Vietnam has tabled a draft bill to introduce age ratings for movies. The idea has been knocking round government circles since 2008 but now looks set to be implemented soon.
There would be four age ratings for movies screened in the country:
all ages (P),
13+ years of age (C13),
16+ years of age (C16), and
adults only (C18)
The classification of the movies permitted to be shown at local theaters is based on theme, content and the level of many elements like violence, nudity, sex, drug use, language, and horror.
At the highest level, the 'C18 label would be used
for films about political, social, psychological, and criminal issues that are only suitable for the cognitive and psychological awareness of viewers aged 18 or older.
This level of censorship allows the films to contain full nudity but they would
not be permitted to describe sensitive parts in detail. Nudity and sexual violence in the C18 films must be relevant to their content and should not be prolonged or repeated too much, according to the draft circular.
In addition, the C18 movies
can show scenes of violence and bloodshed but they must match the context. Vulgar language, swear words or slang that can be considered offensive can also appear in the films. However, the C18 films would not include scenes of unnatural sex acts,
like those with children and in incestuous relationships, or images encouraging the use of drugs and other addictive substances.
Ngo Phuong Lan, head of the Vietnam Cinema Department, said the new film classification was modelled after that of
The provisional legislation is expected to take effect early next year.
Update: Filmmakers to be allowed just 15 seconds of free expression per movie
Vietnam's film censors have proposed a five second rule for movie censorship, sex scenes are to be restricted to just five seconds of onscreen sexual passion, with no more than three such scenes per film.
Chief censor Ngo Phuong Lan
announced the proposal at a meeting in Hanoi. The measures are in line with a long tradition of oppressive censorship. Earlier this year, Vietnamese censors cut the sex scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey , reducing the overall running time of the film by
The draft rule has also been criticized for only mentioning female nudity in its language, leaving observers wondering whether male nudity would be fully permitted, or hadn't even been considered due to sexism.
The Sydney Underground Film Festival 17 -20th September 2015 The Factory Theatre in Marrickville, Sydney
After a recent change to Australian film censorship law, festival organisers have been speaking of an improved process making it a
bit easier to schedule censor baiting material. Festival organisers are now allowed to self-assess as to whether yet to be censored movies are permissible.
Events such as the Sydney Underground Film Festival's co-director Stefan Popescu
welcomed the new classification exemptions for festivals and special events:
I think it's far more intelligent to give festivals greater responsibility in assessing the suitability of content for their exhibition, he
says. It is good to see that the [Classification Board] is moving towards a less controlling and fearful position in their policies concerning content for media.
The festival opens on Thursday with a screening of French film Love,
which has been described as a 3D pornographic movie. Popescu says the film, which premiered at this year's Cannes film festival, challenges the way sexuality is addressed in Australia.
I think we should relax the
censorship laws and generally relax our conservative attitudes towards sexuality, he says. I personally don't understand why people are so uptight about something that forms the basis of human existence, yet we celebrate and support violence and
This year's festival was programmed before the new censorship rules were enacted and Popescu speaks of films creating issues for the censors. The Australian censors were concerned in particular about two scenes
from a Finnish comedy-horror movie, Bunny The Killer Thing. One of the scenes had a woman being bashed unconscious and then sexually assaulted, but the censors did not required cuts. Popescu commented:
Bunny The Killer Thing , because I love ridiculous gore films, there is some sort of sick pleasure in it for me
But even Popescu said he was shocked by the documentary Dolphin Love:
find it one of the more confronting films, because this guy really believes he had a loving relationship with a dolphin, he says. I just don't know how I feel about that because firstly it's real and secondly there is no way to assess whether the dolphin
The festival will close with Eli Roth's Knock Knock, an erotic horror film featuring Keanu Reeves.
Love is a 2015 France / Belgium drama by Gaspar Noé. Starring Gaspar Noé, Aomi Muyock and Klara Kristin.
France's culture minister plans to reconsider a law requiring non-porn film images
of real sex to be 18 rated since this restriction limits freedom of expression.
The move is linked Gaspar Noé's Love which features a scene with real sex.
The film was initially rated 16 as it came out in France this summer. However, as a
result of a lawsuit filed by a far-right political group, the country's cinema classification office was obliged to change it to to an 18 rating, a certificate previously exclusively reserved for porn films.
