Film-maker appeals against MDA rating

Film-maker appeals against MDA rating
Director Tan Pin Pin was at the screening of her film, To Singapore With Love, at the Freedom Film Fest in Johor Baru.

Film-maker Tan Pin Pin has sent an appeal to the Media Development Authority (MDA) for a review of the classification of To Singapore With Love, her film on Singapore's political exiles.

She said in a post on Facebook last night that she submitted the film - unchanged - to the Films Appeal Committee on Tuesday.

She later added: "They (MDA) have acknowledged the receipt of the film."

Last month, the MDA gave the film a Not Allowed for All Ratings classification.

It said in a statement that Ms Tan's documentary would not be allowed to be screened in public or distributed here because its contents undermined national security.

In the 70-minute film, Ms Tan interviews nine Singaporeans - who live in Britain and Thailand, some of them for more than 50 years - on why they fled the country, what their lives are like now and the feelings they have towards Singapore.

But when announcing the classification for the film, the MDA said that the individuals gave untruthful and distorted accounts of how they had to flee and remain outside Singapore.

Hence, the film "undermines national security because legitimate actions of the security agencies to protect the national security and stability of Singapore are presented in a distorted way as acts that victimised innocent individuals".

Ms Tan, in the Facebook post yesterday, said: "As we approach our 50th birthday, I feel that we as a people should be able to view and weigh for ourselves, through legitimate public screenings in Singapore, differing views about our past, even views that the Government disagrees with."

She hoped the appeal committee would see the film and review the classification in this light.

The committee is an independent 15-member panel chaired by former People's Association chief executive director Tan Boon Huat.

Spurred by the MDA's decision to disallow public screenings here, about 400 people - including Singaporeans - watched the film at a screening last month in Johor Baru.

The last film to receive the Not Allowed for All Ratings classification was Ken Kwek's Sex.Violence.FamilyValues in 2012, because part of it was judged offensive to Indians.

But the appeal committee subsequently gave that film an R21 rating with edits, after an appeal to the panel from the film's producers.

This article was first published on October 3, 2014.
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