After the Edison Chen episode, Singapore just had to get in on some action. Videos and censorship have recently made their way to the legal headlines again.
It first started out in late-April when a group of self-styled bloggers submitted recommendations believed to include the repealing of the Films Act.
However, before anything could happen, the censors swarmed in during the screening of a political film on Lee Kuan Yew on the grounds that "it would be an offence to screen a film that has not been submitted to the Board of Film Censors (BFC) for classification and that is not approved for exhibition".
Before the dust could die down, another group of filmmakers found themselves in a sticky situation--this time two doctors allegedly showed their then-partner in their medical practice a video featuring him and a clinic assistant having a tryst in his consultation room after office hours. The unsuspecting actor/doctor alleged the video was taken to pressurize him to exit the partnership and made a police report, but that investigations were subsequently discontinued. I wonder how the Films Act treated the classification of this video.
In the day and age of accessible film-making and new media, censorship control over films is not an easy one to balance--in fact, a Malaysian politician expressed support for Singapore's strict approach.
Trying to exert control while creating a myriad of exceptions, coupled with administrative discretion, creates great uncertainty.
Added on 6th June 2008:
As if this was not enough, a a couple of plantation workers in Malaysia decided to make a little movie about themselves which got distributed and now both have been charged by police (details are hazy). Stay tuned everyone.