British Board of Film Classification

Quick search of releases

Advanced search

#askBBFC Twitter Q & A Transcript - Thursday 04 September

On Thursday 04 September, we held the answer session for our Twitter Q & A.

Earlier in the week we asked our followers to tweet us their questions about film classification using the #askBBFC hashtag.
 

Date 05/09/2014

The #askbbfc answer session took the most interesting questions and answered them during a 30 minute session. If you missed this, the transcript of questions and answers follows below.

We aim to hold a twitter Q and A once a month and we’ll give plenty notice about when we’re collecting questions, whether there is a specific theme and when the answer session will take place. We use this format to ensure that any questions that require detailed answers can be researched if required and formulated into as few tweets as possible.

You can send longer questions you have to us at any time, by emailing us.

@BBFC
We've been collecting your #askbbfc questions about film age-ratings

We’re going to answer as many as we can in the next 30 minutes #askbbfc

FilmLandEmpire asks: film classifications seem to get more and more relaxed.  #askbbfc

Is it an onwards trend? Or is it possible public opinion might shift? #askbbfc

We’ve seen significant shifts in public opinion since 1999 #askbbfc

It is unusual to see big shifts in public opinion between each review of the Guidelines - every 4-5 years #askbbfc

Although the public is more relaxed about some issues, they are less relaxed about other issues, like discrimination & drug misuse #askbbfc

Won'tStayDead asks about BBFC Director James Ferman who was in post 1975-1999 #askbbfc

What, if any, was Ferman's effect on the Board's classification policy, and how much did it change upon his leaving the BBFC? #askbbfc

Ferman saw much change during his 24 years at the BBFC #askbbfc

Ferman permitted increasingly explicit sexual material whilst clamping down on sadistic violence #askbbfc

Since Guidelines based on public consultation were introduced (2000) Ferman’s impact on policy has been overtaken by public opinion #askbbfc

GregTaylor asks how do you scientifically define "harm" when using it as a basis for classifying / cutting / banning films? #askbbfc

We consider if the material - on its own or in combination with other similar content may cause any harm at the category concerned #askbbfc

And not just harm resulting from the behaviour of potential viewers #askbbfc

But also moral harm that may be caused eg by desensitising a potential viewer to the effects of violence #askbbfc

Or by degrading a potential viewer’s sense of empathy/ encouraging a dehumanised view of others #askbbfc

With regard to children, harm may also include retarding social and moral development #askbbfc

In defining harm we rely on expert research & public opinion & the law #askbbfc

You can read a review of harm research #askbbfc

Martin Hollis asks: did the distributors of The Imposter ever ask for exemption from certification due to its documentary form? #askbbfc

We classify many documentaries regardless of the ability to claim exemption #askbbfc

The Imposter was released in cinemas in 2012 & required an age rating under the Licensing Act #askbbfc

The BBFCinsight for The Imposter is available here
#askbbfc

We also classify many documentaries on video/DVD regardless of the ability to claim exemption #askbbfc

From 01 October videos that would be classified 12 or higher can no longer claim exemption #askbbfc

JamesCourt asks given parents ignore your advice RE: 12A's will you consider adding a minimum age to them? under 5s have seen them #askbbfc

A 12A is not generally suitable for an under-12, but parents tell us they want to choose whether to take younger children #askbbfc

We’re working to remind parents to check BBFCinsight before taking an under12 to see a 12A film #askbbfc

We have a 12A advert in cinemas and on our website #askbbfc

It would likely confuse parents more to introduce a lower limit to the 12A #askbbfc

We already advise that PG is suitable for aged 8 and up #askkbbfc

NeilBrazier asks: how many films were classified as 15 as opposed to 12A in the last year? #askbbfc

And what is the definition/fine line between a film getting a 15 or a 12A? #askbbfc

We publish this information each year in our Annual Reports. In 2013, 321 films were 12A & 313 were 15 #askbbfc

The Guidelines for 12A & 15 are available here #askbbfc

A film might be passed 15 rather than 12A for a number of issues #askbbfc

A persistent threatening tone or very strong language might place a film at 15 rather than 12A for example #askbbfc

NeilBrazier also asks about BBFC Examiners #askbbfc

What is the demographic of people whose decision it is to classify a movie 12A or 15? Do they have kids of their own? #askbbfc

BBFC Examiners come from diverse backgrounds, some have been lawyers, journalists, police, video game designers #askbbfc

The gender split amongst BBFC Examiners is even & some Examiners do have children #askbbfc

All BBFC Examiners watch every type of content submitted & all apply the same BBFC Guidelines #askbbfc

RossMcLaughlin asks why was 15 decided as an age limit? Most 15 yr olds don't have ID which makes them difficult to sell tickets to #askbbfc

Historically there’s been a rating for mid-teens since the first X, standing for 16+ until 1970 & in the 1970s AA for 14+ #askbbfc

In the 70s the AA was to protect adolescents from adult material & permit more adult films to be passed X uncut for an 18+ audience #askbbfc

The AA was changed to the 15 rating & the X to the 18 rating in 1982 #askbbfc

The 15 still exists for content not suitable for young adolescents, that is not adult material under the Guidelines #askbbfc

That’s all we have time for today. Thank you to everyone sending #askbbfc questions this week

If you missed any of the #askbbfc answers today we’ll publish a transcript & tweet the link
 

Share this!

Facebook logo Twitter logo