Long-awaited pawmission granted: Banned Thai film ‘DogGod’ returns to screens

Photo via Facebook/ Manit Sriwanichpoom.

Thailand’s Film and Video Screening Office (FVSO) finally gave its blessing to allow the Thai film DogGod, also known as My Teacher Eats Biscuits, to be screened after it was banned for 25 years as a threat to religions in Thailand.

DogGod cinematographer Manit Sriwachichpoom shared the good news on Facebook yesterday, October 25.

“Bravo! DogGod has passed the cinema censors after 25 years of being banned! The film is now available for audiences over the age of 15.”

Manit explained that My Teacher Eats Biscuits was the former title of DogGod, and that Thai people knew the film as Human Prays Dogs. Manit went on to explain that the film was banned from being screened at the 1998 World Film Festival of Bangkok because it offended religious beliefs.

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According to Manit, the department responsible for banning the screening of the film was not the FVSO but the Royal Thai Police (RTP). Manit said there was no official document to clarify the reason for the ban, but the film’s director, Samanrat “Ing” Kanjanawanich, was summoned by the Committee on Religion, Arts and Culture.

During this meeting, Ing was accused of producing a film that insulted all religions in Thailand and the royal family, but Manit insisted that Ing, himself and the crew were trying to make a fun, crazy film.

DogGod green light

Manit revealed that Ing had no backers at the time. She spent her budget on the film and each location was supported by colleagues and friends. Over 25 years, Ing continued to spend time on the film, hoping to show it to the public. She converted the film from an analogue to a digital file and cut about 10 minutes from the movie, from a two-hour film to a 110-minute film to resubmit it to the FVSO.

Manit volunteered to process all the documents and submissions on October 9. He was later called to the FVSO to give the officials more information. To his surprise, DogGod passed the evaluation and was allowed to be screened in Thailand.

Manit recounted his conversation with an FVSO officer on Facebook.

The officer: “Why was the film banned before?”

Manit: “Maybe it was just injustice.”

The officer: “I pointed out to the committee that the end of the film gave the audience a good and deep perspective.”

Manit: “I think it could be generational. In the past, people thought the film was a threat, but today it is different.”

Manit added at the end of his post that he would never fail to inform all his followers when DogGod is ready to be seen in the cinema.

DogGod international festivals

DogGod depicting the unusual tale of a peculiar cult that promotes the worship of dogs, faced a ban at the Thai Film Festival. However, it found its way to screens at various international film festivals, including those in Hawaii, Los Angeles, and New York.

The director of DogGod, Ing, boasts a portfolio of documentary films, including notable titles such as Thailand for Sale, Green Menace: The Untold Story of Golf, and Casino Cambodia.

Ing, a vocal protester, was among those who raised their voices against the adventure-drama film The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, shot on Maya Beach in Krabi. She and fellow protesters accused the film crew of causing ecological damage in the area. Despite threats from local government authorities who supported the film, Ing persevered and documented evidence in the form of video recordings to substantiate the allegations.

Ing has also established her cinema, Cinema Oasis, located on Soi Sukhumvit 43, close to the Emporium and EmQuartier shopping centres in Bangkok. For comprehensive information about the cinema and its film schedule, please visit her official Cinema Oasis page.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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