BBFC stands for the British Board of Film Classification and they are in charge of certifying each film, DVD, or video games in the UK. There are many categories that a film can fall under.
Suitable for all
It is impossible to predict what might upset any particular child. But a ‘U’ film should be suitable for audiences aged four years and over. ‘U’ films should be set within a positive moral framework and should offer reassuring counterbalances to any violence, threat or horror.
If a work is particularly suitable for a pre-school child to view alone, this will be indicated in the Consumer Advice.
General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.
Unaccompanied children of any age may watch. A ‘PG’ film should not disturb a child aged around eight or older. However, parents are advised to consider whether the content may upset younger or more sensitive children. For example, Sexual activity may be implied, but should be discreet and infrequent. Mild sex references and innuendo only. OR, Discriminatory language or behaviour is unlikely to be acceptable unless clearly disapproved of or in an educational or historical context. Discrimination by a character with which children can readily identify is unlikely to be acceptable.
Suitable for 12 years and over
Exactly the same criteria are used to classify works at ‘12A’ and ‘12’. These categories are awarded where the material is suitable, in general, only for those aged 12 and over. Works classified at these categories may upset children under 12 or contain material which many parents will find unsuitable for them.
The ‘12A’ category exists only for cinema films. No one younger than 12 may see a ‘12A’ film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult, and films classified ‘12A’ are not recommended for a child below 12. An adult may take a younger child if, in their judgement, the film is suitable for that particular child. In such circumstances, responsibility for allowing a child under 12 to view lies with the accompanying adult.
The ‘12’ category exists only for video works. No one younger than 12 may rent or buy a ‘12’ rated video work.
Suitable only for 15 years or over
No-one younger than 15 may see a ‘15’ film in a cinema. No-one younger than 15 may rent or buy a ‘15’ rated video work. For example, Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse. The misuse of easily accessible and highly dangerous substances (for example, aerosols or solvents) is unlikely to be acceptable. OR Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable. There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence but any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and have a strong contextual justification.
Suitable only for adults
No-one younger than 18 may see an ‘18’ film in a cinema. No-one younger than 18 may rent or buy an ‘18’ rated video work.n line with the consistent findings of the BBFC’s public consultations and The Human Rights Act 1998, at ‘18’ the BBFC’s guideline concerns will not normally override the principle that adults should be free to choose their own entertainment. Exceptions are most likely in the following areas:
where the material is in breach of the criminal law, or has been created through the commission of a criminal offence
where material or treatment appears to the BBFC to risk harm to individuals or, through their behaviour, to society – for example, any detailed portrayal of violent or dangerous acts, or of illegal drug use, which may cause harm to public health or morals. This may include portrayals of sexual or sexualised violence which might, for example, eroticise or endorse sexual assault
where there are more explicit images of sexual activity which cannot be justified by context. Such images may be appropriate in ‘R18’ works, and in ‘sex works’ (see below) would normally be confined to that category.
To be shown only in specially licensed cinemas, or supplied only in licensed sex shops, and to adults of not less than 18 years.
The ‘R18’ category is a special and legally restricted classification primarily for explicit works of consenting sex or strong fetish material involving adults. Films may only be shown to adults in specially licensed cinemas, and video works may be supplied to adults only in licensed sex shops. ‘R18’ videos may not be supplied by mail order.
We have decided to rate our movie "15". This is because our movie will involve dangerous behavior such as killing and self-harming. There will be use of strong language. We think because of the theme in our film of schisoprenia, no one younger that 15 would be suitable for understanding the depth of this mental illness.