“Zahari 17 Years” continues to be banned in S’pore – BFC

Film maker, Mr Martyn See, submitted six films to the Board of Film Censors on 31 March 2009. The following is the BFC’s letter which was received by Mr See on April 17.

Dear Mr See,

1.       I refer to your letter dated 31 March 2009 regarding your submission of six films to the Board of Film Censors (BFC) for classification.

2.       Please note that the 2009 amendments to the Films Act are not yet in force. As such, if you would like the BFC to consider the film based on the criteria in the amended Films Act, we would suggest that you collect the films and re-submit them after the amendments come into force.

3.       We note that two of the films, “Speakers Cornered” and “Success Stories: Lee Kuan Yew”, were previously submitted and approved by the BFC. “Speakers Cornered” was approved and rated NC16 in April 2008 and “Success Stories: Lee Kuan Yew” was approved and rated PG in May 2007. If the content of the forestate two films has not changed since they were rated, the same ratings will continue to apply. “Riding The Tiger” is a documentary series commissioned by Mica (then Ministry of Information and the Arts) and subsequently aired over Channel NewsAsia in 2000. You may wish to note that Section 40 of the Films Act exempts any film sponsored by the Government from the requirements of the Act. As for the films “Singapore Rebel” and “One Nation Under Lee” we reiterate our suggestion that you collect the films and re-submit them after the 2009 amendments come into force. Should you need more details regarding the films (Amendment Bill), please refer to Second Reading speech on the Films Amendment Bill on Mica’s website.

4.       Please be informed that the film “Zahari 17 Years” was previously gazetted by the Minister as a prohibited film under Section 35 (1) of the Films Act as the Minister was of the view that it’s possession or distribution would be contrary to the public interest. As the upcoming amendments to the Films Act do not relate to Section 35 (1), and the Minister has not changed his opinion, “Zahari 17 Years” continues to be a prohibited film. Please note that we will not be releasing this film for your collection as it is an offence for any person to be in possession of a prohibited film under Section 35 (2).

5.       Please get in touch with the Customer Services and Operations Division with regards to collecting the rest of the films.

Yours sincerely,

Wang Chee Yann

Head (Films Standards, English)

Board of Film Censors

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