A motion picture rating system is designated to classify films with regard to suitability for audiences in terms of issues such as sex, violence, substance abuse, profanity, impudence or other types of mature content. A particular issued rating can be called a certification, classification, certificate or rating.
A motion picture rating system is designated to classify films with regard to suitability for audiences in terms of issues such as sex, violence, substance abuse, profanity, impudence or other types of mature content. A particular issued rating can be called a certification, classification, certificate or rating.
This is designed to help parents decide whether a movie is suitable for their children. Yet, the effectiveness of these designations is widely disputed. Also, in some jurisdictions a rating may impose on movie theaters the legal obligation of refusing the entrance of children or minors to the movie. Furthermore, where movie theaters do not have this legal obligation, they may enforce restrictions on their own. Ratings are often given in lieu of censorship. Movie theaters often have time restrictions on what time kids can come in with their parent.
In countries such as Australia, an official government censorship system decides on ratings; in other countries, such as the United States, it is done by industry committees with little, if any official government status. In most countries, however, films that are considered morally offensive have been censored, restricted, or banned. Even if the film rating system has no legal consequences, and a film has not explicitly been restricted or banned, there are usually laws forbidding certain films, or forbidding minors to view them.
The influence of specific factors in deciding a rating varies from country to country. For example, in countries such as the U.S., films with strong sexual content are often restricted to adult viewers, whereas in countries such as France and Germany, sexual content is viewed much more leniently. On the other hand, films with violent content are often subject in countries such as Germany and Finland to high ratings and even censorship, whereas countries such as the U.S. offer more lenient ratings to violent movies.
Other factors may or may not influence the classification process, such as being set within a non-fictional historical context, whether the film glorifies violence or drug use, whether said violence or drug use is carried out by the protagonist, with whom the viewer should empathize, or by the antagonist. In Germany, for example, films depicting explicit war violence in a real war context (such as the Second World War) are handled more leniently than films with purely fictional settings.
A film may be produced with a particular rating in mind. It may be re-edited if the desired rating is not obtained, especially to avoid a higher rating than intended. A film may also be re-edited to produce an alternate version for other countries.
A comparison of currently active film rating systems, showing age on the horizontal axis. Note however that the specific criteria used in assigning a classification can vary widely from one country to another. Thus a color code or age range cannot be directly compared from one country to another.
Lime green – Aimed at young audiences.
Green – All ages may watch.
Yellow – Parental guidance is suggested.
Orange – Not recommended for a younger audience but not restricted.
Red – Restricted to an older audience unless accompanied by an adult.
Brown – Restricted exclusively to an older audience.
Black – Restricted to adults only.
Purple – No rating / Exempt from classification / Banned from viewing.
13 and 16 require adult supervision for persons under the limit for 13, and 16 Rated Films.
Since 2006 cinemas requires that anyone below the "10", "12", "14", "16" ages must be accompanied by the parent or with a permission by them. In the "18" rating is strictly prohibited for anyone under 18 to watch.
Only D-rated and X-rated films are restricted. F-rated films are banned.
Children turned seven can watch 11-rated and 15-rated films provided they are accompanied by an adult.
F is only used on homevideo, as "Fritaget" exempt from classification, mostly documentaries, stand-up and educational material
General Audience (Unrestricted)
Movies which are rated K-12, K-14 and K-16 require age proof.
The categories 12A, 15A and 16 only exist for cinema. Video releases of movies with these ratings usually get, if they are rated 12A, they are rated 12, if they are rated 15A, they are rated 15, and if rated 16, they are rated usually rated 15 or if not, 18.
All ages may watch an M title, but parents are advised that the content is more suitable for mature people 16 years and over. Nobody under the given age can legally see an R rated film, although sometimes an RP rating is provided meaning that those under the given age must watch under adult supervision.
Younger children can watch 7-rated films, and if at least 7 years old 11-rated, if accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old.
Some rental shops and adult cinemas use an unofficial "18 år" (from 18 years) rating
Children up to six years younger than 12 (Protect) or 18 (Counsel) may watch however only if under parental guidance.
