The much-delayed Thai motion-picture ratings system is now set to go into effect in the middle of August, with the Cabinet approving a set of regulations put forward by the Culture Ministry covering films, Internet gaming cafes and karaoke parlors.
The Nation/Daily Xpress has the story. Here's the part about the movie ratings:
[Culture Minister Teera Slukpetch] said there were seven categories: educational films people are encouraged to see; films suitable for the general audience; films suitable for those over 13; films suitable for those over 15; films suitable for those over 18; films restricted for persons under 20, and films banned from being screened in the Kingdom.
Teera also said that the ministry has finished making the six rating symbols and would submit them to the National Committee on Film and Video in mid-August before they are implemented.
The symbols are: “Sor” (from the Thai word song serm that means “promote”) for educational films people are encouraged to see; “Thor” (from thua pai meaning “general”) for films suitable for the general audience; “Nor 13+” (Nor is from naenam meaning “advisory”) for films suitable for those over 13; “Nor 15+”; “Nor 18+”, and “Chor 20+” (Chor is from chapor that means “specific”) for films restricted for persons under 20.
The motion-picture ratings chart has only six categories. The hidden seventh category is for films that are banned entirely. If they are banned, they don't need a symbol, because they will never be shown. To anyone. Ever.
The age ratings from 13+ to 18+ are "advisory" in nature -- just a caution or guideline for viewers and are not binding. Which means it's entirely possibly you'll find giggling 15-year-old schoolboys and girls snickering at -- or being completely bored by -- films meant for viewers 18 and over. Or you'll have parents bringing their babies to loud action movies or gorey horror movies, and there will be kids crying because they are scared.
But the 20+ rating with the red box is a restricted rating, and ID checks will be mandatory. I wonder if 20+ films will ever be released in the Kingdom?
If the ratings were in effect now, how would Bruno or The Hangover -- being released in Thailand this week -- be rated? 15+, 18+ or 20+?
Update: Bruno is censored in Thailand. It's screening with cuts in a limited run at House, Paragon and SF World. I have to wonder if it would still be cut even if it were rated 18+ or 20+.
Update 2: Kong Rithdee posts in his blog, saying that it's believed the first Thai film to be deliberated by the ratings board is Du Suay Dua (Raging Phoenix), the Jija Yanin action film set for release on August 12.
Update 3: I originally uploaded the wrong image to go with this post. The previous chart is one already in use for television.