Maple drives to 'Young People'

Marketing will play off controversy

TORONTO -- Canadian movie distributor Maple Pictures said Monday that it has picked up the domestic rights to Martin Gero's feature film debut "Young People Fucking," and plans a June 13 theatrical release on 25-30 screens.

The romantic comedy, which has benefited from the current debate over proposed tax credit changes that would deny funding to "offensive" material, was initially to be released April 18 by Montreal-based distributor Christal Films.

But Brad Pelman, co-president of Toronto-based Maple Pictures, said that Steven Hoban, a producer on the film, exercised an option to take the film back from Christal and to sell its distribution rights to Maple Pictures.

Toronto-based ThinkFilm holds the U.S. rights to Gero's feature film about four couples and one threesome that, despite an absence of onscreen sex, has garnered widespread press attention for its graphic title.

Ottawa's ruling Conservative party introduced Bill C-10 to deny taxpayer subsidies for offensive homegrown movies after Prime Minister Stephen Harper reportedly objected to public subsidies being used to produce and launch Gero's debut theatrical film at the 2007 Toronto film fest.

The bill is currently stalled in the Canadian Senate as domestic film and TV producers attempt to overturn a key censorship provision.

Pelman said that the marketing campaign for the release of "Young" will strike a balance between allusions to Bill C-10 and the movie's provocative title and attempts to sell an entertaining romantic comedy to a broad public.