Sydney audiences may yet see Larry Clark’s controversial new film Ken Park if an appeal against the Office of Film and Literature Classification’s [OFLC] ban is successful.

The film, which depicts raw scenes of teenage sexuality and angst from the director of Kids, was due to be shown at next week’s Sydney Film Festival [SFF] but was last week refused classification by the OFLC.

The SFF’s director Gayle Lake described the decision as extremely disappointing and has instigated an appeal.

Ken Park follows four skateboarding teenagers (three boys and a girl) living in California. Unlike Clark’s earlier film Kids, the interactions between the teenagers and their families play a much more important role in this film. But it is imbued with the same gritty realism and was also made with untrained actors. Clark co-directed the film with cinematographer Ed Lachman, who most recently won acclaim for his work on Todd Haynes’s Far From Heaven.

Lake said people should have the chance to make up their own mind about the film.

The film has screened at many festivals around the world after its premiere at Venice last year. Yes, some people will find it confronting. Yes, it will most certainly divide the audience. But at the very least, there should be an opportunity for over-18-year-old audiences to make up their own minds about the film, Lake said.

Although the film has not secured commercial release in Britain or America it has been shown without protest in a number of European countries and toured widely on the international film festival circuit.

A spokesperson for the OFLC said that the scope of the review was being clarified and she expected that the review board would consider the request from the film festival tomorrow.

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