Sex.Violence.FamilyValues banned in M’sia

Controversial Singapore film "Sex.Violence.FamilyValues" faces yet another ban but this time in Malaysia.

The 47-minute film written, directed and co-produced by Ken Kwek has been pulled out of the Asean International Film Festival (AIFFA) held in Kuching following a ban by the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF).

According to a statement released by the censorship board, the anthology of three short films starring Adrian Pang and former Singapore Idol contestant Sylvia Ratonel “contains strong and obscene language as well as scenes that show obscene actions that is insulting to local cultures.”

The ban comes just one week before the movie was meant to be screened at the festival from 28-30 March.

Kwek had even been invited to speak at one of the film forums at the festival after the film was selected to be featured last month.

“I'm not surprised, despite the AIFFA's earlier assurances that the film would not be banned,” Kwek tells Yahoo! Singapore. “I'm a bit disappointed, but not surprised.”

The Malaysian censors explained that they “could not recommend any cuts as they would disrupt the continuity of the film, especially in Part 3 of the film,” referring to the third and final story titled “The Bouncer”.

Different segment, same issues

Earlier in October 2012, the film hit the headlines in Singapore for a different segment of the film known as “Porn Masala”. The scene in question involved a Chinese movie director character making racially offensive slurs at another actor.

After a battle between the filmmaker and Media Development Authority (MDA), local censors lifted the ban and the movie premiered on 14 March.

Despite scene edits and a stricter classification, the film opened to sold-out theatres and its run at Cathay has been extended for another week.

Better reception elsewhere

Despite a Malaysian ban, "Sex.Violence.FamilyValues" has already earned deals abroad.

According to Deadline Hollywood, the film landed a US deal with distributor Virgil Films and Entertainment and Singapore cable channel SingTel MioTV also has plans to show the censored version.

The film also made its rounds in 13 international film festivals all over the world including Gotham Screen International Film Festival (GSIFF) which publically supported the film in the wake of the Singapore ban.

“Gotham Screen strongly supports director Ken Kwek. The festival has premiered two films of the talented director, and does not believe either of the film to be in any way 'racist' or 'offensive'.

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