Published: 10th February 2012

BBFC Introduces Fast-Track Service for Cinema Submissions

I am pleased to announce a new service to our Film customers for cinema releases. Pre-Booking Express (PBE) is a fast track classification process for film submissions which enables you to get a category decision within 24 hours. The service will go live on Monday 13th February 2012. Although the BBFC's film turnaround time is under 3 days, the FDA and its members have indicated that a premium fast track service would be beneficial to help cope with the ever reducing lead times in getting product to screen, especially when that product is delivered late. Having successfully introduced PBE to Video customers in 2010, we have every confidence the BBFC's Film customers will find PBE a very useful addition to our service. Being a premium service with additional administrative costs, PBE will attract a higher fee than the norm. The fee will be based on the booked running time and rounded up to the nearest 15 minutes (or to 5 minutes for works with a running time of less than 5 minutes). This rounded up running time is referred to as 'booked time'. The fee will be based on the booked time, and a rate of standard tariff + 20% will apply. Please note the service is subject to availability and designed to classify straight forward material that does not test the boundaries of Board examination policy or falls on the border of two categories.

The attached guide provides further details of the service but here are some FAQs which will give you an instant picture of how PBE can work for you. FAQs:

Why does PBE cost more?

The increased fee reflects the additional work we do to ensure that your submission receives its category decision within the extra-fast time frame. PBE utilises a workflow stream radically different than the standard process, and as it is the only classification process in which you will know in advance when you will receive your category decision, administrative costs are higher than for other submissions.

Why are certain types of submission not allowed?

We want to make sure, as far as possible, that every work submitted under the PBE service is passed within the published turnaround times. PBE submissions are fast tracked at every stage of the process right up to the point we deliver the category decision and register number to you. This means that the category decision has to be straightforward. In order to minimise the risk to you of not receiving the category when you thought you would, we have issued guidance (see the attached document) designed to help you determine whether your work would be suitable for the service.

Why would a PBE work be disqualified from the service while still in progress?

Until our Examiners have completed a viewing, we can never know whether a particular work will contain issues that make the category decision difficult to arrive at. If a submission has to drop out of the service, we will let you know as soon as this comes to light. The attached guidance’ document gives full information on how such instances are handled. The vast majority of our submissions are passed without any issues whatsoever, so it is only a small percentage of works which we can'’t handle under PBE.

I'd like to use PBE but I see that you have to be on the BBFC Extranet. How do I join?

Simply contact IT Helpdesk and they will set things up for you.

If I don't use the PBE service, will my submissions go through the BBFC more slowly?

No. One of our main objectives while developing PBE for Video was to implement a process that would also maintain the standard workflow and turnaround times for all other submissions. Having achieved this for Video works, the same will apply to Film works.