What does the 15 symbol stand for?
No-one under 15 is allowed to see a 15 film at the
cinema or buy/rent a 15 rated video. 15 rated works
are not suitable for children under 15 years of age.
This age certification is to restrict children of certain
age being subjected to a list of factors within a 15
What might I see in a 15 rated film or
Any of the following:
• strong violence
• frequent strong language (e.g. 'f***').
• portrayals of sexual activity
• strong verbal references to sex
• sexual nudity
• brief scenes of sexual violence or verbal
references to sexual violence
• discriminatory language or behaviour
• drug taking
Following these BBFC guidelines for 15
certification, this rating is appropriate to
my genre of my opening sequence; a
horror. Within a horror, strong violence
and frequent strong language are all
subjective to this genre. My opening
sequence “Unchained” takes place on a
reclusive camping site with a group of
teenagers. Therefore, minor verbal
references to sex and drug taking will
take place throughout my film.
How much strong language is allowed in a
There could potentially be a great deal. At 15 there
is no upper limit on the number of uses of strong
language (e.g. ‘f**k’).
Occasionally there may be uses of the strongest
terms (e.g. 'c**t'), depending on the manner in
which they are used, who is using the language, its
frequency and any special contextual justification.
However, continued or aggressive use will not
normally be passed 15.
Can there be strong violence?
Yes, at 15 violence may be strong. It should not
dwell on the infliction of pain or injury, however,
and the strongest gory images are unlikely to be
Strong sadistic violence is also unlikely to be
As my film “Unchained” consists of a
group of teenagers, it is very likely
that frequent use of everyday strong
language such as ‘b**ch’, ‘f**k’ and
‘sh*t’ may used in conversation but
not in a violent matter.
Within a horror, minor gory images
portraying death or blood may be
vaguely shown within some scenes
of ‘Unchained’. However, sadistic
and strong violence of death is not
shown and violence is only used by
characters as a means of self
defence from the demon.
What about horror works?
At 15 there can be strong threat and horror as
long as there is no sustained focus on sadistic or
Can you see drugs in a 15 rated film or video?
At 15 drug taking may be shown but the work as a
whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse
(for example, through instructional detail).
The misuse of easily accessible and highly
dangerous substances like aerosols or solvents is
unlikely to be acceptable at 15.
Within my film ‘unchained’ later in
the film there is scenes of
teenagers around the campfire
drinking alcohol and smoking
cannabis as this is very common
now within modern society. This fits
within the BBFC guidelines as it
does not promote the use of strong
Dangerous behaviour that reflects
on death and is easy to copy but
the audience is not portrayed
throughout the film ‘Unchained’.
Only scenes of play fighting and
defence from the demon is
What about dangerous behaviour or things
teens might copy?
We consider the risk of potential harm to
impressionable teenagers. For example, dangerous
behaviour such as hanging, suicide and self-harming
should not dwell on detail which could be copied.
Whether the depiction of easily accessible weapons
is acceptable will depend on factors such as realism,
context and setting.
What about discriminatory or offensive
There may be racist, homophobic or other
discriminatory language, and the work could
explore themes relating to this.
However, at 15 the work as a whole must not
endorse discriminatory language or behaviour.
How much sex and nudity is allowed at 15?
At 15 sexual activity can be portrayed, but usually
without strong detail. Some sex scenes can be
quite long at this category.
Though nudity may be allowed in a sexual context
there will usually be no strong detail. There are
no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or
There can be strong references to sex and sexual
behaviour, but especially strong or crude
references are unlikely to be acceptable unless
justified by context.
Sex and sex references are treated the same
irrespective of sexuality.
Within my film ‘Unchained’ there
are some scenes of homophobic
and discriminatory behaviour
that is used by the teenagers but
in a non abusive way .
Sexual references and minor
activity such as kissing is portrayed
within my horror ‘Unchained’ as
this is realistic for teenagers to
investigate sexual intercourse and
relationships. There is also no
strong visual details of nudity and
only a short glimpse of girls in there
underwear is filmed later in the
What makes my film ‘Unchained’
not a rated 12A or 18?
What about discrimination?
Any discriminatory language or behaviour will not be
endorsed by the work as a whole. Aggressive discriminatory
language (for example homophobic or racist terms) is
unlikely to be passed at 12A or 12 unless it is clearly
What about other issues like imitable behaviour or
drugs at 12A or 12?
Dangerous behaviour may be present in 12A or 12 works but
will not dwell on detail which could be copied or present
those activities in a manner that children are likely to copy.
Anti-social behaviour should not be endorsed.
There may be infrequent sight of drugs misuse in a 12A or a
12 but the portrayal should not be glamorised or provide
What sort of violence can I expect in a 12A or 12?
At 12A, moderate violence is allowed but it should not dwell
on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood,
or gory moments only if they can be justified by their context
(for example brief sight of bloody injury in a medical drama).
How much strong language can there
be in an 18?
There is no limit on the number of uses of
strong (e.g. 'f***') or even very strong
language (e.g. ‘c***’) which can be passed
at 18. Uses could be aggressive, directed,
frequent or accompanied by strong
How much sex and nudity is allowed
There can be strong and detailed portrayals
of sex at 18, including full nudity. There are
no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or
Very strong, crude and explicit sex
references are permitted at 18.
An 18 film or video might also contain
depictions of real sex, as long as the film or
video is not a sex work.