Uc: Films classified
Uc are suitable for pre-school children.
U: Films classified
under Universal, are suitable for audiences of 4 years and over. The themes
are appropriate for young children, and violence is mild. Occasional natural
nudity, and mild sexual behavior and references (such as kissing, and 'making
love') is permitted. Horror scenes should be mild, and the outcome reassuring,
while no drug references are to made unless there is an educational aspect to
it. Bad language is infrequent, and anything dangerous that young children are
likely to copy will not be shown.
PG: Parents are
advised to supervise children who are sensitive or very young, however, there
are no legal restrictions, and PG films should not disturb children aged above
8 years old. Unsupervised children are permitted to watch films under this
classifications. More serious themes are outlined than in U rated films, while
mild bad language can be expected. Sexual activity may be implied, but be
infrequent and mild. Natural nudity is permitted, as long as no sexual context
is attached to it. Violence may be moderate, but must be justified by its
setting. Horror scenes should not be intense, and any drug references must be
innocuous, or in addition to an appropriate message (such as an anti-drug
message). No details of potentially dangerous behaviour which a child is
likely to imitate is accepted.
12: Nobody younger
than 12 years of age may rent or buy a 12 rated film. It is the responsibility
of a supervising adult that children under 12 do not view the films without
adult supervision. Mature themes are acceptable, but must be targeted to a
teenage audience. The use of strong language (such as f***) has to be
infrequent. Sexual activity may be implied and references may reflect what is
likely to be familiar to most teenagers, it should not go beyond what is
suitable for them however. Sexual violence can be implied, or briefly and
discreetly indicated. Other forms of violence must not be in huge detail, with
no great emphasis on injury. Misuse of drugs must be infrequent, and should
not be glamorized. Horror is permitted, while gory scenes should only be
occasional. Dangerous techniques and behaviour (such as dealing with combat,
suicide etc) must not be glamorized or appear free of harm. It must not be in
12A: The same
guidelines that apply to 12 rated films, apply to 12A rated films. However,
any child under 12 years of age may not see a 12A classified film without the
supervision of an adult.
15: Nobody younger
than 15 may see films classified 15 in a cinema, or rent / buy these films. No
themes are prohibited, provided they are suitable for 15 year olds. Strong
language may be frequent, but the strongest terms (such as c***) are only
acceptable when the context justifies it. Continued and aggressive use of the
strongest language is rarely acceptable. Nudity is permitted in a sexual
context without strong detail, there are no restrictions on nudity in an
educational or non-sexual context though. Sexual activity may be expressed
without strong detail, and there may be strong verbal references to sex.
Sexual violence must be discreet and brief. Violence might be strong, but
emphasis should not be on the infliction of pain / injury. Drugs taking may be
shown, but the film mustn't encourage drug use. Strong horror scenes are
acceptable, but it isn't likely that the strongest of gory images are.
Dangerous techniques and behaviour (such as dealing with combat, suicide etc)
must not be glamorized. It must not be in imitable detail.
18: An 18 rated film
must not be seen by anyone under 18 years of age in a cinema, and under 18's
must not buy or rent 18 rated films. Once an individual reaches the age of 18,
they are considered an adult. The BBFC do not normally override the the wish
that adults can choose their own entertainment, as long as it is within the
law. Some exceptions, may be material that the BBFC feels could risk harm to
people, or through behaviour, to society as a whole. An example of this is the
portrayal of sexual violence which might endorce sexual assault. With this
type of material, the BBFC may have to intervene.
In the case of
Video Cassettes and
DVD's, the BBFC may be less lenient, and
intervention more frequent, as these types of media are more accessible to
Educational videos regarding
sex will be classified in the 18 category, and exceptions to the normal
guidelines when it comes to explicit images can be made, in the interest of
the public. However, such explicit detail must be kept to the necessary
minimum to illustrate the point being made.
Sex works are often on
Video Cassettes and
DVD's, their primary purpose being sexual
stimulation or arousal. These works containing simulated material are normally
in the 18 category. Clear images of actual sex will be classified as R18
R18: Films classified
under the R18 category, are restricted to adults, 18 years and over. These
films can only be seen in specially licensed cinemas, and purchased in sex
stores. They cannot be purchased via mail order. It is a special (and legally
restricted) category, as it is primarily for explicit sex works between
adults. Content that is unacceptable in R18 films, is material that is in
breach of criminal law, material likely to encourage an interest in sexual
abuse, portrayal of sexual activity without consent (this includes any form of
restraint which prevents those involved indicating withdrawl of consent),
infliction of harm or pain, and any sexual threats, humiliation or abuse.
Strong abuse, even if consent has been given, is likely to be unacceptable.