The far-right group managed to win the
case since under the French law any film that shows non-simulated sex scenes must be forbidden for under-18s.
Now France's culture minister Fleur Pellerin has commendably opposed the 18 rating noting that this is an indication of French
right-wingers and hard-line Catholics gaining ground.
She has appealed to the Conseil d'Etat to review the decision. She also said
We are working with the people who classify films to see how we can make things
evolve, while respecting the protection of minors.
New classification exemption arrangements for festivals and special events
On 11 September 2015, amendments to the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Modifications of Films) Act 1995 take
effect that streamline and simplify the classification exemption arrangements for special events like film festivals and computer game expos and for cultural institutions such as art galleries and museums wishing to exhibit unclassified films, computer
games and publications.
The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) (Conditional Cultural Exemption Rules) Instrument 2015 , which provides further details on the exemptions, will also take effect on 11 September
Event organisers will no longer be required to apply to the Director of the Classification Board for an exemption from the usual classification requirements. Rather, they will be able to self-assess their eligibility for an
For an exemption to apply, events that wholly or mainly involve the showing of films, computer games or publications, such as a film festival or a computer games expo, must be registered on the online classification portal .
Approved cultural institutions are not required to register their events. However, event organisers must use persons trained by the Attorney-General's Department to assess the unclassified material for the exemption to apply.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is a 2015 USA action Sci-Fi thriller by Wes Ball. Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
UK: [2D + 3D] passed 12A for frequent moderate threat, violence after BBFC
advised category cuts were made for:
2015 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by making some
changes. The company was advised:
to reduce moments of threat and horror involving zombie-like characters, and
to reduce the focus on injury in a scene in which a man is beaten for information.
When the film was formally submitted, changes had been made and, consequently, the film was passed 12A.
In this next chapter of the epic "Maze Runner" saga, Thomas
(Dylan O'Brien) and his fellow Gladers face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles.
Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD's vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all.
Wes Craven was an American film director, writer, producer, and actor known for his work on horror films, particularly slasher films. He was best known for creating the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise featuring the Freddy Krueger
character, directing the first installment and Wes Craven's New Nightmare, and co-writing A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors with Bruce Wagner.
Craven also directed all four films in the Scream series, and co-created the
Ghostface character. Some of his other films include The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left, Red Eye and My Soul to Take.
He died of brain cancer aged 76.
Filmography with links to details of those films that suffered at
the hands of censors.
Indian film banned in Pakistan over claims of defamation by a suspected terrorist
29th August 2015
24th August 2015. From rapidnewsnetwork.com
Phantom is a 2015 India action thriller by Kabir Khan. Starring Saif Ali Khan, Katrina Kaif and Rajesh Tailang.
Phantom is a political thriller that unfolds across various countries around the world. The plot revolves around protagonist Daniyal, whose journey to seek justice takes him from India to Europe, America and the
volatile Middle East. However, he finds out that in a mission like this, there is always a price to pay, in this case, a very personal price.
The Indian movie, Phantom was set to be released on August 28 both in Pakistan and India,
but its screening is now banned in Pakistani cinemas as the result of a case in the Lahore High Court. It follows the pattern of Pakistanis not being impressed by being depicted as the bad guys.
In this case, a lawyer representing a suspected bad
guy wanted by the U.S., brought the case over being depicted as a terrorist who is the target of an assassination in the film. The internationally designated terrorist who was the brains behind the 26/11 attacks felt that this movie would somehow mislead
the residents of Pakistan.
In the UK, the BBFC has just passed the film 15 uncut for strong violence.
Update: Aid group calls for the censorship of Phantom because they think people believe what they see at the movies
Aid group Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) says it is taking legal action over a Bollywood film, claiming it could endanger its staff in conflict zones.
MSF says the film Phantom depicts an aid worker for a confusingly similar fictitious
organisation using a weapon. The film does not mention MSF by name.
The group claims the film could harm its work in places where its access depends on a reputation for neutrality. A statement released by MSF said the organisation became aware of
its association with Phantom after one of its actors said
Their character in the film worked for MSF. The same character was also shown holding a gun in the film's trailer, something an MSF staff member would never do.
