In an unexpected gesture of goodwill, Singapore 's Board of Film Censors has allowed an uncut, jury-only screening of Solos at the 20th Singapore International Film Festival.

Festival organisers had pulled the film from the line-up after the censors demanded three cuts of 'explicit sexual acts', in line with the festival's policy of not screening films that have been cut.

'We are grateful of this gesture as it keeps open the dialogue for a free space for cinema in Singapore,' says festival director Philip Cheah. The jury screening of the uncut version of a censored film is a first for a feature at the festival and allows Solos to remain in competition for the Silver Screen Awards.

The only other time that a similar screening was held was in 1994 when Eric Khoo's short film Pain was censored. This year, the short film, a disturbing exploration of a young man's obsession with pain, will be screened uncut as part of the retrospective of Silver Screen Awards-winning Singapore shorts.

Solos about the relationship between a teenage student and his teacher is co-directed by Kan Lume and scriptwriter Loo Zi-han who also plays the student's role. Its world premiere was originally scheduled on April 25.

The censors say the picture contains 'prolonged and explicit homosexual lovemaking scenes including scenes of oral sex and threesome sex' and has 'exceeded the leeway granted to festivals'.

Also withdrawn from the festival this year is Danish animation Princess about a priest who takes custody of his niece when his porn star sister dies. The censors asked for a cut to a scene which is 'religiously offensive'.

Although more films with homosexual themes have been passed in Singapore in recent years, the signals are still mixed. Two upcoming Taiwanese gay dramas have recently been passed with a R21 rating. Spider Lilies is passed clean but Eternal Summer has one cut to a sex scene.