A FILM condemned as “disgusting and vile” will not be shown at the British Horror Film Festival in Bournemouth on Saturday, October 30, it has been announced.

Bournemouth Council Licensing Committee agreed not to ban A Serbian Film from the festival if it was classified by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).

Although the BBFC has issued the film with an 18 certificate for Home Entertainment release after almost four minutes of cuts were made, it has yet to issue a certificate for theatrical exhibition.

A Festival spokesperson said they had therefore taken the decision to pull the film “because of timing”.

David Greene, spokesperson for the British Horror Festival, said: “We couldn’t guarantee that they would give us the certificate in time for the screening.”

The film is about a porn star coerced into taking part in acts including necrophilia and child rape.

Mr Greene added: “It is a film that condemns these things and doesn’t glorify them.”

Sue Clark, BBFC spokesperson told the Daily Echo yesterday that they expected to issue the film version with an 18 certificate.

She said: “We have seen the DVD version and they have made the cuts that we requested. If they send the same version in for cinema release there is no reason why we couldn’t have that ready for the end of the week.”

Cllr David Kelsey, licensing board vice-chairman, told the licensing board last week that he would be uncomfortable with the film being shown even if cuts were made.

He said: “It is the most disgusting, vile thing I’ve ever sat down and watched. It was absolutely unbelievable. I think cutting five minutes from it would not be enough.

“Even that would leave a lot of scenes that I would not want to see in a public cinema.”

A LEADING film critic has backed A Serbian Film and called for the public to be allowed to judge it for themselves.

Alan Jones, who contributes to Radio Times and Film Review, organised the Film4 FrightFest event in August, from which the film had to be pulled after Westminster council refused permission to show it uncut.

He said dropping the film had been a “tragedy”.

“I have seen the film numerous times now and have discussed it at length with director Srdjan Spasojevic. Sure, the subject matter is as shocking as they come, but what you actually see on screen in the uncut version, is brilliantly handled so you think you saw what you didn’t,” he said.

He said the film was “a compelling and provocative work of utter hatred and anger” against the treatment the Serbian government meted out to its people.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has requested 49 cuts totalling almost four minutes before the film can be given an 18 certificate.

Mr Jones said: “That this film has become such a controversial cause celebre – only in the UK and Turkey, I may add – is yet again another example of how the BBFC can tell responsible adults over the age of 18 what they can and can’t see. I find that more outrageous than anything seen in the movie.”