David Cooke, the director of the BBFC told the New Statesman that the film was classified 18 thanks mainly to its eight sex scenes, use of cocaine, LSD and marijuana, and what Cooke calls the glamorisation of drug use in the film. He added
that the age gap between Minnie and Monroe, and the fact that Minnie is underage, would also have affected the decision.
He also said that the film very clearly fits into the 18 classification and wasn't a borderline case.
Vacation is a 2015 USA comedy adventure by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M Goldstein. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann and Elizabeth Gillies.
Hoping to bring his family closer together and to
recreate his childhood vacation for his own kids, a grown up Rusty Griswold takes his wife and their two sons on a cross-country road trip to the coolest theme park in America, Walley World. Needless to say, things don't go quite as planned.
The film has fallen foul of India's film censors at the Central Board of Film Censorship (CBFC).
It has just been passed by the censors, but with major cuts. While members of the CBFC refused to comment on the cuts, an informed
source said there were widespread objections within the censor board to the lewd situation and dialogues in Vacation:
Censor board members said Vacation was the American equivalent of Grand Masti . They felt it was
among the most vulgar films ever . Three times it was rejected by CBFC's Examining Committee and Revising Committee. Finally Vacation was passed with an 'A' certificate but with 9-10 major visual and dialogue cuts.
Apparently the CBFC
suggested that the Indian distributors Warner Brothers for Vacation should consider not releasing the film at all, as the cuts affect the plot and narration. However the distributors have elected to take the cuts and release the film.
Love is a 2015 France / Belgium drama by Gaspar Noé. Starring Gaspar Noé, Aomi Muyock and Klara Kristin.
A sexual melodrama about a boy and a girl and another
girl. It's a love story, which celebrates sex in a joyous way.
The film complete with extensive, non-simulated sex scenes in 3D, seems fated to become the cause célèbre for an alleged new wave of prudishness in France.
complaint by a right-wing pressure group, a panel of judges ruled this week that the movie should be given an 18 age restriction, a rating in France that is reserved for pornography.
The director and the producer of Love say that the decision
reflects the increasing, censorious influence of the Catholic hard right in France. They have appealed to the state watchdog, the Conseil d'Etat .
After the Paris administrative court ruled that its over-16 classification should be
withdrawn, the movie's producer, Vincent Maraval, tweeted: "In France it is now forbidden to love if you are under the age of 18." In an interview with the newspaper Libération , he said:
We must now
wait for the ruling of the Conseil d'Etat . We will then know what kind of country France has become.
The legal challenge was made by a right-wing pressure group Promouvoir, which works to "promote Judeo-Christian values in all
areas of social life". A panel of judges decided this week that the "repetition" and "prominence" of non-simulated sex scenes was "likely to disturb the sensibility of minors".
They ordered that the film's
classification be raised to over 18.
Another French director, Jean-Paul Salomé, said that the ruling overturned France's traditionally liberal-minded system of film classification and left it open to "second guessing" by right-wing
groups and the courts. He added:
The decision is absurd at a time when anyone, minor or not, can easily find on the internet images far more traumatic than anything in Gaspar Noé's film.
Bangistan is a 2015 India comedy by Karan Anshuman. Starring Jacqueline Fernandez, Rajesh Sharma and Riteish Deshmukh.
Two blundering terrorists with lofty ideologies, but ordinary talent, on a mission to change the world.
The film has been banned in Pakistan with the
Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Censors, Mobashir Hasan, saying:
The film has not been certified and given a complete ban, primarily because it is offensive to Muslims and Hindus living in Pakistan.
The problem with the film is that it's a religious satire, which leaves very little room for any lenience.
The central board has also requested all the provincial boards to put a complete ban on the film, since
there is no way in which the film can be edited to suit the audiences.
Banned by the film censors but there is still the possibility of an appeal to the reviewing committee.
A day before its grand opening in Dubai, Karan Anshuman's directorial debut, Bangistan, has been banned in United Arab Emirates.
The reason for the ban may be to do with religious sensitivities. In Inida
protestors cited an 'objectionable' scene in which a character is dressed up as the Hindu God, Hanuman, and later seen indulging in terrorist activities.
The film has just been passed 12A uncut by the BBFC for moderate innuendo,
Pixels is a 2015 USA action comedy by Chris Columbus. Starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Michelle Monaghan.
