R21 films may soon make their way to local cinemas as well as DVDs and pay TV, if
recommendations by the Censorship Review Committee (CRC) are accepted by the Government.
The CRC report called for relaxation in content and regulation standards, given that technological changes are undermining the old ways of restricting content. With more content streaming through the Internet, the existing media regulations will become
less effective. Responsibility must shift to individuals and parents, who must be empowered to make choices for themselves and for their children.
The panel, a state-appointed group of 17 people, was convened to review current censorship regulations across media such as films, videos and publications, as well as the arts. It is chaired by Goh Yew Lin, chairman of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory.
In a bold suggestion that may raise eyebrows, the panel wants R21 content to be made available on more platforms - at home and in local cinemas, the panel has recommended that videos may be sold in video stores, provided the industry can enforce the
restriction of sale to minors.
It also suggests that R21 content be available on subscription TV and video-on-demand with a default parental lock.
Making a case for easing of R21 content, the committee's report said: Where consumers have the ability to exercise controlled choice, as is the case with video-on-demand, R21 content should be permitted. However, its introduction should be carefully
calibrated, and only allowed if there are adequate safeguards in place to prevent access by minors .
The commitee also recommended that a new PG13 rating be introduced to 'provide a stronger signal to parents on the nature of the content and to facilitate appropriate rating of films with some mature content.
The CRC has submitted its report to Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, which is expected to respond in a month's time.
Update: Fitting in Dark Knight
26th September 2010. Based on article
, thanks to Sean
Singapore's Censorship Review Committee is recommending that the country become slightly less buttoned up and that content regulation become more pragmatic.
The committee, which spent nearly a year deliberating, recommends the introduction of a new PG-13 film classification.
Explaining the idea of a PG-13 category Vijay Chandra, chairman of the Films Consultative Panel, said that The Dark Knight was rated PG, meaning that even primary school age children could watch it, although its violence may have upset parents.
However, he said that an NC-16 rating would have been unwarranted.
As a consequence of the result of a PG-13 rating being introduced, Chandra said that the average PG film would then become milder and more innocuous.
In total the committee made some 80 recommendations – including dropping the word censorship from the title of future review committees – to the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. The ministry is expected to respond within a month.