Thursday, 12 June 2014



who are they'
the British board of film. it is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit, co-regulatory body. we are funded through fees and charges of people who submit films and videos for classification.

they classify many things such as:

  • films, trailers and advertisements on behalf of local authorities who licence cinemas.
  •  video works which are distributed over the internet under a voluntary, self-regulatory service.
  • videos works which are distributed over the internet content under voluntary , self-voluntary service.
  • commercial and internet content distributed via mobile networks under voluntary, self-regulatory service. 
Why do the BBFC give films ratings?
they do it to protect children and vulnerable adults from potentially harmful or otherwise unstable media content, also to empower consumers, especially parents and those with responsibilities for children, to make informed viewing decisions.
What do they take account for?
Educational videos, 
when classifying and education video, including a sex education video for use in schools, we will take account of the educational purposes of the video and the context in which it is to be viewed in. 
Music videos, the classification of a music video will take account of any elements which are of concern to parents, including glamorization or behavior which they consider inappropriate. where music videos are short and self-contained, material may be less likely to be justified by context. 
photo or pattern sensitivity, motion sickness and reactions to low frequency sound can be an issue due to people health so it also has to be considered and looked at. also the BBFC will or will require consumers to change the title if it is racial or religious hatred, or other criminal behavior, or encourages an interest in abusive or illegal sexual activity. 


What does each rating stand for?

Will there be any bad language in a U film?

At U we only allow infrequent use of very mild bad language (e.g. ‘damn’ and ‘hell’).

Might U works contain any sexual behaviour?

Characters may be seen kissing or cuddling and there may be references to sexual behaviour. However, there will be no overt focus on sexual behaviour, language or innuendo.
Sex and sex references are treated the same irrespective of sexuality so there could be mild or undetailed references at U.

Is violence or threat permitted in a U film?

Violence will generally be very mild. A U film may include brief fight scenes or moments where characters are placed in danger. However, moments of emotional stress or threat will be quickly resolved and the outcome will be reassuring.
There may be brief scary scenes and moments where the characters are placed in danger. As with violence, however, these scenes will be balanced by reassuring elements, such as comic interludes or music.
‘Baddie’ characters may carry or use weapons, but there will be no emphasis on these. Child or ‘hero’ characters are unlikely to use any kind of weapon outside, for example, historical settings.

What about behaviour which children might copy?

Potentially dangerous or anti-social behaviour which young children may copy, must be clearly disapproved of.

What sorts of films are usually passed at U?

A U film can explore a wide rang of themes, as long as the treatment is appropriate for a young audience. This doesn’t mean that all films rated U are children’s films.
A children’s work at U will generally contain positive messages about loyalty, honesty and friendship, particularly amongst children. The film or video may well have a happy ending for the child and the overall tone should be one of reassurance.
U films are unlikely to contain discriminatory language or behaviour unless it is clearly disapproved of.

Will there be references to drugs?

At U there will not normally be references to illegal drugs or drugs misuse unless there is a very clear anti-drugs or educational message which will be understood by a younger audience.
Drugs references which are unlikely to register with young children and are brief or passing may occasionally be passed at U – for example a verbal reference to ‘the Opium wars’ in an historical documentary.

What sort of themes are passed at PG?

A PG film will not contain any theme which is inappropriate for a child. PG works can explore challenging issues such as bullying, bereavement or racism.

Will there be bad language in a PG film?

There may be mild bad language (such as ‘shit’ or ‘son of a bitch’) in a PG film, but the context and delivery are always important. For example, if the language is used aggressively or if there is a great deal of bad language, a work may be passed at a higher category.

What about sex?

Sex references are unlikely unless they are undetailed and infrequent. In addition, if a child is unlikely to understand a reference, we may allow it at PG. Comedy can also often lessen the impact of sex references and innuendo.
Sex and sex references are treated the same irrespective of sexuality so there could be mild or undetailed references at PG.

What about violence or threat at PG?

Violence will usually be mild. There should be no detail of violence in a PG work, so while there might be some blood, we would not see how the injury was inflicted in strong detail. Violence is generally more acceptable in a historical, comedic or fantasy setting, because of the distancing that this provides. It isn’t uncommon for PG films to feature ‘roller-coaster’ action or set pieces, where the emphasis is clearly on the adventure or journey of the main characters rather than the detail of violence or fighting.
As far as threat and horror goes go, we allow some 'jump' moments and frightening sequences as long as they are not prolonged or intense.. Fantasy settings may again be a factor in the treatment of such content.

What about behavior children might copy?

In a PG work, potentially dangerous or antisocial bebehavior young children are likely to copy, such as bullying, or playing with electricity, will not be condoned or seen to go unchallenged, especially if it comes across as safe or fun. Realistic or easily accessible weapons, such as knives, will not be glamorised or focused upon in a PG work. Smoking and drinking will not be promoted or glamorised and if child characters are seen smoking or drinking, there should be a clear message that this is bad. If drugs are mentioned or seen, a PG work should either represent them in an innocuous manner or emphasis that they are harmful.

Will there be any drugs in a PG?

There might be innocuous or passing references to illegal drugs or drugs misuse in a PG work, although there should be no strong focus on this. In addition drug references may be permissible if there is a clear anti-drugs or educational message likely to be understood by children eight or over.

ow important is the tone of a film at 12A or 12?

