Thai ratings system takes effect

Four films receive initial classification under new law

HONG KONG -- Four foreign movies this week received ratings that mark the beginning of Thailand's film classification system. Each one received a different suitability rating.

The country's first ever film rating system was created last year as part of the new film law that also created a one-stop agency for foreign films shooting in Thailand. It was finally given effect this month by the Thai cabinet.

The system, with seven classifications, ranges from a "P" for those pictures deserving government promotion, to an outright ban. In between are "G," which is fit for all audiences, and four age classifications topping out at 20-plus.

UIP's "Inglourious Basterds" was given an 18-certificate, while Hayao Miyazaki's anime scored a "G," and Korea's "Naked Kitchen" a 15-certificate. "Young at Heart" about New Englanders who form a senior citizens choir was dubbed with a "P."

The new system means distributors must attach a ratings certificate to their promotional materials. Many film-related Web sites have chosen to use the logos, but several newspapers have not felt it necessary for their editorial to do so. Equally, the system only requires theater owners to verify the ages of their patrons in the case of a 20-plus rated title.