Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Volunteer censors?

Membership of the Film Censorship Board will be open to volunteers and the public under a proposed amendment to the Thai Film Act, according to the Bangkok Post.

The draft law was being scrutinised by the Council of the State and was expected to be approved by parliament this year. The amendment provides for setting up a screening committee to select the 19-member Film Censorship Board, which until now has been appointed by the police chief. Many of the board's members have normally been senior police officers, especially the top positions.

The new committee would be able to recruit ''suitable outsiders'' such as scholars and volunteers to the board.

Film censorship, overseen for many decades by police, was transferred to the Culture Ministry last year. The ministry has been waiting for decisions by about 200 police working at the Film Censorship Department whether they want to transfer to the new agency.

''We hope they will join us as I have heard many of them developed a passion for the job,'' Culture Ministry permanent secretary Thipawadee Meksawan told the Post.

Instead of chopping out or putting Vaseline on sexually explicit scenes, the new censorship criteria would focus on rating films, VCDs and DVDs shown or sold in the country to ensure the content was viewed by an appropriate audience.

( Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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