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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2004, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Artist Emin angry at film censors
Tracey Emin
Emin used inexperienced actors for her film
Artist Tracey Emin has reacted angrily to a film she has made about teenage life being given an 18 certificate.

The film, Top Spot, centres on six teenagers growing up in Emin's home town of Margate, and deals with love, sex and death.

"I made this very personal film about teenage girls. I never in a million years thought that they would not be able to see it," she said.

Censors said the adult rating was given because of a suicide scene.

The British Board of Film Classification said if the suicide scene had not been included then it would have received a lower 15 certificate.

But the distributor, Tartan Films, accused the BBFC of being inconsistent, saying American films were given an easier time, citing the US movie The Virgin Suicides as an example of a similar film which got a 15 rating.

We were concerned the scene might influence a vulnerable age group
BBFC spokeswoman
He said: "There is no logic to this decision. There is absolutely no sex or depiction of sex in the film, and I fail to see what references to sex made in the film are not suitable for a 15-year-old to hear," said Hamish McAlpine.

Alienated audiences

"As this film strikes a very moral stance against the exploitation of teenagers, all the references to sex are intended to teach 15-year-olds the dangers they face in an adult world.

"The fact that The Virgin Suicides was granted a 15 certificate in the UK makes the decision of the BBFC to give Top Spot an 18 certificate even more bizarre.

"Their decision has alienated the very audience who should be seeing it", he said.

But the BBFC said the way the two films dealt with suicide were incomparable.

"We were concerned the scene might influence a vulnerable age group.

"In The Virgin Suicides, you only see a band on someone's wrist and slightly pink bathwater."

Emin's directorial debut will be premiered during the London Film Festival.

The six young actresses were chosen through an open casting and came to the production with no acting experience.

Emin developed the script after interacting with the girls and using improvisation.

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