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Cuomo to Make Case for PG-13 on '9/11'

June 16, 2004|Elaine Dutka | Times Staff Writer

When Lions Gate Films and IFC Films appeal the R rating for Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" at a hearing next Tuesday, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo will make their case for a less commercially limiting PG-13, the companies announced Tuesday in New York.

Although Cuomo, a Democrat, may make a persuasive argument for the documentary that is harshly critical of the Bush administration, it is unusual for anyone not directly involved with a film to participate in the appeal of a rating.

The Motion Picture Assn. of America awarded the R rating, under which theaters bar children under 17 from seeing a film unless they are accompanied by a parent or adult, "for violent and disturbing images and for language."

"We are adamant about overturning this decision in an expeditious manner to ensure that as many people as possible ... are able to see one of the most important and thought-provoking films of our time," said Tom Ortenberg, president of Lions Gate Releasing.

On another front, Sacramento-based Move America Forward has launched an e-mail campaign to persuade theater owners not to show Moore's film, which is slated to open June 25 in 500 to 700 theaters, the most ever for a documentary.

Targeted theater owners could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.

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