Oscar-winning film Call Me By Your Name, has been pulled from one of China’s top film festivals, just one month out from the festival taking place.
According to Reuters, the film’s distributor, Sony Pictures Entertainment, confirmed the films withdraw from the festival, despite no official reason being given.
While it can not be confirmed, Wu Jian, a Beijing-based film analyst, suspects that the film’s removal is part of a trend to further restrict the freedom of expression of the LGBT community in China, a move that Jian describes as “quite embarrassing for China.”
“This movie is in deviation from the policy environment in China,” Jian Added.
Despite Homosexuality not being illegal in China, LGBTI people have no specific protections from discrimination, and same-sex relationships are currently not legally recognised.
Call Me By Your Name was nominated in four categories, including best film, in this year’s Oscars, went on to win for best-adapted screenplay, and tells the story of a summer love affair between a 17-year-old boy and a 24-year-old American man in Italy during the 1980s.
Despite receiving widespread acclaim, it’s not the first time the film has faced restrictions, with Luca Gudagnino’s film reportedly also being banned in Tunisia after the nations culture ministry refused to issue a permit for it to be screened.