12 Jan – The upcoming Singapore Film Festival in Kuala Lumpur has had several concerns on some of the movies that were planned to be screened, causing quite a number ending up being pulled from it.
However, one of the movies, "Faeryville", will still be shown at the festival, following its director's decision to oblige with the Malaysian censors' requests.
"I have agreed to the cuts, as I wanted "Faeryville" to be discovered by audiences in Malaysia, the way it has been discovered by our very first audience in L.A., Singapore and Brisbane," said director Tzang Merwyn Tong to Cinema Online.
Tzang revealed that the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia has requested for the poster to be changed and for two of the movie scenes to be edited.
The original poster depicts an iconic statue with a gun in one hand and a book in another.
Due to cultural sensitivity reasons, the poster has since been changed to one showing a movie still instead, featuring characters from the movie.
As for the scenes that had to be edited, the first scene involves the two female leads kissing on a bed.
A quote from the Censorship Board's request stated that:
The second scene to be edited shows the delinquents, The Nobodies, destroying all the drugs they have in their possession, with a voice over saying "We don't need drugs anymore" accompanying the ritualistic-like act.
The Censorship Board requested:
"Mute the dialogue about drug addiction among the youths that is deemed foul and appears to be a common practice in life at their college "WE DON'T NEED DRUG ANYMORE..." in the scene where a few male youths are seen communicating at the side of a building because it goes against with the Film Censorship guidelines Home Affairs Ministry 2010 Part 2 (Order & Decency) para 2.4.1(v)" Dialogue, scenes or chapters of foul acts, rude behaviour, reprehensible and indecent behaviour depicted as common practice or comic anecdote."
"I feel Asians are more sophisticated than what our governments think us to be," said Tzang. ""Faeryville" is a big film. These 2 cuts will not do much to hurt the movie and the message I want to say with it.
"The moral point of how 'ideology can be a dangerous thing' is an important message that I feel should not be silenced."
"Faeryville" tells the story of The Nobodies, a band of delinquents who cause disturbance in their college until a transfer student steps into their lives and takes them on a journey of self-discovery.
The movie will play at the Singapore Film Festival by Titian Budaya, taking place at selected GSC Cinemas from this 14 to 17 January.
Movies that pulled from the festival include Tan Pin Pin's "Singapore GaGa", Ken Kwek's "Unlucky Plaza" and Liao Jiekai's "As You Were" as well as short films "The Impossibility of Knowing" (Ms. Tan), "Singapore Panda" (Sun Koh), "Autograph Book" (Wee Li Lin) and "Hentak Kaki" (James Khoo).
Meanwhile, "7 Letters" will still be one of the 10 movies for the upcoming festival after organisers managed to successfully appeal against an edit request on Jack Neo's segment in the movie.