• The British board of film classification (BBFC) is an independent non-governmental organisation which classifies films that are distributed in the UK. It also classifies DVDs, videos and video games all under the video recordings Act 2010. However the BBFC guidelines is not a legal document so they must check that they meet rights such as the human rights Act, licensing and video recording acts etc before classifying anything.
• From the BBFC website they believe it is their mission to:• Protect the public, most importantly children from harmful content• Empower public; especially parents to make informed viewing choices• Recognise and respect adult freedom of choice within the law respond to and reflect changing social attitudes towards media content through proactive public consultation and research• provide a cost-effective, efficient classification service within our statutory remit• work in partnership with the industry to develop innovative service models to provide content advice which support emerging media delivery systems• provide an effective service to enforcement agencies
Guidelines:• Guidelines are put in order by BBFC examiners to decide what type of viewing material is suitable for what type of age range (U, PG, 12A or 12,15,18).• U stands for universal(suitable for all viewers).• They are suitable for children from the age of four. There is very little violence in the film, if any and it should show that everything turns out ok at the end of the film.• There should be very mild bad language used in the film.• There should be no references to drugs, sexual activity-kissing being the mildest form of sexual activity, no reference to weapons that are realistic and easy to get hold of and no discrimination is allowed (no language or behaviour should be shown that could offend a persons race, culture, religion, colour).
Guidelines (cntd)• PG stands for parental guidance which can be viewed by any age, however some scenes may be unsuitable for children.• It should not disturb children who are 8 and over.• Themes and topics- more mature topics may be introduced in the film such as bullying, crime, racism. However it should be shown that none of these are good things.• Again only mild bad language is allowed and there should be no focus on weapons shown that are easy to get hold of or are realistic.• There can be stronger violence shown in the film than a U film as long as its not shown in detail.• There should not be any mention of illegal drugs in the film unless its for a good purpose and is harmless or carries an anti-drug message
Guidelines- 12/12A• The 12A is for films that are suitable for children at the age of 12 and over. However children under the age of 12 may still see an 12/12A film as long as they are accompanied with an adult.• Mature themes are acceptable as long as they are suitable for young teenagers. Anything inappropriate such as the use of drugs, sex and violence can be shown as long as its discreet and not shown in detail.• 12A is for films shown at the cinema and children must be 12 and over.• 12 is for DVDs and videos and no one younger than 12 can buy/rent a 12 DVD.
Guidelines- 15.• Films are suitable for the ages of 15 and over. Anyone aged 15 and above can view an 15 rated film at the cinema or buy/rent a 15 rated DVD.• Sexual activity can be shown in more detail.• There is little restriction on 15 films, except that gory, sexual and sadistic images shouldnt be shown.
Guidelines- 18.• 18 means that the film is only suitable for adults(aged 18 or above).• There are clear images of sex, sexual activity and nudity (strong fetish material).• Use of harmful drugs are shown which could lead to harm of public morals.• There is much more stress on sex rather than violence and actions.