When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration
of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games.
According to some of the emails leaked from Sony, the studio heavily edited the movie Pixels to ensure it didn't fall foul of the ever-present Chinese censors.
Reuters is reporting that the original script for the movie, which made frequent references to China, was
sanitized after executives felt it could hinder its global box office appeal.
For example, one scene, which featured pixelated aliens blasting a hole into the Great Wall of China, was decided to be too inflammatory for Chinese censors. Li
Chow, chief representative of Sony Pictures in China, explained that although the film featured other landmarks being destroyed, it was simply better to lose the scene.
The original script also apparently contained references to a Communist
Conspiracy brother hacking an email server. As you can expect, this was also stripped in an attempt to pass the movie for the Chinese market. In fact, by the end of the cull, there were no references to the authoritarian nation left in the script.
Initially, it seemed Sony execs toyed with the idea of releasing both a Chinese and international version of Pixels. Ultimately they decided this would likely backfire.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl is a 2015 USA drama by Marielle Heller. Starring Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård and Kristen Wiig.
A teen artist living in 1970s San Francisco enters into an affair with her
The BBFC commented further in its BBFC Insight:
Strong sex scenes include mechanical thrusting, breast and buttock nudity, and implied oral sex. One scene includes brief sight of
a pencil drawing of a young woman with a penis in her mouth.
Other issues include several moments of drug use, including cocaine use, the taking of LSD, and the smoking of marijuana. The film also contains strong verbal sex
references and over forty uses of strong language ('fuck'). Some still pictures and short animated sequences include the sight of penises, both erect and flaccid.
The filmmakers have expressed disappointment after British film censors
gave it an 18 certificate rather than a 15. Producers have been battling against an 18 certificate, arguing that it is exploring female sexuality in an open and honest way, and that other films featuring underage sex, Kidulthood, Fish Tank and The Reader,
were all awarded 15 certificates. Wahida Begum of Vertigo Releasing said:
We are massively disappointed.
The film explores female sexuality with boldness and honesty in an unexploitative
manner. In an age where young women are still continually being sexualised and objectified we feel The Diary of a Teenage Girl sends a very positive, reassuring message to young girls about female sexuality and body image.
It is a
shame that audience will not be able legally see a film that was made by women for women of all ages.
The film is due to be released in the UK, with the 18 certificate, on 7 August.
The film is R rated in the US which would be
called a 17A rating in the UK. The film is 15 rated in Australia (MA15+).
The Green Inferno is a 2013 USA horror thriller by Eli Roth. Starring Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy and Aaron Burns.
A group of student activists travels to the Amazon to save the rain forest and
soon discover that they are not alone, and that no good deed goes unpunished.
The US group Amazon Watch is petitioning people to boycott Eli Roth's The Green Inferno (which seems to be already being boycotted by distributors). The
group writes in a petition:
Films like this have always portrayed negative stereotypes against indigenous people as brute savages. These films have psychological effect as indigenous people have been through colonial
trauma assimilating to white culture being taught self hate. Westerners are unfortunately ignorant about Amazonian indigenous cultures and depicting them in such a violent story dehumanizes their peoples and couldn't be farther from reality. Shame on
It's a shame, we should be creating stories than accurately depict indigenous way of life which is holistic, sustainable, spiritual and harmonious with our earth and brothers and sisters. If you
want to save the Amazon and stop China from buying leases to drill oil, make a story depicting the corporate shills for the murderers that they really are. You don't have to create racist, offensive, inaccurate crap to get people to care about the most
biodiverse place on the earth.
An interesting episode in a new shorter 10 minute format. The presenters suggested that the shorter podcasts may now appear more often.
Directed by Sergio Corbucci, Django (1967) is an Italian spaghetti western. The film was refused a
classification until 1993, when it was rated 18. Today Django (1967) is rated 15 for moderate, bloody violence.
Listen to BBFC Head of Education Lucy Brett delve into the classification history of the film. You can read more about the film,
including an Examiner report, in our From The Archive case study .
