Nobody seems to have heard much about the progress of the BBFC consultation about the process to censor internet porn in the UK.
The sketchy timetable laid out so far suggests that the result of the consultation should be published prior to the Parliamentary recess scheduled for 26th July. Presumably this would provide MPs with some light reading over their summer hols
ready for them to approve as soon as the hols are over.
Maybe this publication may have to be hurried along though, as pesky MPs are messing up Theresa May's plans for a non-Brexit, and she would like to send them packing a week early before they can cause trouble.
The BBFC published meeting minutes this week that mentions the consultation:
The public consultation on the draft Guidance on Age Verification Arrangements and the draft Guidance on Ancillary Service Providers closed on 23 April. The BBFC received 620 responses, 40 from organisations and 580 from individuals. Many of the
individual responses were encouraged by a campaign organised by the Open Rights Group.
Our proposed response to the consultation will be circulated to the Board before being sent to DCMS on 21 May.
So assuming that the response was sent to the government on the appointed day then someone has been sitting on the results for quite a long time now.
Meanwhile its good to see that people are still thinking about the monstrosity that is coming our way. Ethical porn producer Erica Lust has been speaking to News Internationalist. She comments on the way the new law will compound MindGeek's
monopolitistc dominance of the online porn market:
The age verification laws are going to disproportionately affect smaller low-traffic sites and independent sex workers who cannot cover the costs of installing age verification tools.
It will also impact smaller sites by giving MindGeek even more dominance in the adult industry. This is because the BBFC draft guidance does not enforce sites to offer more than one age verification product. So, all of MindGeeks sites (again, 90%
of the mainstream porn sites) will only offer their own product; Age ID. The BBFC have also stated that users do not have to verify their age on each visit if access is restricted by password or a personal ID number. So users visiting a MindGeek
site will only have to verify their age once using AgeID and then will be able to login to any complying site without having to verify again. Therefore, viewers will be less likely to visit competitor sites not using the AgeID technology, and
simultaneously competitor sites will feel pressured to use AgeID to protect themselves from losing viewers.
Race 3 is a 2018 India action thriller by Remo D'Souza (as Remo).
Starring Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez.
Revolves around a family that deals in borderline crime; ruthless and vindictive to the core.
The BBFC required 1:20s of cuts for a 12A rated cinema release. The BBFC noted that the cut version contained moderate violence, sex references. The BBFC explained the cut saying:
The company has chosen to remove scenes of strong violence in order to achieve a 12A classification. An uncut 15 classification was available
In India the censors have rated the film as U/A uncut. The U/A is equivalent to a 12A rating in that under 12s can only see the film if accompanied by a parent.
The UK cuts have generated interest in India with the perspective that it shows that Indian censors are not strict enough. Free Press Journal reports:
A source from the Indian censor board finds the discrepancy between the Indian and British censor's perception to be disconcerting. Are we to presume that the Indian censor board is more liberal than its British counterpart?
To be honest we did have reservations about certain shots being suitable for a 'UA' certification. But there is a standing instruction from above (meaning the I &B ministry) that nothing should be cut from any film unless absolutely
We are looking at an era of unstoppable liberalism in the censor board. This is to countermand the sanskari era of Pahlaj Nihalani .
Update: Another example of a higher rating from the BBFC than from the CBFC
Sanju is a 2018 India biography by Rajkumar Hirani.
Starring Ranbir Kapoor, Paresh Rawal and Manisha Koirala.
Few lives in our times are as dramatic and enigmatic as the saga of Sanjay Dutt. Coming from a family of cinema legends, he himself became a film star, and then saw dizzying heights and darkest depths: adulation of die-hard fans, unending battles
with various addictions, brushes with the underworld, prison terms, loss of loved ones, and the haunting speculation that he might or might not be a terrorist. Sanju is in turns a hilarious and heartbreaking exploration of one man's battle
against his own wild self and the formidable external forces trying to crush him.
UK: Passed 15 uncut for drug references, drug misuse, infrequent strong sex references for 2018 cinema release.
India: Passed U/A (12A) after 1 cut to delete the sight of an overflowing toilet in a prison cell.
Rajkumar Hirani's Sanju which opened in cinemas on Friday. India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) cleared the film with a U/A certificate with just one cut asking the makers to remove the overflowing prison toilet scene from the movie
for aesthetic reasons.
U/A is more a less a 12A rating in India and this has now been compared with the 15 BBFC 15 uncut rating for drug references, drug misuse, infrequent strong sex references.
It is the second example this month cited in the India press claiming that the India censors are more liberal than the BBFC.
At a conference organised by the NSPCC, BBFC director David Austin gave the keynote speech and spoke of early results from the organisation's five-yearly public consultation.
In previous consultations, the BBFC commissioned an in-depth survey of a panel of members of the public, and presumably have repeated the exercise this time. Austin reported increased concern about such sexually violent scenes, meaning
certification guidelines may become stricter.
The BBFC asked the panel to review its decisions on 15-rated films featuring sexual violence including Don't Breathe , starring Jane Levy, Wind River and The Innocents, a French drama about brutalised nuns during the second
world war. They were asked if these titles might have been more appropriately restricted to 18.
In a statement to the Guardian, the BBFC said that a number of the films might have been more appropriately restricted to 18. In the case of The Innocents -- which was given a PG13 certificate in the US -- the initial conclusion was that a 15
certificate was correct. The BBFC statement says:
It is premature to say what adjustments might finally be made to [our] guidelines but it is certainly fair to say that the [research] suggests heightened public concerns about the issue of sexual violence and some desire for a further tightening
of our already strict standards at 15.
A BBFC spokesman told the Telegraph:
A general trend we found was that people seemed to find the fact the scenes occurred within recognisable 'real world' settings an aggravating factor, because it made them feel as if this was something that could happen to them.
The BBFC is now partway through the second stage of its consultation, which surveys around 10,000 members of the public, asking them if the BBFC is doing a good job and whether its age rating decisions are generally about right. This larger survey
does not address detailed issues such as whether sexual violence should be restricted to an 18 rating.
The press is reporting that the BBFC will automatically award 18 ratings to films with depictions of sexual violence but this is surely bollox, the BBFC will perhaps make a few tweaks to its guidelines but will still take final decisions based on
the content of the film.
1938 action film just cut by the BBFC for animal cruelty
20th June 2018
Adventure in Sahara is a 1938 USA action romance by D Ross Lederman.
Starring Paul Kelly, C Henry Gordon and Lorna Gray.
UK: Passed PG for mild violence, language after 2s of BBFC compulsory cuts for:
2018 Powerhouse Films UK [4:3] video
The BBFC commented:
Cut required to remove sight of a horse being tripped and made to fall onto its head and neck..
Agadez is a lonely French outpost baking under the desert sun and commanded by the cruel and oppressive Captain Savatt (C. Henry Gordon). To it comes, at his own request, Legionnaire Jim Wilson (Paul Kelly soon followed by his fianc39e, Carla
Preston (Lorna Gray), who has been tracing him from post to post. Legionnaires seize the fort and turn Savitt loose in the Arab-haunted desert with only a fraction of the water and food needed to get back to civilization. But Savitt gets through
and returns to the fort at the head of an avenging troop of men. But Arabs surround Savitt and his men, and the mutineers, knowing that to leave the fort and aid them means their own death...