LATEST: Film-maker Michael Moore and his distributors have lost their appeal to lower the R rating for controversial documentary FAHRENHEIT 9/11.

LIONS GATE FILMS and IFC Films, the movie's distributors, say an appeals board for the MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (MPAA) rejected their request to reduce the rating to PG-13.

The R rating prohibits those 17 and younger from seeing Fahrenheit 9/11 without an adult.

But Moore is urging younger teenagers to see the film anyway, saying, "I encourage all teenagers to come see my movie, by any means necessary. If you need me to sneak you in, let me know."

Fahrenheit 9/11, which won the top honour at last month's (MAY04) CANNES FILM FESTIVAL, attacks American President George W Bush and his administration, as well as the war in Iraq.

The movie was rated R for "violent and disturbing images and for language". The images include an Iraqi man tossing a dead baby into a truckload of bodies, Iraqis burned by napalm and a public beheading in Saudi Arabia.

The film opens on limited release in New York today (23JUN04) and across America in about 850 theatres on Friday (25JUN04).

23/06/2004 01:52