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2023: July-Sept

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A Lurch to the Ludicrous...

The BBFC uprates The Addams Family from PG to 12A

Link Here28th September 2023

The Addams Family is a 1991 USA comedy fantasy by Barry Sonnenfeld.
Starring Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia and Christopher Lloyd. BBFC link 2020 IMDb

There are no censorship issues with this release beyond noting that the film has always been PG rated until now. What was previously considered: 'mild comic violence and horror' has become, according to modern BBFC sensitivities: 'moderate bloody images'.

Summary Notes

The Addams Family steps out of Charles Addams' cartoons. They live with all of the trappings of the macabre (including a detached hand for a servant) and are quite wealthy. Added to this mix is a crooked accountant and his loan shark and a plot to slip the shark's son into the family as their long-lost Uncle Fester. Can the false Fester find his way into the vault before he is discovered?


BBFC uncut
run: 99:31s
pal: 95:32s

PG 1980

BBFC PG 1982

UK: Uncut and BBFC 12A rated for moderate bloody images:
  • 2023 Park Circus cinema release (rated 25/08/2023)
UK: Uncut and BBFC PG rated for mild comic violence and horror:
  • 2015 Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent. DVD (rated 15/09/2015)
UK: Uncut and BBFC PG rated:
  • 1992 Columbia/Tri-Star Home VHS (rated 01/04/1992)
  • 1991 Columbia Pictures cinema release (rated 14/11/1991)



New functionality...

BBFC board meetings minutes reveal that the BBFC will update its website

Link Here17th September 2023
Minutes from a recent BBFC board meeting reveals:

[Two staff members] briefed on plans to update the BBFC's website. They presented an initial wireframe for desktop and mobile to outline the direction they are taking with the redesign, which aims to refresh the design of the site and introduce new functionality to help our various audiences find the resources, research and content that is most relevant to them.



Prison chaos...

Distributors make a right hash of implementing cuts to the British release of Jailer, an Indian blockbuster

Link Here5th September 2023
Jailer is a 2023 India action comedy by Nelson Dilipkumar
Starring Rajinikanth, Mohanlal and Shivarajkumar BBFC link 2020 IMDb

A retired jailer goes on a manhunt to find his son's killers. But the road leads him to a familiar, albeit a bit darker place. Can he emerge from this complex situation successfully?

Jailer is one of the year's biggest South Asian films. The Tamil blockbuster was very heavily cut by 7-10 minutes for a BBFC 12A cinema rating.

The release of this film has been a real debacle. The distributor left it incredibly late to cut for 12A, so the BBFC were still watching various trial cut versions 24 hours before it was supposed to be playing in cinemas. 

The film ended up being classified four times - Tamil uncut (15), Telugu cut (15, failed to get the desired 12A), Hindi cut (15, again a failed attempt at a 12A) and finally Tamil cut (12A).

Based on the running times the cut 12A version is missing around 6/7 mins. The uncut version, or maybe one of the cut 15s, was sent out to cinemas while the cut 12A was prepared, however none of these had been formally classified at the time so the first screenings on opening day had to be cancelled.

There were photos and videos on Twitter showing disgruntled audiences, some of whom had already taken their seats, being told to leave by cinema staff. At least one screening was stopped mid-film. This has to be the most mishandled release I've ever seen, by quite some margin.

The BBFC commented:

The BBFC initially refused to offer cuts because the changes would have been extensive and potentially damaging to the film. However, the distributor chose to re-edit the film themselves and submitted this new version for classification. As the distributor's edits had been unsuccessful in reducing the film's violence to 12A levels, it was also classified 15. The distributor requested a cuts list for 12A, which the BBFC provided. However, the distributor did not make the cuts as required and therefore the re-edited version of the film also received a 15 classification.



110 years of film censorship...

The BBFC publishes its Annual Report covering 2022

Link Here24th July 2023

T he British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2022, which marked the BBFC's 110th year of content classification. Findings from the Report showed a promising uplift in overall content submitted for classification across cinema, online and home entertainment. The BBFC classified 1,057 cinema films, 5,527 video submissions and 3,649 online submissions, with cinema classifications increasing by 60% to reach near pre-pandemic submission levels.

In a milestone year for the BBFC's iconic age ratings, 15 was the most common category for both online and physical media submissions. From blockbusters like The Woman King to indie hits such as The Worst Person In The World, the 15 represented 42% of all classified content in 2022. Meanwhile, last year also saw some well-known features resubmitted to the BBFC for classification, including 1970s classic Watership Down. The BBFC originally gave the film a U rating when it was first released in 1978. In line with the BBFC's current Classification Guidelines, it then reclassified it from U to PG in 2022, reflecting how audience perspectives have changed over time. The BBFC also reclassified another high-profile film, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, under the current guidelines as PG -- a shift up from its original U rating in 1979.

When distributors resubmit content for classification, Compliance Officers consider it against the current Classification Guidelines to ensure BBFC classification decisions remain in step with societal standards. The BBFC's published guidelines are the result of wide-scale consultations with thousands of people from across the UK, extensive research, and more than a century of experience. It updates them every four to five years to ensure that BBFC guidelines continue to meet the expectations and values of people across the UK. The BBFC will consult on its guidelines this year, with any changes required by the research coming into force in early 2024.

Additional key insights from the BBFC's Annual Report and Accounts include:

  • Increased presence of trusted BBFC guidance online -- in 2022, we licensed 29 services to carry BBFC age ratings and/or BBFC data on a voluntary, best-practice basis. As of July 2023, this figure has grown to 33 brands and services. Among others, these platforms include Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Curzon Home Cinema, Lionsgate+, Netflix, Pluto TV, Sky Store and YouTube Movies & TV.

  • Positive year-round Education and Outreach engagement -- providing young people and educators with further insight into our age ratings and content advice through classroom resources, student seminars and interactive digital content. The BBFC Youth Panel continued to flourish in its second year, working in close collaboration with the BBFC to represent the youth voice and ensure the needs of young people are continually met. Panel members also provide feedback on key classification issues, as well as contributing to exciting projects such as podcast takeovers.

  • Collaboration with the UK's Mobile Network Operators to protect children from seeing harmful content on their phones -- filtering hundreds of millions of websites unsuitable for children across 3G, 4G and 5G networks.

  • Continued to work closely with expert organisations and bodies -- including Ofcom, Barnardo's, the office of the Children's Commissioner for England, and the Internet Watch Foundation.

David Austin OBE, Chief Executive of the BBFC said:

Last year was a landmark year for the BBFC. We reached 110 years of classification and our iconic age ratings celebrated significant anniversaries. We also continued to cement our partnerships with VoD services -- and our recently announced AI projects, which explore how new technology might be integrated into the compliance process, aim to deliver scale and enhanced efficiencies for our customers and the wider industry. I'm really excited about the opportunities this next chapter will bring.

Natasha Kaplinksy OBE, President of the BBFC added:

I've always used the BBFC for guidance for myself and my family, so I was delighted to join the organisation as President in 2022. It's an exciting time to be part of the BBFC, as we're currently consulting with over 10,000 people across the UK to explore how audience expectations are evolving. We will then reflect these changes in our Classification Guidelines, which set the foundation for all of our age rating decisions, including when older films are resubmitted and receive a new classification. I look forward to unveiling our findings in 2024.



Offsite Article: Children could miss out on Barbie movie as censor slaps it with 12A certificate...

Link Here 16th July 2023
The Daily Mail has a go at the BBFC 12A rating for Barbie

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