THAILAND - The country's first film-rating system will be up and running in May after the Cabinet approved four draft regulations yesterday.
Rather than the five categories used elsewhere, Thailand's system will classify films into seven categories.
"The extra categories are for films that should be promoted on cultural or artistic merit, and films that should be banned for inappropriate content," Culture Minister Teera Slukpetch said.
Films that authorities deem to offend the monarchy, threaten national security, hamper national unity, insult faiths, disrespect honourable figures, challenge morals or contain explicit sex scenes will be banned from Thai screens.
The five other categories are similar to those used in rating systems elsewhere.
The "General Audiences" category is for films with no sex, abusive language or violence.
The "13" category excludes violence, brutality, inhumanity, bad language and indecent gestures, rules that are relaxed slightly for the "15" rating.
Films with an "18" rating can explore the darker side of human nature but must not show scenes of exposed genitalia, crime or drugs.
Then there are films for viewers aged 20 and above. Sex scenes are allowed here but only if viewers don't get a peek of genitalia.
It's not all bad
Thai Film Director Associa-tion chairman Yongyoot Thong-kongtoon said the regulations would give a framework for film directors. One positive side is that it might encourage less low-grade comedies and more movies with substance, he said.
"We'll have to wait and see what the new system brings in the long run."
Director and producer Prachya Pinkaew, who sits on the panel that prepared the draft regulations, said he was happy to see the system sail through the Cabinet. The regulations have been dogged by criticism since they were first unveiled. -DAILY XPRESS/ANN