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Director Uwe Boll joins chorus decrying film-tax bill Add to ...

Film director Uwe Boll says he left his native Germany for Canada to flee the kind of censorship he says the federal government is considering with a new film-tax bill.

And Mr. Boll says he may pack his bags again if Bill C-10 is passed.

Mr. Boll is the latest director to slam a proposed federal amendment that gives the Heritage Minister the right to cancel the funding for projects that are said to be pornographic, even if other government agencies have invested in the production.

"This is, for me, the reason I went away from Germany," said Mr. Boll, whose latest film, Postal, is slated for release this month.

Mr. Boll, who said the bill will scare away other foreign filmmakers from working in Canada as well, added his name to a growing list of directors and actors opposed to the bill.

The bill would retroactively deny tax credits to films the federal government deems "contrary to public policy."

Mr. Boll said he is not willing to hand over movie scripts for government approval for tax credits when he supports people in the Canadian industry through his productions.

"This is unbelievable," Mr. Boll said. "The main point why filmmakers came from around the world to Canada is you have the automatic support from the government."

With the Canadian and U.S. dollars at par, that kind of censorship is something the Canadian film industry can ill afford, he said.

"The U.S. comes here and films movies here," he said. "They do it because of the labour tax."

Last week, David Cronenberg, one of Canada's most successful movie directors, warned a Senate committee that the new tax measure threatens the industry north of the border.

Actress Sarah Polley and other members of Canada's entertainment industry also appeared before a Senate hearing on the legislation to denounce the bill.

Mr. Boll said the legislation would create an atmosphere of censorship in Canada similar to what he said happened in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. "It's the same kind of direction that Canada is going in and this is the dangerous thing," he said.

Heritage Minister Josée Verner called comments that the bill smacks of censorship "completely erroneous."

"Our government is determined to ensure freedom of expression and will continue to support the production of entertaining and high-quality content," she said in a statement.

The minister noted that the provisions included in Bill C-10 affect the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, which does not apply to foreign film producers.

The statement said the legislation won't affect a separate credit, known as the Film or Video Services Tax Credit, which encourages Canadian and foreign producers to employ Canadians.

The Canadian Film and Television Production Association has asked that the tax provision be removed from the bill.

Mr. Boll, who amused the film world two years ago when he took on his critics in a series of Vancouver boxing matches, has filmed several movies in the Vancouver area.

Among his films are In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); BloodRayne (2005); and House of the Dead (2003).

He believes the climate south of the border is partly to blame for the fact he can't get many theatres for the May 23 opening of Postal. So far, he said, he has about 20 theatres each in the United States and Canada.

He describes the movie as a "ridiculous comedy ..." In one scene, the Sept. 11 hijackers argue about the number of virgins they will get in paradise.

While some critics who have seen Postal have liked it, Mr. Boll said he still can't get screens in the U.S. for the release this month.

"It's disappointing," he said. "They try to be politically correct. They are wrong."

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