James Franco slates Australian government over gay film ban

Actor is critical over decision to ban film by Travis Mathews after branding it indecent

James Franco has called a decision by the Australian government to ban a film featuring gay sex as part of a film festival 'hypocritical' and 'shortsighted'.

The star of 'Oz: The Great and Powerful' has slated the government-sponsored Australian Classification Board over banning Travis Mathews' film 'I Want Your Love' from both the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the Brisbane Queer Film Festival.

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Franco... slates Australian government for gay film ban (Copyright: PA)

Franco came to the film's defence having appeared in previous Mathew project 'Interior. Leather' Bar. '.

In a video statement, Franco said that he agreed to work with Mathew because he was 'using sex in such a sophisticated way'.

“To keep it away from films that want to explore it as human behavior is very shortsighted and I think very hypocritical. I don't think we would be having this conversation if he had made a very violent film,” he added.

The decision is made more controversial by the board's decision to allow the screening of a documentary called 'Donkey Love', which depicts a Colombian folk tradition of men having sex with donkeys, at the Sydney and Brisbane Underground Film festivals.

It has previously banned screenings of 'LA Zombie', a gay zombie film which featured scenes of simulated cannibalism, in 2010, and in 2003 banned 'Ken Park', Larry Clark's film in which there is a scene of a threesome between one female and two male actors portraying teenagers.