South Korea's Constitutional Court has ruled against the Korea Media Rating Board's 'Restricted' classification, effectively compelling the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to create a revised law proposal for the legislative body.

Local importer World Cinema filed suit in February of this year after its Cannes 2005 pick-up Battle In Heaven was given the Restricted rating twice - once in 2005 (when it was voluntarily withdrawn from ratings), and then again in Dec 2007.

A Cannes competitor by Mexican director Carlos Reygadas, the sexually explicit film which exposes genitalia was refused anything lower than a Restricted rating.

The Court ruled the Rating Board's criteria for the Restricted classification was too vague, judging it 'unconformable to the constitution'.

The rating has been controversial for some time as it only allows films to be screened in special restricted-rating adult theatres and bans any advertising for the films outside of these theatres. In fact, no such theatres exist in Korea.

Distributors have formerly worked around the issue (with limited success at the box office) by holding 'special programmes' in the form of mini-festivals. This is because even restricted films can be screened in festivals if a governmental organisation such as the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) certifies them as art films.

Sponge Entertainment previously did this with John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus, which has also been carrying on its own court case.

Tsai Ming-liang's The Wayward Cloud, Park Jin-pyo's Too Young To Die, and Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill are some of the other films caught over the years in the Restricted category. They either cut or blurred problematic shots and scenes to get past the rating.

The Ministry of Culture and Media Rating Board stated they would take advantage of the grace period extended by the Court to the end of next year in order to research and create a revised law proposal.