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30/08/2002

BBFC introduces new advisory film category

Children under 12 will be able to see '12' rated films at the cinema for the first time with the introduction of the BBFC's new 12 Advisory category, '12A'.
The mandatory '12' category was introduced for films in 1989 and videos in 1994 and will remain in force for videos. The new category will require children under 12 to be accompanied into the cinema by an adult. Children over 12 will be able to see the film unaccompanied, as previously.
Announcing the change, BBFC Director, Robin Duval said: "The BBFC receives a steady stream of letters from parents asking why they cannot make the decision about whether their child can see a '12' rated film. We know that the development and maturity of children varies considerably and parents know best what their children can deal with. It is important, however, that young children have an adult with them in case they are disturbed by anything they may see.
"Before making any decision the Board carried out research to establish whether the majority of the public wanted to move to an advisory rating at '12'. We ran a pilot exercise in Norwich for seven weeks at the end of last year when children under 12 were allowed to see '12' films with an adult."
The change to '12A' will take effect from August 30. A new orange '12A' symbol has been introduced for cinema films, with the old '12' symbol remaining for video. There will continue to be films in the cinema with the old '12' certificate, which were classified before the announcement, but all '12' films, as well as newly-rated '12A' films, will be open to children under 12 accompanied by an adult. The Board will use the same Guidelines to classify '12A' films as have been used to classify '12' films and videos.
(GB)
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