Film studio Disney are refusing to release Michael Moore's latest documentary FAHRENHEIT 9/11 - according to the controversial director himself.

The DUDE, WHERE'S MY COUNTRY author, who won an OSCAR for his 2002 picture Bowling For Columbine, announced on his official website today (05MAY04) Disney has banned the film's producer Miramax from distributing the movie, which criticises American President George W Bush.

Moore says, "Yesterday I was told that Disney, the studio that owns Miramax, has officially decided to prohibit our producer, Miramax, from distributing my new film, Fahrenheit 9/11.

"The reason? According to today's NEW YORK TIMES, it might 'endanger' millions of dollars of tax breaks Disney receives from the state of Florida because the film will 'anger' the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush."

Despite his upset at Disney's decision, Moore is adamant the film will be screened.

Moore continues, "Some people may be afraid of this movie because of what it will show. But there's nothing they can do about it now because it's done, it's awesome, and if I have anything to say about it, you'll see it this summer because, after all, it is a free country."

Fahrenheit 9/11 links the US Premier with powerful families in Saudi Arabia, including terror chief Osama Bin Laden, and criticises Bush's actions prior to the September 11 (01) tragedy.

Miramax spokesman MATTHEW HILZIK told the New York Times, "We are discussing the issues with Disney. We're looking at our options and look forward to resolving this amicably."

However, an adamant Disney spokesperson ZENIA MUCHA remarks, "We advised both Moore's agent and Miramax in May of 2003 that the film would not be distributed. That decision stands."

Fahrenheit 9/11 is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this month (MAY04).

05/05/2004 17:24