Last September, the film “To Singapore, With Love” was classified by the Media Development Agency (MDA) as Not Allowed for All Ratings (NAR). Essentially, what that meant was the film was not allowed to be screened publicly and distributed in Singapore.
The film, about political exiles in Singapore, sold out screenings in cities like London, New York, Melbourne and Malaysia and has also won numerous awards, garnering praises from critics, laypersons and fellow film directors.
When MDA decided to ban the film from screening in Singapore, the reason that they gave is that the film “undermines national security.”
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said earlier that the political exiles featured in the documentary should not be allowed the chance to air their own “self-serving” accounts of the fight against communism
Earlier today, director Ms Tan Pin Pin announced that her film would now be available for purchase on DVD and on the video streaming site, Vimeo.
However, due to MDA’s classification, individuals in Singapore would not be able to purchase the DVD. Also, those with IP addresses that are based in Singapore will also be blocked by the MDA from watching the film on Vimeo.
Ms Tan explains why Singaporeans couldn’t purchase the film in Singapore on the film’s website,
The Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) gave To Singapore, with Love a Not Allowed for All Ratings (NAR) classification. Pin Pin appealed the classification but the appeal was rejected. As a result of the classification, the DVD cannot be sold and the film cannot be streamed in Singapore.
She also explained that the DVDs on sale are of limited edition and it also carries the signatures of production crew behind the film.
This is a limited edition signed DVD. It is perfect as a gift and for organising a screening with friends and family. Due to the ban, we can only mail the DVD outside of Singapore, hence the DVD is stamped “With Love, From Singapore”. Order window closes 31 July 2015. Hurry, order now.
Some commenters online have suggested that Singaporeans who want to watch the film should take advantage of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to bypass MDA’s block on the website and watch it on Vimeo.