How well does the current system of film classification and censorship serve the British public?

  • BBFC
  • – Students
  • Complaints
  • How well the system works
  • Who does it, how, does it work
  • How films are classified
  • Examiners normally view video and DVD submissions on their own – called solo viewing.A large proportion of works suitable are for solo viewing are episodes from TV series or works aimed at young children that have already been broadcast on television. Films for cinema release, video games and pornography submissions are classified in teams of two. Controversial works, such as extreme reality material, will also be programmed for team work.
  • Difficult or controversial material can also be referred to the weekly Examiners’ Meeting, where they can be debated further to obtain a wide range of valuable opinions. Ultimately, the work will be referred to Senior Management.
  • If a work contains material which is illegal or unacceptable under the Board’s Guidelines, Examiners will draw up a list of cuts which will be sent to the distributor. If a work as a whole is unacceptable, it can be rejected, but this happens only on rare occasions. The Presidential Team will be consulted on difficult works, especially those which may be refused a certificate altogether or which raise serious policy issues.

The process for cuts, briefly, is as follows:

  • Cuts specified by Board in writing, by examiners in the first instance.
  • Checked by Senior Examiners.
  • Choice of category offered to reduce needs for cuts.
  • Company free to find own editing solutions, for artistic or technical reasons.
  • Resubmitted work is viewed by a second team to check that the cuts have been made.
  • Copy of cuts deposited with the Board.
  • In-house trial cuts may be made to check technical feasibility of proposed cuts.

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