Magazine article Screen International

Singapore Filmmakers Protest Doc Ban

Magazine article Screen International

Singapore Filmmakers Protest Doc Ban

Article excerpt

A group of Singaporean filmmakers including Anthony Chen, Boo Junfeng, Royston Tan and Kelvin Tong has issued a statement protesting the local ban of Tan Pin Pin's documentary To Singapore With Love.

The documentary examines the lives of Singaporean exiles, including trade unionists, student leaders and Communists, who left Singapore in the 1960s and 1970s due to their fear of being imprisoned under Singapore's Internal Security Act.

Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) classified the film yesterday as "Not allowed for all ratings", on the grounds that it undermines national security. The classification means that the film can't be shown or distributed in Singapore.

The group of 38 high-profile filmmakers and members of Singapore's arts community expressed their "deep disappointment" at the MDA's decision and called on the government body "to release their version of the events in question", rather than banning the film outright (see full statement below).

To Singapore With Love premiered at last year's Busan International Film Festival, screened widely at international festivals and won awards including best director in the Muhr AsiaAfria Documentary Awards at the Dubai International Film Festival.

The MDA said in a statement that it had "assessed that the contents of the film undermine 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 victimized innocent individuals."

The National University of Singapore Museum submitted the film to the censors and was planning to screen it along with Tan's earlier films Invisible City (2007) and Singapore GaGa (2005) at the end of this month.

STATEMENT ON THE MDA'S DECISION TO BAN TAN PIN PIN'S 'TO SINGAPORE WITH LOVE'

We, the undersigned would like to express our deep disappointment at the Media Development Authority's decision to ban Tan Pin Pin's award winning documentary, 'To Singapore With Love'. …

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