Push for film censorship overhaul


Writer: Penchan Charoensuthipan

A film scholar is calling on the National Board of Film and Video (NBFV) to stop banning movies, saying that a strictly enforced rating system can be more effective than outright censorship.  Ruksarn…

Ruksarn Viwatsinudom, a communications professor at Chulalongkorn University, spoke last week at a seminar on possible amendments to the 2008 Film and Video Act, and the NBFV agreed to review the rating…

Mr Ruksarn suggested reducing the number of ratings levels from seven to five and setting clearer metrics on sex, drugs and violent scenes for filmmakers and the censorship board to follow.

The seven levels now are educational films: films suitable for a general audience; age restrictions of 13, 15, 18 and 20; and films banned from screening. Mr Ruksarn said ages 13 and 15 aren’t much different,…

With clearer measures of age-appropriate content, film producers can better follow the guidelines, and the censorship board can better enforce them, he said.

The NBFV would not commit to doing away with film bans but said the act should be amended to separate bans from the rating system. The reasons a film might be banned would be clearly stated and publicly…

Mr Ruksarn has researched the topic of film bans and found that more than 80% of Thais do not know about the existing law, and few have any understanding of the ratings categories. He recommends using…

Mr Ruksarn was also concerned that the members of the NBFV consisted mainly of government officials. He said the board should include teachers, parents and filmmakers.

Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat said the seven-year-old law should be adjusted to meet the current social structure and technology.

“Movies play a vital role in presenting a constructive image of Thai culture to foreign countries. That’s why the Thai film industry should be promoted. It can lead to a lot of tourism income,” Mr Vira…

Weerasak Kowsurat, from the National Federation of Motion Pictures and Contents Associations, said media industries in Thailand are growing swiftly, and the state should encourage people to produce more…

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/475413/push-for-film-censorship-overhaul

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