Thursday, March 17, 2005

What is a "party political film?" Why is it unlawful?

Pop quiz : Is Jack Neo's criticism of the education system in "I Not Stupid" a violation of the Films Act pertaining to "party political films"?

Making, distribution and exhibition of party political films

33. Any person who

(a) imports any party political film;

(b) makes or reproduces any party political film;

(c) distributes, or has in his possession for the purposes of distributing, to any other person any party political film; or

(d) exhibits, or has in his possession for the purposes of exhibiting, to any other person any party political film,

knowing or having reasonable cause to believe the film to be a party political film shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.

"party political film" means a film

(a) which is an advertisement made by or on behalf of any political party in Singapore or any body whose objects relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore, or any branch of such party or body; or

(b) which is made by any person and directed towards any political end in Singapore;

2) For the purposes of this Act, a film is directed towards a political end in Singapore if the film

(a) contains wholly or partly any matter which is intended or likely to affect voting in any election or national referendum in Singapore; or

(b) contains wholly or partly either partisan or biased references to or comments on any political matter, including but not limited to any of the following:

(i) an election or a national referendum in Singapore;

(ii) a candidate or group of candidates in an election;

(iii) an issue submitted or otherwise before electors in an election or a national referendum in Singapore;

(iv) the Government or a previous Government or the opposition to the Government or previous Government;

(v) a Member of Parliament;

(vi) a current policy of the Government or an issue of public controversy in Singapore; or

(vii) a political party in Singapore or any body whose objects relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore, or any branch of such party or body.

(3) For the avoidance of doubt, any film which is made solely for the purpose of

(a) reporting of current events; or

(b) informing or educating persons on the procedures and polling times for any election or national referendum in Singapore,

is not a party political film.


Anonymous said...

Jack Neo is too pro-establishment to be banned. He can make jokes (even if they aren't funny) here and there, but at the end of the day he still supports the system--in the world of Jack Neo, there is a lot of faith in the system; the system is flawed, but it can imrpove and change.

AcidFlask said...

3(b) makes me more confused, especially when tied in with 2(a). It basically makes the law completely enforceable however the Govt feels necessary.

As for Jack Neo, it makes a lot of sense why his films highly satirical.

Anonymous said...

Why not get it up ifilm ( Or some other web distribution medium. Let it loose on BT or some P2P out there.

Anonymous said...

Martyn, don't loose heart. A film, any film, is made so that people can watch it, if it means an audience of only one. Put it on the web like the previous poster said. Let it loose on the net. I for one will be very eager to catch it, as well as the JBJ one.

dfgd said...

I would really like to see this documentary. Hopefully with all the publicity it will get selected for International Film Festivals. Or you could always put it online.

Hopefully more bloggers will become aware of what has just happened and direct the international media to this Singapore Rebel.

If you have images to go with Singapore Rebel, I would be more than happy to help distribute online.

AcidFlask said...

Or you may want to consider releasing your film open-source and get it hosted for free on

Anonymous said...

Ello! yes, I am with them! I really would like to watch those too.. Keep moving Martyn!! Don't stop! :D

And Jack Neo, his movie is somehow a film tat do contain political ingredients. But due to his popularity and acknoledgement even from the govt. on his films. wat to do? tats govt. style, they just do wat they think.

Just dun give up my dear.
Cheerz! :D

isaiah_sg said...

Its wise of you to withdraw. Not for fear of persecution but by doing so you have drawn attention to a ridiculous law in this country and live to make more films about more ridiculous laws. Do put it on the web. More people will see it that way.

Beach-yi said...

Hmm what is the general content of this particular movie/docu-movie?

I am currently trying to source some indie films for a potential screening of Singapore short films at the later half of the year, any suggestions? I am interested in taking up this one if possible. And oh, its for overseas, and I am a Singaporean, so no issues of having some subverting motives or whatever based on nationality (LKY's favoured mode of casting aspersions on people's motives for having an opnion or question)

The brains behind BasiaTM of the future said...

I am a huge fan of Jack Neo and I think some of his films are very entertaining precisely because of several satrical parts.
Most of his movies only contain a little content that could classify it as a "party political film". Perhaps a few scenes only. Mild comments like his should be fine.
If the Government is unsure whether a film could be considered "party political", they should allow public voting to decide. After all, laws are made in the interests of the public. I will always vote in favour of Jack Neo, of course.