WashTimes: NEA Funds Questionable Film Festivals

Friday, 15 Aug 2014 10:21 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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The Washington Times granted its Golden Hammer award for questionable taxpayer spending to the National Endowment for the Arts for funding film festivals that feature movies some might find questionable or offensive, the newspaper reported Thursday.

The NEA directly funded at least 39 film festivals at a cost to taxpayers of $845,000 during the last fiscal year that featured movies of "decapitated heads, public urination, and sexual promiscuity," The Times reported. In addition, federal dollars also supported indirectly "dozens of other festivals . . . through state and local arts agencies," according to The Times.

The films included "Wawd Ahp," where "a rapper decapitates himself, then has sex with his own severed head in a bathtub," an animation called "Eczemus" featuring a man urinating while "pummeling a baby bird to death," and "Farah Goes Bang," which told the story of a "young woman's desperate attempts to lose her virginity while working for John F. Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign," the newspaper reported.

The NEA on its website claims the projects give viewers the chance to "experience and participate in the arts." Henry Maldonado, president of the Florida Film Festival, defended the use of taxpayer funds for the projects.

"In the end, I firmly believe that Americans do not want, will not accept censorship, and to leave these decisions to us, the movie-going public," Maldonado told The Times.

The NEA also provided grants for films of a political or sexually explicit nature, including the Environmental Film Festival, which the newspaper said celebrates "environmental extremism."

There was also "Wetlands," which The Times said told the story of a 17-year-old girl and her "shocking and disturbing sexual situations, including masturbating with various vegetables, rubbing her genitals on a filthy toilet seat, and sharing used feminine products with other girls."

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