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Restricted Rating for Queer Short Overturned by Supreme Court

Nov 18, 2013
  • Writer by Pierce Conran
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Successful Appeal for KIM JHO Gwang-su’s JUST FRIENDS

Four years after it was originally accorded a teenager-restricted rating by the Korean Media Ratings Board (KMRB), KIMJHO Gwang-soo's short film Just Friends has just had its restrictive rating overturned by South Korea’s Supreme Court. The ruling came down in favor of the filmmakers after the court found that the initial certification was a violation of the human rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in the country.
KIMJHO’s Just Friends is a 30-minute film about a gay couple in their 20s in the days leading up to their enrollment in Korea’s mandatory military service. The KMRB handed down the rating in 2009 because they felt the film was "hazardous for teenagers due to body exposure as well as detailed and direct portrayals of sexual encounters."
Production Company Generation Blue Films subsequently filed an appeal against the KMRB in order to overturn the rating. Last Thursday, November 14th, the Supreme Court ruled in their favor.
KIMJHO also made news earlier this year after he married his partner KIM Seung-hwan, the CEO of production company Rainbow Factory, in a very public ceremony in central Seoul. KIMJHO’s last film was the queer romcom Two Weddings and a Funeral.
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