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  1. ITV Report

London film festival pulls screening of controversial documentary about AIDS

The documentary makers say the decision is the latest 'no platforming'. Photo: Press Association.

The London International Film Festival has cancelled an upcoming screening of a controversial documentary on HIV and AIDS, after heavy criticism.

The film is the work of journalist Joan Shenton, who disputes the idea that HIV causes AIDS. Four HIV/AIDS charities had threatened protests at the screening venue and at the festival sponsors premises, and festival director Erich Schultz is believed to have received "over twenty protest letters."

Shenton described the move as "blantant censorship" and "the latest case of 'no platforming'".

The film was shown at the Frontline Club in Paddington last year after similar protest threats - though none actually emerged.

Positive Hell, the right to free speech and the HIV-positive people honestly depicted in the film are the victims of barefaced censorship.

The film presents a view of HIV and AIDS which is not shared by the giant pharmaceutical companies, their lobby groups and some activists, but it is an evidence-based view nonetheless and has just as much right to be aired and debated as any other.

– Joan Shenton