#askbbfc Twitter Q and A transcript Thursday 30 July | British Board of Film Classification
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#askbbfc Twitter Q and A transcript Thursday 30 July

On Thursday 30 July we held the answer session for our #askbbfc Twitter Q & A.

Date 03/08/2015

Earlier in the week we asked our followers to tweet us their questions about classifying foreign films, using the #askbbfc hashtag.

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.


We'll begin with a #askbbfc question from FilmLandEmpire

Q: #askbbfc are there cultural differences that make it more challenging to classify foreign films?

A: Foreign films may be understood and received differently in their home country to how they are perceived here #askbbfc

A: However, the BBFC must classify films according to UK attitudes and sensibilities #askbbfc

A: In borderline cases, we may take account of the expectations of the likely audience for a particular work #askbbfc

A: To assist in such cases, we have carried out research into foreign films, for example our 2004 research into South Asian films #askbbfc

A: You can see the South Asian research here #askbbfc

A: It is important for the BBFC to understand foreign film genres & the impact they may have on their target audience #askbbfc

A: Another challenge can be if a foreign film may aggravate any existing cultural tensions in the UK #askbbfc

A: We aim to keep this in mind in a proportionate way #askbbfc


Our next #askbbfc question is from magic moon..

Q: What qualifies as a "foreign film"? Because US releases are technically foreign #askbbfc

A: In terms of our database, we use 'foreign film' to describe foreign language works #askbbfc

A: Though sometimes a work will involve a number of languages & dialects #askbbfc

A: We ask distributors to supply us with detail of the languages spoken in a film when they submit it to us #askbbfc

A: If a foreign language film does not have subtitles, we will use an interpreter to assist with the examination of the work #askbbfc

A: Or an Examiner who speaks the language(s) fluently will be asked to view the work #askbbfc

Our education team have passed us a student #askbbfc question…

Q: How does the BBFC classify swearing in other languages? #askbbfc

A: Most foreign language films include English subtitles, so we classify the language in accordance with the Guidelines #askbbfc

A: When there are no subtitles we use an interpreter who must translate the dialogue to Examiners #askbbfc

A: Some Examiners are fluent in some foreign languages and an interpreter is not required #askbbfc

Our final #askbbfc question today, from William John Sheehan, is from our previous #askbbfc session

Q: #askbbfc is there any way that you can have a 15A cert?

A: At present there has been little public feedback from parents in favour of a 15A rating #askbbfc

A: At the 15 rating film content is stronger in terms of issues such as violence, strong language, sex, discrimination & drug use #askbbfc

A: These are all elements that parents tell us is not acceptable for children aged around 12 #askbbfc

A: At the last Classification Guidelines review parents were still concerned that children are at a vulnerable age at 15 #askbbfc

A: You can find the Guidelines research here #askbbfc


That's all we have time for today. Thank you to everyone who tweeted #askbbfc questions last week.


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