An Australian classification ruling could prevent younger Kiwi movie-goers from watching a documentary encouraging women to accept their bodies.

Embrace, created by positive body image doyen Taryn Brumfitt, is due to screen at the New Zealand International Film Festival later this month.

Because the film shows female genitalia, the Australian Classification Board has rated it MA15+ - meaning those under 15 can't see it, Fairfax reported.

And New Zealand's censorship laws mean any film with an Australian film classification needs to be rated for our audiences by the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

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While festival organisers are waiting for a ruling, expected on July 26, they can't sell tickets to anyone under 18.

Film festival spokeswoman Rebecca McMillan told Fairfax the age restriction could stop mothers from taking their daughters to the film, preventing important education about body image.

She hoped censors would be more lenient here than in Australia.