Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Film ratings draft law approved by cabinet

A film-ratings system to replace the 1930 Censorship Act is expected to be in place by May after the draft regulations were approved on Tuesday by the Cabinet.

Daily Xpress has a story.

According to the article, the ratings system is divided into seven categories:

  • General Audiences -- No sex, abusive language or violence.
  • Promote -- Films that should be promoted on the basis of cultural or artistic merit.
  • 13 -- No violence, brutality, inhumanity, bad language or indecent gestures.
  • 15 -- Some violence, brutality, inhumanity, bad language or indecent gestures will be allowed.
  • 18 -- No exposed genitalia, crime or drugs.
  • 20 -- Sex scenes are allowed but no exposed genitalia.
  • Ban -- Films that offend the monarchy, threaten national security, hamper national unity, insult faiths, disrespect honourable figures, challenge morals or contain explicit sex scenes.

I am uncertain about the wording of the "18" classification. No "crime"? Really? None at all? That means that just about every movie that comes out can only be seen by viewers over 20, because just about every movie has some form of crime happening.

The "exposed genitalia" ban is also going to be problematic, so maybe they will still be doing pixellation censorship?

What about film festivals? Do all films shown by all the film festivals have to be submitted to the ratings board?

I wonder if there will be an official English translation of the draft law?

Prachya Pinkaew was among the directors sitting on the board that drafted the ratings regulations. The new rules govern the operation of the Film Act of 2007, which was approved in a flurry of lawmaking by the National Legislative Assembly in December 2007.

By the way, anybody want to guess what movie that image is from?

Update: Good comments coming in on this. Daily Xpress has a followup story on plans by the Film Directors Association to hold seminars to try and explain things and assure everyone that everything is going to be okay. Also, Red and White has thoughts. And Variety has an article, but it's just a rewrite of yesterday's Daily Xpress/Nation story.

(Via Daily Xpress, AsiaOne)

5 comments:

  1. The wording of all of it sounds problematic and confused, at least in English. I'll track down the original Thai and see how it sounds.

    18 - No exposed genitalia
    20 - Sex scenes are allowed but no exposed genitalia.

    So why doesn't 18 just say "no sex scenes"? Where does non-genital, non-sexual nudity fall? Like naked old man butts, saggy old lady breasts? What about sexual but non-genital nudity like young nubile breasts?

    It all just seems so hazy unlikely to be helpful.

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  2. I'm glad these rules only apply to films and not to bars, clubs and massage in Thailand. Wouldn't want there to be any double standards.

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  3. The image is from "Jan Dara", yeah?

    Methinks if "Jan Dara" were released after this rating system starts, it would be banned. I never saw it, but from the reviews I read, I'm guessing that because the film has sex scenes and "challenges morals", it would have no chance to be seen except on pirated VCDs sold in the street.

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  4. It will be interesting to see how this new rating system is enforced and how it affects Thai filmmakers. I am especially concerned about how this might affect those filmmakers that have international attention because it may either force them to modify their films or possibly leave Thailand.

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  5. Though I didn't specify, there is a prize for guessing the picture. So Anonymous wins a pack of Mum Deaw lozenges. Next contest, if I have one, you'll have to identify yourself to win a better prize.

    It is early days yet for the new film act, and there's a lot of confusion and anxiety about these new regulations. How they are put into practice and what exactly the law says are still being determined. I expect to hear a lot more howling about it.

    People might actually wish for a return to the 1930 Censorship Act. The new law should have ideally made things better, that is, more free -- not further muck things up with more regulation, more bureaucracy and even more stringent censorship.

    Daily Xpress has a followup story saying the Film Directors Association is going to hold seminars to try and explain things and assure everyone that everything is going to be okay, you'll see.

    Red and White has thoughts. And Variety has an article, but it's just a rewrite of yesterday's Daily Xpress/Nation story.

    ReplyDelete

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