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Reeling in movies

Ten movies have been banned from being screened since the new film-censor law took effect

 A year after the new film-censor law came into effect, ten movies were banned from theatres, including Frontiere, Halloween, Funny Games, Zack and Mari Make Porno and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, as they were deemed violent and against good virtue, a senior official at the Culture Ministry revealed


Director of the Film and Video Classification Office Pradit Prosil also urged movie theatres to apply for operation licences by September or face up to Bt1 million in fines.

Pradit said that the new Film and Video Act 2008 has been in effect since June 2008 but its five subordinate laws were delayed and had just been all approved by the Cabinet, leading to many problems. However, since it came into effect, ten mostly foreign films were banned from being screened in Thailand because most of them had violent and amoral content, he said. He cited a film about a male house guest who later killed the homeowner as an example that went against the Thai value of gratitude.

Pradit also said the 2008-issued ministerial regulations on theatre licences came into effect from July 27 this year, so operators must apply for a license within 60 days. He warned that those who failed to meet the deadline might be subjected to a fine ranking from Bt200,000 to Bt1 million and a Bt10,000 daily fine until the theatre obtains a licence.

Pradit's comment was made after the opening ceremony of a seminar yesterday at The Emerald Hotel. At the same event, Assistant Culture Minister Suriya Suksakit told reporters that the ministry was well aware of public concerns about children being able to play computer games for more than three hours a day and wanted a law to prohibit this. He said that the ministry could not put the three-hour limit into effect due to a shortage of personnel overseeing law inforcement; also, the law couldn't apply to certain types of games. He therefore proposed the installation of security cameras at game shops to allow a centre assigned by each province -- possibly the provincial cultural office -- to supervise game-playing limits in real time and via remote control.

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