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THE BRITISH Board of Film Classification (BBFC) have issued new guidelines for the classification of all films and videos.
The new guidelines were introduced as a result of an extensive survey and research exercise, involving citizen’s juries, a national survey, public presentations and submissions from public groups and individuals.
The Board launched the consultation on the new draft Guidelines at the end of October 1999 at the first of ten public presentations around the country.
Andreas Whittam Smith, President of the BBFC, said: “We were determined to get as clear a picture as possible of what the public thinks about the portrayal of sex, violence, drugs and bad language in films and video. We have given particular attention to the views of our own advisory Panel on children’s viewing. However we continue to monitor the public’s reactions to the changes at every category level.”
Robin Duval, Director of the BBFC, said: “What was very clear from the consultation, which involved over 3,000 people from all demographic groups and from right across the UK, was that adults want to choose what they want to watch without excessive intervention by the board. The new ‘18’ guidelines mean that the Board will only intervene on the rare occasion where a film promotes violent or dangerous activities, gives instructive detail of illegal drug use or contains particularly explicit sexual images.”
At a press conference held recently Smith outlined the general results from the consultation regarding content in specific classifications. These include: tighter restrictions on the very low age groups; in the middle of the age range there will be an easing of ‘15’ rules with regard to sexual explicitness and the use of bad language; and there will be less intervention from the classifications board within the 18 category.
The BBFC’s classifications are based on applicable Government laws and Acts in particular the Obscenity Acts, the Protection of Children Act and an Act which governs the use of animals in the making of films.
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