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Age Certification
By Clarissa Thompson
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....
How much strong language is allowed in a
15?
There could potentially be a great deal. At 15 there
is no upper limit on the...
What about horror works?
At 15 there can be strong threat and horror as
long as there is no sustained focus on sadistic or...
What about discriminatory or offensive
terms?
There may be racist, homophobic or other
discriminatory language, and the wo...
What makes my film ‘Unchained’
not a rated 12A or 18?
What about discrimination?
Any discriminatory language or behaviour ...
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Age certification

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Age certification

  1. 1. Age Certification By Clarissa Thompson
  2. 2. 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 rated film. What might I see in a 15 rated film or video? 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.
  3. 3. How much strong language is allowed in a 15? 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 acceptable. Strong sadistic violence is also unlikely to be acceptable 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.
  4. 4. What about horror works? At 15 there can be strong threat and horror as long as there is no sustained focus on sadistic or sexualised threat. 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 drug taking. 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 conveyed within. 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.
  5. 5. What about discriminatory or offensive terms? 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 educational context. 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 film.
  6. 6. 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 condemned. 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 instructional detail. 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 violence. How much sex and nudity is allowed at 18? 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 educational context. 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.

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