No gay or lesbian images please, we're Singaporeans.
Singapore bans "lesbian" movie poster for Cannes-exhibited film
Agence France Presse
September 7, 2005
SINGAPORE'S media watchdog said Wednesday, Sept 7, that it banned the original promotional posters for a critically acclaimed local film for depicting "lesbian intimacy" between the main actresses.
However, the movie Be With Me which received good reviews at the Cannes Film Festival was approved uncut and will be screened locally from Thursday with a rating of M18, meaning viewers must be at least 18 years old.
"One of the guidelines states that posters must not depict or promote homosexual or lesbian intimacy," a spokeswoman from the Media Development Authority said in reply to queries from AFP.
"As such, the distributor was advised to use alternative visuals," she said.
The original poster depicted a scene from the movie with the two main actresses locked in an embrace.
It has been replaced instead by an image of a man necking with one of the actresses.
Be With Me is the latest movie by influential local film maker Eric Khoo and contains three plots, one of which involves love between two teenage schoolgirls.
Khoo told the New Paper tabloid Wednesday that he was "disappointed" the original posters did not pass the censors.
"There's nothing in the image or the film that shows anything graphic or raunchy," Khoo was quoted as saying.
The movie was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May where it was reported to have received good reviews from international critics. It is to be released internationally after Singapore.
Despite a tradition of censorship here, a nascent independent film industry is emerging in Singapore touching on previously taboo topics, but politically-oriented films remain heavily restricted.
An independent Singaporean film maker, Martyn See, is under police investigation for making a documentary about an opposition leader.