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Sex.Violence.FamilyValues movie poster.jpg
Official movie poster
Directed byKen Kwek
Produced byKen Kwek
The Butter Factory
Written byKen Kwek
StarringMatthew Loo
Serene Chen
Adrian Pang
Pam Oei
Osman Sulaiman
Sylvia Ratonel
Tan Kheng Hua
Distributed byCathay
Release date
5 October 2012 (2012-10-05) (Singapore premiere)
Running time
47 minutes

Sex.Violence.FamilyValues is a 2012 award-winning film by Singaporean director Ken Kwek.

Comprising three short stories, Cartoons, Porn Masala and The Bouncer, the film was shot over a two-year period at The Butter Factory, a major nightclub in Singapore, whose owners financed the project. The individual shorts were screened at more than a dozen international film festivals,[1] and Porn Masala won the Audience Choice Award (Short Film) at the 2011 Gotham Screen Film Festival in New York.[2]


Billed as "three dirrrty stories from the world's cleanest city", Sex.Violence.FamilyValues is described by its makers as a film that "pitches political correctness out the window of Singapore mainstream cinema."[3]

Cartoons is a dark comedy about a disturbed child whose kindergarten headmistress discovers the boy's penchant for drawing morbid cartoons.

Porn Masala is a satirical farce about a pornographer who casts an Indian actor in his movie after mistaking the latter for an African.

The Bouncer tells the story of nightclub bouncer whose life is upended when he encounters a rebellious teenage poledancer.


In June 2012, Sex.Violence.FamilyValues was acquired by distributor Cathay Cinemas, making it the first short film to obtain a solo theatrical release in Singapore. However, a day after its premiere on 5 October 2012, Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) revoked the film's M18 classification and banned the film following complains from Indians who had viewed the trailer containing the racial content,[4] alleging that Porn Masala contained scenes which were offensive to Singapore's Indian community.[5]

The ban sparked a public furore in Singapore and abroad.[6] Numerous film festivals where Porn Masala was screened defended the film and issued statements of protest against the ban.[7][8] In Singapore, Members of Parliament questioned the MDA's eleventh hour u-turn in the state's legislature.[9]

On 6 November 2012, the film's director and producers submitted an appeal[10] to Singapore's government-appointed Films Appeal Committee, asking for the ban to be lifted.[11]

On 11 January 2013, the Films Appeal Committee overturned the Board of Film Censors' decision and lifted the ban.[12][13] However, it stopped short of reinstating the film's M18 classification, saying that some references in Porn Masala may still be construed as offensive to Singapore's Indian community.[14] Instead, it announced that the film would be given an R21 rating subject to edits by the filmmaker.[15]

The Singapore version of the film was completed and passed by the MDA on February 2013, and was released on 14 March.[16] However, within a week of the release, the film made headlines again when it was banned by the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia and withdrawn from the Asean International Film Festival & Awards, where it was due to be screened on 28 March.[17]


  1. ^ Sex.Violence.FamilyValues on IMDb
  2. ^ "2011 FESTIVAL WINNERS | October 2012". Archived from the original on 25 August 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  3. ^ ''Sex.Violence.FamilyValues'' official website.
  4. ^ "Why MDA reclassified racially satirical movie". The Straits Times. 19 October 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  5. ^ Brown, Todd (16 October 2012). "Singapore's SEX. VIOLENCE. FAMILYVALUES Banned For Racial Content". Archived from the original on 22 December 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  6. ^ "Comprehensive local and international news and analysis". TODAYonline. Archived from the original on 19 November 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  7. ^ "Festival movie 'The Bouncer' banned in Singapore". Archived from the original on 23 March 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  8. ^ "In support of KEN..." Facebook. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  9. ^ Chai, Neo (13 November 2012). "Stance on satirical film 'not a step backwards'". TODAYonline. Archived from the original on 16 November 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  10. ^ Mahtani, Shibani (23 October 2012). "Singapore Bans Film, Director Vows Appeal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  11. ^ "Producers of Sex.Violence.FamilyValues to appeal MDA decision". 17 October 2012. Archived from the original on 13 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Banned Film Gets New Life in Singapore". The Wall Street Journal. (15 January 2013).
  13. ^ "Sex.Violence.FamilyValues given R21 rating with edits". TODAYonline. Retrieved 11 January 2013.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ Tan, Jeanette (13 March 2012). "Ban on 'Sex.Violence.FamilyValues' lifted, movie given R21 rating". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  16. ^ Salimat, Shah. (26 February 2013) Previously-banned ‘Sex.Violence.FamilyValues’ to hit screens 14 March. Yahoo Entertainment Singapore.
  17. ^ Rashith, Rahimah. (21 March 2013) "Malaysia bans Sex.Violence.FamilyValues", Yahoo! Singapore, 21 Mar 2013.

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