Sweden's culture minister Marita Ulvskog has announced that a new film ratings system could be introduced in Sweden, based on a report which she recently commissioned from the Swedish Council on Media Violence.
Sweden's current censorship debate started at the end of last year with the release of teen horror spoof Scary Movie. The State Board of Film Classification, Statens Biografbyra, initially granted the film a 15 certificate, but when distributor Columbia TriStar appealed the decision, the certificate was changed to 11.
The decision to lower Scary Movie's rating caused a public outcry, particularly as it meant that children younger than 11, but accompanied by an adult, could view the film.
Statens Biografbyra rates all theatrical films and videos that are to be shown in public, and has the power to request cuts or even ban a film from public screening. Sweden currently has four classifications: "Permitted for children" and minimum age 7, 11 and 15. However, younger children can attend a film if accompanied by an adult.
Ulvskog has supported parents' complaints, and has commissioned a detailed study from the Council on Media Violence into whether current policy adequately protects children. The Council, founded as a watchdog by the Swedish Parliament in 1990, is due to report the culture ministry in the next few months.