Further voluntary regulation of online content began in October, when the BBFC in partnership with the BPI, Vevo and You Tube, and UK record companies Sony Music UK, Universal Music UK and Warner Music UK, launched a pilot to classify online music
videos by UK artists signed to the three major labels. The pilot brings the same content standards to online music videos as that envisaged by an amendment to the Video Recordings Act, in force from 1 October 2014, requiring the classification of
previously exempt music videos, and other educational, sport or religious videos, on DVD and Blu-ray. Any video featuring content at the 12, 15 or 18 level must be submitted to the BBFC for classification. BBFC Director David Cooke said:
As in 2013, the most fast-moving developments in our work have been in the non-statutory, self-regulatory area. Our work to protect children from potentially harmful media content online increased significantly and our partnership
with the mobile industry to regulate, on a voluntary basis, internet and commercial content delivered via the mobile networks of EE, O2, Three and Vodafone also received praise from the Government, child protection groups and others, including the Open
Rights Group. In 2014 we considered appeals in relation to 42 websites available via mobile networks, dealing with issues as diverse as assisted dying, racism, abortion, and hunting. Details of all of these cases are published on our website.
In addition to a growth in voluntary regulation, the BBFC classified more than 950 films for cinema release in 2014, making the level of theatrical submissions on a par with the 1960s.
In 2013 the
BBFC Classification Guidelines review consulted more than 10,000 members of the British public about film classification and found that 75% understand that a film rated 12A is generally suitable for children aged 12 and over, but a younger child may see
the film if accompanied by an adult. Because up to a quarter of those surveyed were unsure as to the meaning of the 12A rating, from July to September 2014 an advertisement to help increase awareness of what the 12A cinema rating means was broadcast in
cinemas across the UK. The advertisement reminds parents to check the BBFCinsight for every 12A film before they take a child under 12 to see it.
As part of our wider education work, in 2014 the BBFC spoke to more than 12,000
teenagers, younger children and adults about its work to protect children and empower consumers. Many BBFC education sessions take place in partnership with film festivals, libraries and cinema chains. Our biggest collaboration of 2014 was with the Into
Film Festival where we introduced 22 screenings at 17 cinema locations across the UK.
Magic Mike XXL is a 2015 USA comedy music drama by Gregory Jacobs. Starring Amber Heard, Channing Tatum and Elizabeth Banks.
The continuing story of male stripper, Magic Mike.
no kissing, no BDSM, no violence, only lots of male stripping. But the Magic Mike sequel, scheduled to open in India on July 3, is unlikely to arrive.
Pahlaj Nihalani, the loony chairperson of the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC), along
with members of the Examining Committee, watched Magic Mike XXL. At the end of the screening, they announced in no uncertain terms, that the comedy-drama could not be per mitted to release in India because of all the sexual energy on display.
producers then had a second screening for an eight-member Revising Committee. Five of them were ready to clear the film with half-a-dozen cuts, the remaining three rejected it. A spokesman explained:
is a difference of opinion, Warner Bros. will have to go to the appeal Tribunal or not release the film in India.
A Warner Bros. Pictures India spokesperson told Mirror:
The film stands postponed.
Once cleared we will definitely release it in India.
Love is a 2015 France / Belgium drama by Gaspar Noé. Starring Gaspar Noé, Aomi Muyock and Klara Kristin.
A sexual melodrama about a boy and a girl and another girl. It's a love story,
which celebrates sex in a joyous way.
Gaspar Noé's new film Love has been given a 16 rating in France, despite a government 'recommendation' that it should receive an 18 rating.
The 3D drama, which features explicit
sexual scenes, was originally rated 16, but the French culture minister Fleur Pellerin made the unusual move of interfering. Pellerin requested that there be a second review, given the sexual nature of the film. But despite this, the certificate remained
The French directors' guild also stood by Noé and criticised Pellerin. The group said in a statement:
We have nothing to gain from being in the game of conservatism and puritanism. The 'moralisation'
of works, the intimate friend of censorship, is a dangerous game. The filmmakers of ARP remain convinced that poetry, sexual as it is, [from] filmmaker Gaspar Noé, will remain a better educational source than that of porn debauchery permanently available
on the internet.
Note that the 16 certificate in France is used for films towards the strong end of violence, and for those featuring softcore or else non pornographic real sex. The French 18 rating is reserved for hardcore
pornography. UK 18 rated films not on the stronger end of the sex or violence spectrums are often 12 rated in France.