Before the rating system was introduced often cuts were made to reduce sexual content. Persons under the limit for 13+, 15+, and 18+ can be admitted, but only when accompanied by an Adult 20 or older. 20+ Is Restricted. Films marked "Banned" are Not Allowed to screen at all in Thailand.
12A legally requires parental supervision for those under 12. 15 does not allow people below that age to be admitted, supervised or otherwise. R18 is usually reserved for pornographic content only, but, on rare cases, the cert has been given out to programs with extreme graphic violence/gore. Films marked "Rejected" are banned.
E – Exempt from classification. Films that are exempt from classification must not contain contentious material (i.e. material that would ordinarily be rated M or higher).
G – General. The content is very mild in impact.
PG – Parental guidance recommended. There are no age restrictions. The content is mild in impact.
M – Recommended for mature audiences. Unsuitable for children younger than 12. Children younger than 12 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian The content is moderate in impact.
MA15+ – Mature Accompanied. Unsuitable for children younger than 15. Children younger than 15 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The content is strong in impact.
R18+ – Restricted to 18 years and over. Adults only. The content is high in impact.
X18+ – Restricted to 18 years and over. Films with this rating have pornographic content. Films classified as X18+ are banned from being sold or rented in all Australian states and are only legally available in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. However, importing X18+ material from the two territories to any of the Australian states is legal.The content is sexually explicit in impact.
RC – Refused Classification. Banned from sale or hire in Australia; also generally applies to importation (if inspected by and suspicious to Customs). Films are rated RC if their content exceeds the guidelines. The content is extreme in impact. Films are rated "Refused Classification" if they offend against the standards of morality, decency and prosperity generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified. Films would receive an RC rating by the Australian Classification Board if they contain extreme violence, depictions of torture or cruelty, child sexual abuse, fetish pornography, sexual violence, depictions of incestous material or depictions or descriptions of bestiality or any other content that the Australian Classification Board feels is "offensive" or "abhorrent". Private Internet viewing or possession of RC rated films is legal in Australia, unless the material is child pornography. The public exhibition, sale, advertisement, dissemination or importation of RC rated films is a criminal offense and punished with a fine up to A$11,000 and up to 1 year in prison. However, in exhibition, sale, advertising, disseminating or importing cases of RC rated material, where the material being exhibited, sold, advertised, disseminated or imported is child pornography, the offender faces a fine up to A$275,000 and up to 10 years imprisonment.
Motion pictures are rated in Austria by a commission of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture (Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur). This commission issues an age recommendation for each title from the following list:
Freigegeben für alle Altersstufen – no age restriction
Freigegeben ab 6 Jahren – not recommended for people younger than 6 years of age
Freigegeben ab 10 Jahren – not recommended for people younger than 10 years of age
Freigegeben ab 12 Jahren – not recommended for people younger than 12 years of age
Freigegeben ab 14 Jahren – not recommended for people younger than 14 years of age
Freigegeben ab 16 Jahren – not recommended for people younger than 16 years of age
The ratings are published on the ministries website and can be either accepted or changed by the nine federal states.
Films are rated in Brazil by the DEJUS (Departamento de Justiça, Classificação, Títulos e Qualificação – Department of Justice, Rating, Titles and Qualification), which is run by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice (Ministério da Justiça). Anyone below the film's minimum age can watch it if accompanied by the parent or guardian, except for those rated "Not recommended for ages under 18", which, by law, are strictly prohibited from viewing by people under 18. The same rating system is also used for Brazilian television. Unlike many countries, the DEJUS doesn't have any legal right to ban, demand cuts or refuse to rate any movie.
LLivre para Todos os Públicos (General Audiences – "GA"): This classification applies to works which contain predominantly positive contents and which do not bring unsuitable elements subject to ratings to ages higher than 10, such as the ones listed below:
Violence: Fantasy violence; display of arms with no violence; deaths with no violence; bones and skeletons with no violence.
Sex and Nudity: Non-erotic nudity.
Drugs: Moderate or insinuated use of legal drugs.
10Não Recomendado para Menores de 10 Anos (Not recommended for ages under 10 – "PG-10"): The following contents are accepted for this age range:
Violence: Display of arms with violence; fear/tension; distress; bones and skeletons with signs of violent acts; criminal acts without violence; derogatory language.
