The festival’s removal of the gay-themed coming-of-age film – first reported by Reuters – comes as Chinese authorities tighten their control over media content. Earlier this month, China’s rubber-stamp parliament voted to allow the Communist Party’s propaganda department to have control over film, news and publishing.
“Call Me by Your Name,” which is handled by Sony Pictures Entertainment, follows the same-sex romance between a teenage boy and a graduate student over a summer in the Italian countryside. The film was pulled from the Beijing festival after the screening proposal submitted was not approved by regulators, Reuters said, citing a source with knowledge of the matter.
Although homosexuality is not illegal in China and gay activism has sprung up in the country’s urban centers, being gay is regarded with disapproval by much of society and the government.
The Beijing Film Festival runs April 16-23.
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