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Education news

Here you can read news from our Education Team and partners, plus articles written by BBFC staff. Like our case studies, our articles focus on key issues, films, initiatives and historical moments. They offer insight into how the BBFC responded to different events and changes in the film and media landscape.



Tough to Watch - Sexual Violence


Sexual violence is usually taken to mean rape, sexual assault or violence depicted with sexually stimulating imagery. The BBFC defines sexual violence thus:'Sexual violence' is the conflation of sexual images together with violent images in such a way as to create a connection between the two.

Tough to Watch - Extreme Reality


Early in the history of film, audiences were drawn to documentaries which promised to show the extremes of human experience - medical operations, attacks on animals and real life executions became popular even as mainstream cinema shied away from on-screen kisses. Ever since, such films have...

Tough to Watch - Torture Porn


The term ‘Torture Porn’ first appeared in the title of a feature in New York Magazine on 6 February 2006 entitled ‘Now Playing At Your Multiplex: Torture Porn’. It refers to the current horror film subgenre that depicts strong violence, gory images, torture, mutilation, sadism and nudity whilst...

Game On


 Video games are an area of the BBFC's work that often results in confusion. People who don't play games often don't understand them and cannot fathom why they are so attractive to so many of the nation's teens and young adults. This lack of understanding has led to some video games (or even video...

Drawing Comparisons: The History of Manga and Classification


The term ‘manga,’ meaning ‘irresponsible pictures', was first coined by Hokusai, the famous Japanese artist. The production of popular comic books and pictures of everyday life emerged in Japan early in the 19th Century and flourished into the 20th.

The Games We Play: Video Game Classification at the BBFC


Games have often found themselves causing controversy and it isn’t only modern games like Grand Theft Auto that have done that. The first to upset the media (in this case over violence) was the 1976 title, Deathrace. A racing game bearing absolutely no relation to today’s sophisticated equivalents...

Sound Decision: The Da Vinci Code


The answer is one related to semantics. The BBFC did suggest that the work would not necessarily receive a 12A if it maintained some strong sound effects, but it did not ask for any cuts to the film’s score or incidental music, as suggested by some reports.

War of the Worlds: Controversy and the 12A


The classification awarded to a film by the BBFC can have an impact on success at the UK box office, a factor well known to distributors and filmmakers.

Bollywood & Sex - a BBFC Perspective


Bollywood directors have recently made a pragmatic shift in their style of film-making, faced as they are with urban audiences on the Indian subcontinent grown increasingly blasé about the traditional no-go area of sex due to the plethora of western channels available on TV. Additionally Bollywood...

Video Nasties


As VCRs became increasingly popular in the early 1980s, the market became saturated with titles, some of which had never previously been classified for theatrical release in the U.K., and others which contained material previously cut as a condition of classification.