MCI's response to PQ on restrictions on screening locations for movies rated NC16 and above
Parliament Sitting on 5 February 2024
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
39. Mr Leong Mun Wai: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) whether there are any restrictions on the locations where movies rated NC16 and above can be screened; (b) if so, what is the rationale for such restrictions; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider removing such restrictions in light of the rise of online movie streaming services.
Films classified NC16 and above (i.e., NC16, M18 or R21) are age-restricted films, which typically contain stronger or more explicit content that would not be appropriate for younger audiences. IMDA has medium-specific requirements to ensure that such films are accessed by appropriate audiences.
For the public exhibition of age-restricted films, IMDA requires exhibitors, such as cinemas, to undertake age checks to prevent access by underaged persons. The exhibition of NC16 and M18 films must be held indoors, or in enclosed spaces if outdoors; R21 films can only be exhibited indoors and at cinemas which are outside of the HDB heartlands to further prevent inadvertent exposure to underaged persons. There are currently no plans to review these requirements.
Similarly, online streaming services, including over-the-top services that offer age-restricted content, have measures in place to prevent underaged persons from accessing such content. These include parental locks for age-restricted content and the requirement for all R21 content to be locked by default and accessible only by PIN. These requirements enable parents to use the parental locks and PIN to ensure that their children access only age-appropriate content.