate that a two-thirds vote is necessary to overturn.  The final tally was one vote short of the number needed to reverse the decision.

The appeal board's decision eliminates the potential for BULLY to reach a mass national audience of students through screenings at U.S. middle and high schools, where the film could be used as a tool to stop an epidemic of physical, psychological and emotional violence.  BULLY is scheduled for release on March 30, 2012.

TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein led the appeal and was joined by Alex Libby, one of the bullied children whose experiences are documented in BULLY.  The hearing was held at the MPAA's Sherman Oaks screening room, with Motion Picture Consulting LLC's Ethan Noble assisting The Weinstein Company.

Following the decision, Weinstein released the following statement:

 

 

As of today, The Weinstein Company is considering a leave of absence from the MPAA for the foreseeable future.  We respect the MPAA and their process but feel this time it has just been a bridge too far.

 

 

 

I have been through many of these appeals, but this one vote loss is a huge blow to me personally.  Alex Libby gave an impassioned plea and eloquently defended the need for kids to be able to see this movie on their own, not with their parents, because that is the only way to truly make a change.

 

 

 

With school-age children of my own, I know this is a crucial issue and school districts across the U.S. have responded in kind.  The Cincinnati school district signed on to bus 40,000 of their students to the movie – but because the appeals board retained the R rating, the school district will have to cancel those plans.

 

 

 

I personally am going to ask celebrities and personalities worldwide, from Lady Gaga (who has a foundation of her own) to the Duchess of Cambridge (who was a victim of bullying and donated wedding proceeds) to First Lady Michelle Obama (whose foundation has reached out to us as well), to take a stand with me in eradicating bullying and getting the youth into see this movie without restriction.

Tomorrow morning, BULLY director Lee Hirsch will participate in a Q&A session with students at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, following a screening of BULLY at 9:00am.  Approximately 150 students from grades 9-11 are expected to attend.  Said Hirsch, "Tomorrow's screening means even more to me in the wake of the decision by the MPAA today. To say that I am disappointed and distressed would be a grave understatement. It is my great hope that BULLY reaches the audience for whom it was made: kids, the bullied and the bullies and the 80% of kids who can make the most impact by becoming upstanders rather than bystanders. I am gratified that Harvey Weinstein and TWC share my commitment to getting BULLY into America's schools, where it most needs to be seen."

TRAILER – BULLY

http://news.moviefone.com/2012/02/21/bully-trailer-documentary_n_1291229.html?1329847399

SYNOPSIS –BULLY

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Safe and Drug-Free Schools estimates that over 13 million American kids will be bullied this year, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation.  In the new documentary BULLY, award-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch (AMANDLA! A REVOLUTION IN FOUR-PART HARMONY) brings human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families.  Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, BULLY opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders.   It documents the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy "kids will be kids" cliches, and it captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, in communities and in society as a whole.

ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY

The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes, including Tom Hooper's THE KING'S SPEECH, winner of four 2011 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture.

Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; I'M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH'S KEY; and SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D. Currently in release are MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE ARTIST; THE IRON LADY; CORIOLANUS; W.E.; and UNDEFEATED. Upcoming releases include BULLY and THE INTOUCHABLES. Recently wrapped was SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, and currently in production is DJANGO UNCHAINED.

TWC is also active in television production, with credits including the Emmy® nominated and Peabody Award winning reality series "Project Runway," the VH1 reality series "Mob Wives," and the critically acclaimed HBO comedy/crime series "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency," which also received a Peabody Award.  The company is currently producing "After The Runway," "Project Runway All Stars" and "Project Accessory."  The company currently has 17 series in different stages of development, including "Marco Polo," a scripted historical series about the great explorer; and "The Nanny Diaries," being adapted for ABC by Amy Sherman Palladino ("Gilmore Girls").

SOURCE The Weinstein Company

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