What is the BBFC?The BBFC is an independent organisation that, essentially, classifies the ageratings of video games and films. The age classifications range between “U”(commonly known as “Universal) which means that the film/game is suitablefor ages 4 and over and “18,”which means it is only suitable for adults.The company was found in 1912 and is based in Soho, London, employingaround 80 people.
This classification was introduced in 2002, and is only used in cinema viewings.Suitable for: This age classification is considered inappropriate for very young children.People aged younger than 12 years are only allowed to view a film that has been giventhis rating if they are in the company of a person aged 18 or over. Despite this, it is notrecommended that anyone unde3r the age of 12 is given permission to watch a filmwith this rating.Content: Films that have been classified as 12a at the cinema can contain things suchas Discrimination, soft drugs, moderate swear words/infrequent strong language,mature themes, moderate violence, sex references and nudity. Sexual activity mayonly be implied or portrayed discreetly, and there may be subtle implications of sexualviolence.
In 2002, this classification became relevant only to DVDs/VHS. Now it is relevant toBlu-Ray, 3D Blu-Ray and DVD, but not cinema viewings.12a cinema rated films are often granted the classification of 12 when brought out tobuy for home viewing (unless extra material has been added that may affect the agerating.)Suitable for: Anyone aged 12 or over. No one under this age can purchase a film withthis certificate.Content: Discrimination, soft drugs, moderate swear words/infrequent stronglanguage, mature themes, moderate violence, sex references and nudity. Sexualactivity may only be implied or portrayed discreetly, and there may be subtleimplications of sexual violence (Identical to the content guidelines of a 12a.)
Relevant to cinema viewings and home viewings.Suitable for: Those aged 15 and over.Content: Films that are classified as 15 may include adult themes, hard drugs,frequent strong language and limited use of very strong language, strong violence andstrong sex references, and nudity without graphic detail. Sexual activity may beshown, but there will be no strong detail. Also, sexual violence may be showndiscretely, justified by the context of the film.
Relevant to cinema viewings and home viewings.Suitable for: Those aged 18 and over (adults)Content: Films that are classified as 18 have no limitations on the bad languagethat is used. They can contain hard drugs, explicit sex references and sexualactivity portrayed in detail is allowed. Also, real sex may be included but only ifjustified by the context of the film. Very strong, gory/sadistic violence is usuallypermitted, as well as strong sexual violence unless it is excessively graphic.
Why are films certificated?Films are certificated as an indicator for parents, carers and other viewers.They are to advise them on what to let their children watch and to decidewhat they themselves want to watch.