BBFC exhibition at BFI Southbank throughout November 2012 | British Board of Film Classification
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BBFC exhibition at BFI Southbank throughout November 2012

To coincide with the BFI ‘Uncut’ film season, the BBFC is holding an exhibition of artefacts from its archives in the Atrium of the BFI Southbank.


Established as the British Board of Film Censors in 1912 the BBFC has sought to reflect public opinion, protect children and, increasingly, to empower consumers for 100 years. It has moved from considering “indecorous dancing” in films in the 1910s to providing online age ratings for digital content a century later.

The key milestones of film classification from 1912-2012 are represented in the exhibition through original artefacts, film footage and documents from the BBFC archives, which together reveal the rich development of cinema history from a unique perspective.

Mark Kermode, writer and broadcaster, said:

“It has often been said that it is the inevitable fate of all censors to appear foolish to the next generation; what looks terrifying and subversive today will almost certainly seem tame tomorrow. Yet over the course of their hundred-year evolution the BBFC have reacted to the challenges of change by moving gradually from censoriousness to certification. Today, under the remit of classifying for children while allowing adults to choose what they watch within the confines of the law, the BBFC has become arguably the most open and accountable regulatory body in the world.”

The BBFC exhibition is open to the public free of charge at the BFI Southbank in London throughout November. Artefacts in the exhibition include original cinema category boards, photographs, film certificates and footage of BBFC staff in post in the 1920′s.

Original cinema category board courtesy of The Cinema Museum, London

T. P. O’Connor was appointed President of the BBFC in 1916

Originally posted October 31st 2012