In The Room can't be shown in cinemas here
FILM-MAKER Eric Khoo's erotic drama In The Room, which premiered at the Singapore International Film Festival on Tuesday, currently cannot be shown in cinemas in Singapore.
The Media Development Authority (MDA) has decided not to classify for a commercial release, even as it passed the film uncut with an R21 rating for its festival screening. Festival films are given more leeway than commercial releases.
This was revealed by Khoo and the movie's producers at a press conference on Tuesday. Without even an R21 classification, the film is barred from commercial release here.
Khoo, 49, said he refuses to release the work in an edited form for the sake of a rating.
Dedicated to the late author Damien Sin, the movie features a screenplay inspired by 1970s soft-core works, like Emmanuelle (1974), but with references to moments in Singapore's cultural and social history.
The film's cast includes Hong Kong actress Josie Ho, Malaysian Lawrence Wong and Choi Woo Shik from South Korea.
In The Room will get a commercial release in Hong Kong in January next year.
Khoo confirmed that MDA's concerns about the film centred on its explicit depictions of sex, rather than its themes. His team plans to make an appeal to the authority in the coming weeks.
Khoo said: "It's sad... there's nothing really that contentious about my film."