Sex and Nudity: Educational contents about sex.
Drugs: Oral description of the use of legal drugs; discussion on the issue "drug trafficking"; medicinal use of illegal drugs.
12Não Recomendado para Menores de 12 Anos (Not recommended for ages under 12 – "PG-12"): The following contents are accepted for this age range:
Violence: Violent act; body injury; description of violence; presence of blood; victim's grief; natural or accidental death with violence; violent act against animals; exposure to danger; showing people in embarrassing or degrading situations; verbal agression; obscenity; bullying; corpses; sexual harassment; overvaluation of the physical beauty; overvaluation of consumption.
Sex and Nudity: Veiled nudity; sexual innuendo; sexual fondling; masturbation; foul language; sex content language; sex simulation; sexual appeal.
Drugs: Use of legal drugs; inducing the use of legal drugs; irregular use of medication; mention to illegal drugs.
14Não Recomendado para Menores de 14 Anos (Not recommended for ages under 14 – "PG-14"): The following contents are accepted for this age range:
Violence: Intentional death; stigma/prejudice.
Sex and Nudity: Nudity; erotization; vulgarity; sexual intercourse; prostitution.
Drugs: Insinuation of the use of illegal drugs; verbal descriptions of the use of illegal drugs; discussion on the "decriminalization of illegal drugs".
16Não Recomendado para Menores de 16 Anos (Not recommended for ages under 16 – "PG-16"): The following contents are accepted for this age range:
Violence: Rape; sexual exploitation; sexual coercion; torture; mutilation; suicide; gratuitous violence/banalization of violence; abortion, death penalty, euthanasia.
Sex and Nudity: Intense sexual intercourse.
Drugs: Production or trafficking of any illegal drug; use of illegal drugs; inducing the use of illegal drugs.
18Não Recomendado para Menores de 18 Anos (Not recommended for ages under 18 – "PG-18"): The following contents are accepted for this age range:
Violece: Violence of high impact; exaltation, glamorization and/or incitement to violence; cruelty; hate crimes; pedophilia.
Sex and Nudity: Explicit sex; complex/strong impact sexual intercourses (incest, group sex, violent fetish and pornography overall).
Drugs: Inciting the use of illegal drugs.
There are also operational descriptions of attenuating and aggravating elements that can interfere on the final rating.
The Bulgarian film rating system is defined in the Film Industry Law (or Act) of 2003. The National Film Rating Committee examines every film that is going to be distributed in the country and gives it a rating. In practice, the ratings are rarely displayed on posters and in film advertisements, but almost all DVDs have them on the back cover.
Bulgarian film ratings
When is it given
Recommended for children from age 2 to 11 years
"When the film is for children and has an educational nature."
Not recommended to children younger than 6 years of age.
"When the film confirms the ideals of humanism, promotes national and world culture or by no means contradicts to the universally accepted moral norms in the country and there are no restrictive recommendations by the Committee."
Not recommended to children younger than 12 years of age.
"When the film contains certain erotic scenes or scenes with drinking, taking drugs or stimulants or a few scenes of violence."
No people younger than 16 years of age are admitted.
"When the film contains quite a number of erotic scenes or scenes with drinking, taking drugs or stimulants or a considerable number of scenes showing strong violence and gore."
No people younger than the age of 18 are admitted.
"When the film is naturally erotic and may contain scenes of strong gory violence and maiming with a high level of frequency."
"Films the contents of which is contrary to the universal rules of morality, that laud or exculpate atrocity, violence or taking drugs, that incite to racial, sexual, religious or national hatred, are not rated."
Note: unrated films can not be distributed, as no visa is given.
Movie ratings in Canada are a provincial responsibility, and each province has its own legislation, rules and regulations regarding rating, exhibition and admission. Ratings are required for theatrical showings of movies, but are not required for home video. Film festivals which show unrated films (because they are independent films or foreign films not submitted for ratings) are treated as private showings by selling memberships to the festival, which circumvents the theatrical rating requirement.