The overall tone of a film or video, and the way it makes the audience feel may affect the classification. For example, a work which has a very dark or unsettling tone which could disturb the audience would be less likely to be passed 12A even if the individual issues in the film were considered acceptable under the BBFC Guidelines. Similarly, if a work is particularly positive or reassuring this may stop it being pushed up a category from 12A to 15.

Will there be uses of strong language in a 12A or 12 work?

The BBFC's Guidelines state that strong language (e.g. 'f***') may be passed at 12 or 12A, depending on the manner in which it is used, who is using the language, its frequency and any special contextual justification. Aggressive uses of strong language may result in a film or DVD being placed at the 15 category. There is some allowance for puns on strong language at this category.
There may be moderate language (e.g. uses of terms such as ‘bitch’ and ‘twat’ at 12 or 12A).

What about discrimination?

Any discriminatory language or behavior 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.

Do 12A films contain sexual behavior?

Sex may be briefly and discreetly portrayed at 12A or 12. Verbal sex references should not go beyond what is suitable for young teenagers. Comedy may lessen the impact of some moderate sex references or innuendo but frequent crude sex references are unlikely to be accepted at this category. There may be nudity in 12A films but nudity in a sexual context should only be brief and discreet.
Sex and sex references are treated the same irrespective of sexuality

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, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if they can be justified by their context (for example brief sight of bloody injury in a medical drama).
Action sequences and weapons may be present at 12A or 12, and there may be long fight scenes or similar. Weapons which might be easily accessible to 12 year olds (such as knives) should not be glamorised in 12A and 12 works.
Sexual violence, such as scenes of rape or assault, may only be implied or briefly and discreetly indicated at 12A and 12. Such scenes must also have a strong contextual justification.

Can horror films be passed 12 or 12A?

Yes, some horror films are passed at this category. Moderate physical and psychological threat is permitted at 12A or 12A as long as horror sequences are not too frequent or sustained and the overall tone is not disturbing.

What about other issues like imitable behavior or drugs at 12A or 12?

Dangerous behaviour (for example hanging and suicide) 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 behavior should not be endorsed.
There may be infrequent sight of drugs misuse in a 12A or a 12 but the portrayal should not be glamorized or provide instructional detail.

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***’).
Occasionally there may be uses of the strongest terms (e.g. 'c***'), 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.

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 behavior, 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

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.

What about sexual violence?

There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence (for example descriptions of rape or sexual assault in a courtroom scene or in victim testimony) but any portrayal depiction of sexual violence must be discreet and justified by context.

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.

What about dangerous behavior 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.

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.

What about discriminatory terms?

There may be racist, homophobic or other discriminatory language at 18, and the work could explore themes relating to discrimination.
Though a work as a whole must not be in breach of any relevant legislation, it is possible for discriminatory language or themes to be the main focus of the work, and for main characters to engage in discriminatory behaviour.

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.

What are sex works?

Sex works are works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation. Sex works containing only material which may be simulated are generally passed 18. Those containing clear images of real sex, strong fetish material, sexually explicit animated images, or other very strong sexual images will be confined to the R18 category. Material which is unacceptable in a sex work at R18 is also unacceptable in a sex work at 18.

What about sex education films?

Where sex material genuinely seeks to inform and educate in matters such as human sexuality or safer sex and health, explicit images of sexual activity may be permitted.

Can there be strong violence?

Yes, at 18 violence can be strong and be portrayed with strong detail. There may even be dwelling on the infliction of pain or injury, or scenes of strong sadistic or sexual violence.
The strongest gory images are permitted at this category.

Have a go yourself:
Name: Planet Of the Apes
What i would rate it: 12A
reasons why i gave it this rating: 
i have watched planet of the apes and i feel it fitted the category for the rating 12A. I have given it a 15 cos throughout the film there is violence. there is some between the apes and humans and also just the apes. there is also a few swear words which will be unacceptable to be said without parental guidance. i have also chosen to give this film a rating of 12 A due to its story line, if you are under the age of 12 then you may find it harder to understand the plot and what is actually going on through the film. 

Case study 1 

Name: World War Z
Genre: Horror, Drama

My Opinion. i feel rating this a 15 is a fair reflect on the film itself. the film itself i feel has a lot off blood and gore, its is a action film but at the same time it is a horror due to the 'zombies'. There are a few swear words and including the blood and  gore that is involved throughout the film then 12 wouldn't be suitable. Also the use of threat can be intimidating to younger viewers, for example seeing this at a younger age may make the viewer think it is right to act as they don't understand that it is non-fiction.

Cast Study 2

Name: Lilo and Stitch
Rating: U

i feel this film rating should be PA, even though the character are cartoons and fantasy creators there is some violence. this films shows a alien (stitch) at the beginning to be a indestructible character that fights and can get out of very difficult situations with some form of violence. once stitch had made it to earth he turned into a cute dog. the voice of the cute dog could reflect badly onto animals in the real world. making younger children want their dog to be 'amazing and indestructible' in real life. with a parent i think they would understand the film more and be able to ask question and the parent to answer sensibly.

School trip
while Looking at the BBFC and how the ratings of the films we took a trip to see what it was like. at first i was very surprised it seemed to be a small building and was hard to understand quiet how they do their work in the building. however once we started their was one of the employees explained how it all worked. they explained the history of the BBFC and how it was founded. We also got told that just below us was basically a cinema, people was underneath us watching a film that has be sent to them as they want to get it rated. not all films are rated by the BBFC but the majority are. 

We Received a lot of information from the speech and also we got given a book that had very useful information inside. i used that book to help me produce this post.

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