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August 18, 2000 02:32am
Law may end censorship in Chile
Source: Reuters/Variety
by: Jonathan Franklin

(SANTIAGO, CHILE) -- The storm of controversy in Chile over a recent cable screening of a Pedro Almodovar movie that has been banned since 1982 is driving new legislation to eliminate film censorship after more than 30 years.

Chile's Consejo de Califacion Cinematografica (CCC) (Cinema Ratings Council), the government-appointed board responsible for film censorship, met recently to review a draft of the legislation that would put an end to censorship, directly affecting international distributors and pay TV operators.

In late July the CCC criticized TV regulatory agency Consejo Nacional de TV (CNTV) for not penalizing local cable provider VTR for the May airing of Almodovar's 1980 picture ``Pepi, Luci, Bom y Otras Chicas del Monton.''

The CNTV has since argued that the broadcast did not violate censorship laws, which have been loosened for pay TV providers since the introduction of decoding boxes.

A new anti-censorship law will likely be introduced in parliament next month. Before it's submitted, the legislation will be fine-tuned with the input of ``actors, directors, producers, government authorities, and international human rights leaders,'' said Ernesto Galaz, judicial director for the Ministry of the Secretary.

Government sources and industry execs in Chile remain optimistic that, under the leadership of recently elected Socialist President Ricardo Lagos, the end of official censorship in Chile is imminent.

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