There are currently six film classification offices rating movies in Canada, each an agency of a provincial government:
In the past there was a wide range of rating categories and practices in the various provinces. However, the five rating systems outside Quebec now all use categories and logos derived from the Canadian Home Video Rating System.
In general, the categories are:
G: General Audience – Suitable for all ages.
PG: Parental Guidance – Parental guidance advised. There is no age restriction but some material may not be suitable for children under 6.
14A: 14 Accompaniment – Persons under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
18A: 18 Accompaniment – Persons under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. In the Maritimes & Manitoba, children under the age of 14 are prohibited from viewing the film.
R: Restricted – Admittance restricted to people 18 years of age or older. Persons under 18 years of age are not permitted to attend under any circumstances. May contain explicit sexual content, extreme graphic violence (with or without cruelty), pornographic content, intense horror, very coarse language and other disturbing content that is inappropriate for children and therefore off-limits for minors.
A: Adult – Admittance restricted to people 18 years of age or older. Persons under 18 are not permitted to attend under any circumstances. Sole purpose of the film is the portrayal of sexually explicit activity and/or explicit violence. In Alberta, the A category is used only for sexually explicit products. Manitoba and Ontario do not have this category, Manitoba uses a barcode labelling system for Adult home videos while Ontario has a Restricted-Adult Sex (RX) rating for home video products. In British Columbia, the A symbol is a red octagon rather than a blue diamond.
In Quebec, the Régie du cinéma rates all films and videos. The Régie is a governmental agency overseen by the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications. Its purview devolves from the Cinema Act (RSQ, C-18.1). Individual ratings and their rationales are publicly available online on the Régie's website . The same classifications are used for television broadcasts.
The ratings and their optional complementary indications are as follows:
GVisa général (General Rating) – May be viewed, rented or purchased by persons of all ages.
8+8 ans et plus (8 years and over) – Parental guidance is recommended for children under 8.
13+13 ans et plus (13 years and over) – May be viewed, rented or purchased by children 13 years of age or over. Children under 13 may be admitted only if accompanied by an adult.
16+16 ans et plus (16 years and over) – May be viewed, rented or purchased by children 16 years of age or over.
18+18 ans et plus (18 years and over) – May be viewed, rented or purchased by adults 18 years of age or over.
While not a classification per se, educational or pedagogical movies, sport and physical exercise programs, and promotional materials are exempt from classification.
The Régie does not cut sequences from movies; they are rated in the format provided by the production company. Nonetheless, the Régie has the authority to deny classification, in which case the movie cannot be distributed in any format in the province of Quebec. Such movies usually feature inhumane sexual exploitation.
Approval of the film for general admittance, but not recommended for children younger than the age of 7.
Approval of the film for admittance of children from the age of 11.
Approval of the film for admittance of children from the age of 15.
Exempt from classification – only used on home video products (mostly documentaries, Danish stand-up shows and educational material)
Children who have turned 7 are allowed admission to all films if accompanied by an adult (a person turned 18). Consequently it is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their children do not watch violent and hard-core pornographic films.
Films accessible to the public do not have to be classified by the Media Council but consequently must be labeled as 15 – approval of the film for admittance of children from the age of 15 – no matter the content of the film.
At Cinemas the 11 and 15 classifications are restricted, and the cinema has to make sure that you are the right age, or if over 7 years old, accompanied by an adult.
On the home video market, only 15 is restricted, and the retailer must make sure that the purchaser is 15 years or older. It is illegal to sell a 15 certified movie to a person under 15 years.
The Egyptian government has only two movie classifications:
General Audience – Everyone is admitted.
Exempt from Classification
Usually excessive violence, nudity, and sexuality is cut from motion pictures in order to release with a General Audience certificate. Pornography is forbidden to air in Egyptian theaters or television as such material remains illegal in Egypt as of 2008.
K-12 – Prohibited for under 12. The film contains moderate language and violence, nudity without sexual context and mild drug use which is inappropriate for people under 12. Age checking is mandatory.
K-14 – Prohibited for under 14. The film contains explicit language, intense violence, nudity, mild sex scenes and drug use which is inappropriate for people under 14. Age checking is mandatory.
