A Singapore film on religious and LGBTQ issues that premiered in New York this year has been banned in the city-state because it could create “social division,” authorities said. The movie #LookAtMe by Singaporean filmmaker Ken Kwek “exceeded the film classification guidelines” and cannot be screened locally, according to a statement issued by regulator Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). So, the article is about Singapore Banned film on Religious And LGBTQ Issues.
The film premiered in July at the New York Asian Film Festival, where it was in competition for Best Feature and won a Special Jury award for Best Performance. IMDA’s statement, issued jointly with the country’s culture and interior ministries, said the film denigrates a religious community and can cause hostility and social division in Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society.
It revolves around a lead character who takes offense at a male pastor’s stand on homosexuality and posts an incendiary comment on social media that goes viral. Tensions arise, with the protagonist “plotting a revenge attack” on the pastor, who is also portrayed as engaging in an act prohibited by his religious faith.
“The context may be seen to be suggesting or encouraging violence against the pastor,” IMDA said. However, the team behind the movie said they were disappointed with the decision and will appeal. “#LookAtMe is a work of cinematic fiction. The film seeks to entertain and encourage conversations on important social issues relevant to Singapore,” they said. The team voiced hope that Singapore residents will be able to watch the film, which it said had been selected for screening at the Singapore International Film Festival in December.
While the city-state boasts a modern and vibrant culture, attitudes toward homosexuality remain conservative. However, support for gay rights has been growing recently, with huge crowds attending Singapore’s annual Pink Dot gay rights rally. In August, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the country will repeal a colonial-era law criminalizing sex between men but will continue to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
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