BY Advocate.com Editors
November 23 2009 9:20 PM ET
A trio of movies that were being shipped to a gay film festival in Ottawa were seized by Canadian border guards over the weekend and are being held until they can be screened from start to finish.
Organizers for Inside Out are having to show DVD or lower-quality copies of the films I Can’t Think Straight, Clapham Junction (pictured), and Patrik 1.5 at the festival. The selections are all releases by here! Films, which is owned by the same parent company as The Advocate.
Canadian publication Xtra reports that the Canadian Border Services Agency originally flagged Clapham Junction because it contains some nudity. The agency then seized the other two films because they had been shipped by the same company.
"It seems biased at some times and at other times random," Jason St-Laurent, Inside Out’s programming director, told Xtra. "But to me, this time, it is not a random event.”
This isn’t the first time Canadian authorities have stopped shipments of gay media from crossing the border. For years, border patrol agents and gay bookstores were at odds, with books and magazines delayed by months in arriving in Canada or even shredded.
Vancouver-based bookstore Little Sister's objected and eventually won a partial victory in 2000, when the Supreme Court of Canada acknowledged agents were routinely holding material up at the border because of its gay content and ordered them to cease doing so.