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Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Film rating to start
It's better than nothing, but is it really? Finally the long-awaited, much-protested film rating system will be introduced to movies released in Thailand -- 40 years after the US, a decade after other Southeast Asian countries, and nearly 80 years after Thai filmmakers started making movies.
There are six ratings: P for promotion (meaning the film should be promoted to all people, for reasons nobody is clear why), G (fit for all age groups), 13+ (recommended for those above 13), 15+, 18+, and 20+. These ratings are advisory, meaning no ID check is required, except only the 20+ category, which do not admit those below the specified age.
The first meeting of the rating committee, which made up of bureatucrats (of course!) and representatives from the film industry, will take place next week. It's believed that the first Thai movie to to tabled to the committee is "Jija, Due Suay Du" or "Raging Phoenix", an action movie starring Jija Yanin. It's not clear what the first non-Thai film to be deliberated is.
But worries linger in the air, because the "ban" and "cut" order is still permitted by the law. What nobody is certain, not even people in the industry, is this: Will the committee have the right to "order" a filmmaker to cut certain scenes before issuing a rating? Usually, it's the choice of the filmmaker to choose to be given a harsh rating, say 20+, if he refuses to cut scenes. What we fear is that the committee will demand scenes to be cut BEFORE a rating is issued. In that case, the whole purpose of the rating system will be seriously compromised.
Let's not get paranoid (though there are reasons to be). We'll keep you updated.
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