Joining the Youth Panel

One of our new members, Kai shares his experience of joining the Youth Panel, giving an insight into the group's first in-person meeting of 2023 at the BBFC offices in Central London.

I’m Kai, and I’ve recently had the amazing chance to join the Youth Panel for the BBFC. When I first saw the opportunity, I started the application process by sending in a video of myself answering three simple questions to the BBFC. In due time, I was invited to a Google Meet session where I was interviewed by two panel members and two colleagues of the BBFC. Once the interview was done, I later then found out that I had passed and was accepted into the program.

The reason why I wanted to join the panel was to really learn how the film industry works, what processes each screening goes through, what moral challenges film compliance officers must face and use everything that I learn to help me when pursuing further careers in the industry. I also joined in the hope of making some new friends, which was so easy to do thanks to not only the wonderful existing panel members, who were really helpful in supporting us newbies, but also thanks to the other new panel members that joined at the same time as me. It was great getting to know everyone and familiarising myself with the process. 

A little about what we do at the panel: the first session kicked off with a team building exercise involving balloon chairs, which was a fun (and quite peculiar) way of getting to know everyone, building that trust, and having a good old laugh. We were then introduced to the different age ratings used to classify films and were shown the meaning behind each of them. Subsequently, after every age rating was shown, we had a clip from a film shown for each rating (obviously excluding the age 18 and R18 ratings), where we were then asked whether we thought the age rating linked to the clip was, in our opinions, the right decision or not. It was great to see the amount of input we were able to offer, and how much the panel leaders cared about our views.

Once we finished going through each age rating, we were able to view a screening of the new film, Cocaine Bear, which was not only quite eye-opening, to say the least – for those who have watched the film, you know exactly what I’m on about – but it was also a good chance to once again voice our opinions on the age rating. The fact that a film with gore of that calibre was rated age 15 sparked a flood of mixed opinions and discussions, which was so fun to participate in.

Overall, joining the panel has been great, you get to have your voices heard, you get to learn a lot about the process that every film director, writer, distributor etc. has to go through when submitting films, you get to meet a lot of new people, and it’s an overall amazing experience. I am so glad that I joined, and I look forward to seeing what I can do and put forward for the panel in the future.

- Kai, 16