Carole Mikita ReportingThe independent film "Saints and Soldiers" was supposed to premier this month but now that won't happen. The Motion Picture Association of America has given it an "R" rating.
The filmmakers are Latter-day Saints and this decision from the MPAA could eliminate a large part of the audience before it goes into theatres. The Motion Picture Association of America says ‘Saints and Soldiers’, a Latter-day Saint themed World War II drama, contains a 'muted level of violence and serious themes'
The film's director, Ryan Little and producer, Adam Abel know that rating could hurt their box office success because church leaders have asked members not to view R-rated films. The filmmakers say they studied World War II pictures, specifically “Pearl Harbor”, and other war films, "Behind Enemy Lines", that received PG-13 ratings. They have appealed to the ratings board once.
Adam Abel, Producer 'Saints & Soldiers’: "We were successful in obtaining a majority vote from them that it should have been PG-13. The bylaws are set up in such a way that you have to have a super majority, so we missed out by two votes."
MPAA members told them their film achieves what 'Saving Private Ryan' only tried to do. 'Saints and Soldiers' has won prizes in 14 of 18 film festivals around the country, but Abel and Little will change some scenes.
Adam Abel: "We can't jeopardize the integrity of the film. It's an award-winning film. It's a story that people love, not only here locally but more importantly, the thousands of people who have already seen it nationwide."
The Motion Picture Association of America will review it again in the near future.
On a side note, the American Legion is interested in premiering it Memorial Day in Washington, D.C.