The Ministry of Culture has approved a new system of film classification, adding two new age categories for the classification of films in Egypt. From now on, the certificates +12 and +16 will be applied, in addition to the preexisting +18 certificate.
The new rating criteria take into account factors such as violence and gore, sensitive subject matters and adult content.
The censorship board, headed by Khaled Abdel Galil, have announced the classification of movies that are scheduled to be screened soon in accordance with the new system.
Ismail Farouk, director of "Elli Ekhtasho Mato" (The Bashful are Dead) which was rated +16 by the censorship board, said: "The rating is unsuitable because the film was not criticized [by the board] and not a single scene was cut from the movie. It is completely clear of nudity, sex and swearing".
"Any movie that includes one scene requiring parental supervision will be rated +12, which means that from now on, everyone in a family that has a 10-year-old child will not be able to watch the movie," he added.
"I believe films should be classified by two categories only: public screening and adult screening. Rating in accorance with several age categories is unacceptable in my opinion [because] it will discourage audiences from going to cinemas".
Lebanese director Gaby Khoury rejected the rating of his movie "Haram al-Gasad" (The Body Taboos) as +18, as he claims it does not contain any scenes of a sexual or indecent nature. He added that filmmakers have an internal sense of censorship and take into account regional traditions and customs.
Khoury pointed out that censorship on art dates back to the dark ages.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm