1. British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) which use to be known as British Board of
Film censor is the UK’s regulator of film and video, it’s a non-governmental organization.
BBFC provides ratings such as U, PG and 12A. BBFC have the power to rate, cut or even
reject work. They also rates some things on line.
The BBFC recognise and respect adult freedom of choice within law, protect the public
(especially children) from content which might raise harm risks, provide an effective
service to enforcement agencies and empower the public (especially parents) to make
informed viewing choices.
The age ratings the BBFC have created are :
U, PG, 12, 12A, 15, 18, R18.
2. U films are suitable for audience aged four and over. The U symbol
stands for Universal. U films are only allowed to contain very mild
language, for example ‘hell’ and ‘damn’. In U films you sometimes find
the characters cuddling or kissing but there is no sexual behaviour.
Violence in U films is generally mild, there are brief fight scenes, but
these scenes will be balanced by reassuring element. There are also a
few scenes where characters are in danger. In U films there aren’t any
references to drugs, unless there is an educational message about drugs
that the younger audience understand.
Here are some examples of U films:
3. PG stands for Parental Guidance. In PG films some scenes may be unsuitable
for young children. PG films include challenging issues such as
racism/bullying, however they never contain any theme which is
inappropriate for a child. There may be mild bad language in PG films for
example the words “son of a bitch” and “shit”. References to sex are very
unlikely unless they are undetailed. In PG films, the violence that takes place
is very mild, you might see some blood but you will not see how the injury
was inflicted in strong detail. Young children are likely to copy many things
they see on TV such as bullying etc. Easily accessible weapons such as knives
are not focused on in PG films. Smoking and drinking is also not glamorised.
To try and prevent children from copying things like this PG works emphasize
that they are harmful. There might be references to illegal drugs but there is
always an educational message which lets young children understand that its
bad. Here are some examples of PG films:
4. 12 and 12A films contain material that is generally not suitable for young
children. 12A films require an adult to accompany the child younger than 12.
12 and 12A films may contain bad language such as “fuck” depending on the
manner in which it is used. They may contain moderate language such as
“bitch” or “twat”. Sex may be briefly portrayed in 12 and 12A films, there may
also be nudity but it should only be discreet. In 12 and 12A films violence is
allowed but not really detailed violence. These films may contain weapons
and long fighting scenes. Sexual violence scenes such as rape or assault may
be implied but briefly. Some horror films are passed at this category.
Dangerous behaviour such as suicide may be present in a 12 or 12A films but
not in detail.
Here are some examples of 12 and 12A films:
5. No one younger than 15 is allowed to watch a 15 rated film at the cinema. No theme
is prohibited for a 15 film. In a 15 rate film you might see, sexual nudity, strong
verbal reference to sex, frequent strong language, brief scenes of sexual violence,
strong violence, drug taking etc. At 15 there is no upper limit on the number of uses
of strong language such as “fuck” also strong terms like “cunt” may be used
occasionally depending on which manner they are used and depending on who is
using the language. Sexual activity may be portrayed but not strong detail . The
violence in 15 rated films may be strong. Furthermore there may be verbal
references to sexual violence. In 15 films drug taking may be shown.
Here are some example of 15 films:
6. Films rated 18 are for adults. No one under the age of 18 is allowed to see an
18 film at the cinema. No theme is prohibited at 18. In an 18 film you may
find, real sex, sexual violence, discriminatory language/behaviour, very strong
language, very strong violence, strong blood and gore etc. There is no limit in
the number of use of strong language, there may be homophobic, racist or
other discriminatory language. There can be strong and details portrayals of
sex. Violence can be strong and be portrayed with strong detail. Horror films
may contain extremely strong horror.
Here are some examples of 18 films:
7. R18 movies are special and legally-restricted classification. These films are
only shown to adults in specially licenced cinemas. Video works may be
supplied to adults only in licenced sex shops. R18 videos are not supplied by
mail order. Here are some examples of R18 films: