Media classification

Timeline

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Early censorship of “obscenity” through the Australian Customs law

1901
Early censorship of “obscenity” through the Australian Customs law

Australia

Customs law ruled over the importation of goods and publications and initially determined whether they were “blasphemous, indecent or obscene”.
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The Battle of Dingjunshan

1905
The Battle of Dingjunshan

China

The first Chinese film was produced in 1905 as The Battle of Dingjunshan (also known as Conquering Jun Mountain, Ding Junshan), coinciding with the emergence of the classic Hollywood silent film era.

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Zigomar

1911
Zigomar

Japan

The French film Zigomar, directed by Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset for the Société Française des Films Eclair, was imported into Japan in 1911, opening in the Asakusa district in November and leading to an array of locally produced sequel films and novels
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Bushranging genre suppressed in New South Wales

1912
Bushranging genre suppressed in New South Wales

Australia

New South Wales was one of the first Australian states to legislate for the censorship of film content, where the Police department found the bushranging genre objectionable.
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Cinematograph Act

1918

India

The Cinematograph Act 1918 made it mandatory for exhibitors to secure a license from local civil authorities to screen a film, and for censorship to precede any film exhibited in India. Certified films would be deemed “suitable for public exhibition”.
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Film Censorship Begins in India

1918
Film Censorship Begins in India

India

In the 1920s, India imported almost 80 per cent of exhibited films from the United States (ICC 1928). The biggest importer was Jamshedji Framji (J.F.) Madan, who launched Madan Theatres Ltd. in 1919, turning to Hollywood to substitute for stagnating post-war European film industries.
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‘Damaged Goods’: Social hygiene propaganda and film censorship

1919
‘Damaged Goods’: Social hygiene propaganda and film censorship

Films depicting the outcomes of sexual activity, miscegenation and prostitution caused problems for regulatory authorities utilising obscenity law and the Commonwealth Board of Censors.

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Victorian Film Censorship Act 1926

1926
Victorian Film Censorship Act 1926

Australia

The Victorian Film Censorship Act introduced the first classification system in Australia as well as a quota for screening British films in this state, coming into effect on 1 July 1927.
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Imperilling the Prestige of the White Woman

1926

India

The representation of white women on-screen provided a significant source of tension in early debates on film censorship in India. Prior to the 1927 Indian Cinematograph Committee (ICC), the British Social Hygiene Council sent a delegation to India in 1926.
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Royal Commission into the Moving Picture Industry 1926 – 1928

1927
Royal Commission into the Moving Picture Industry 1926 – 1928

Australia

A Royal Commission into the film industry recommended the introduction of a Commonwealth Film Censorship Board, to include a woman censor, and that the Commonwealth Board indicate whether film content was suitable for everyone or only for adults.
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