K-16 – Prohibited for under 16. The film contains explicit language, graphic violence, nudity, sex scenes/pornography and illegal or explicit drug use which is inappropriate for people under 16. Age checking is mandatory.
Films rated MS-6 and MS-12 are allowed for these age groups only under parental guidance. K-12, K-14 and K-16 are restricted categories and children under either 12, 14 or 16 are not permitted to be admitted to screenings, even under parental guidance. All ticket sellers in Estonian cinemas are required to check all person's ages who wish to view K-12, K-14 or K-16 rating films before allowing them to view. Due to the mandatory age checking policies, this makes the Estonian Rating System among the strictest in the world next to Japan's Eirin rating system.
Before January 1, 2012, all films shown in cinemas were given an age-rating by the Finnish Board of Film Classification. At the beginning of 2012 the Finnish Board of Film Classification became the Finnish Centre for Media Education and Audiovisual Media and the task of classifying films was given to authorized classifiers trained by the Centre. The classifiers work mostly within the film-industry. At the same time the classification system was simplified to six classes instead of the previous seven. The main changes were that a year limits 11 and 13 became 12 and the old 15-year limit was increased to 16 years.
These are the Finnish film classification classes as of January 1, 2012:
S – For all ages. The content is mild in this category and films with this classification are unlikely to contains violence, sexual material or horror.
K-7 – Only for persons 7 years old or older. Younger viewers are only admitted if accompanied by an adult. The content is mild to moderate. Violence is permitted but is limited to comic context or animated. Films in this class may contain very limited references to drugs or small amounts of sexual material.
K-12 – Only for persons 12 years old or older. Younger viewers are only admitted if accompanied by an adult. The content is moderate. Violence and horror are permitted, but they must not be very detailed. Drug use and sexual material are permitted but without very much of details.
K-16 – Only for persons 16 years old or older. Younger viewers are only admitted if accompanied by an adult. The content is strong to very strong. Violence in this class is often very graphic and sometimes cruel/sadistic. Detailed and bloody violence is allowed but must not exceed any kind of prolonged or very sadistic acts. Horror can be supernatural or realistic. Horror combined with very grotesque images is not allowed. Drug use can be graphic and frequent. Sexual material is allowed, but must not be overused for the story-line.
K-18 – Only for adults. No one under 18 admitted. The content is very strong to extreme and therefore inappropriate for people under 18 so no one under the age of 18 is allowed to view such films. Movies in this class show very graphic violence with sadistic manners. Drug use has no limits. Sado-masochistic sexual acts are allowed, but must not encourage the seer to mimic it in real-life.
K-E – Exempt
A person 3 years younger than the limit is permitted to see a film in a cinema when accompanied by an adult, except for 18-rated films.
Prior to showing in theaters, a license (visa d'exploitation) must be obtained from the Ministry of Culture. Upon the advice of the commission pertaining to cinema movies, the minister decides either not to grant the license (a very rare occurrence), or to grant a license among the 6 following:
U (Tous publics) valid for all audiences.
12 (Interdit aux moins de 12 ans) unsuitable for children younger than 12 or forbidden in cinemas for under 12.
16 (Interdit aux moins de 16 ans) unsuitable for children younger than 16 or forbidden in cinemas for under 16.
18 (Interdit aux mineurs) unsuitable for children younger than 18 or forbidden in cinemas for under 18.
Each rating can be accompanied by a special "warning". In practice, the ministry always follows the decision of the commission. Every film is classified in its context. In addition, a movie bearing the "-18" rating may be considered "pornographic or inciting to violence." In this case, it bears high taxation and may be showed only in specific theatres, which are now rare in France. This classification is not used for merely violent movies, or movies containing mere erotic scenes.
Classifications, as all administrative decisions, may be appealed before the courts (Conseil d'État at litigation).
Ohne Altersbeschränkung (FSK 0): no age restriction (white sign)
Freigegeben ab 6 Jahren (FSK 6): no children younger than 6 years admitted (yellow sign)
Freigegeben ab 12 Jahren (FSK 12): children 12 or older admitted, children between 6 and 11 only when accompanied by parent or a legal guardian (green sign)
Freigegeben ab 16 Jahren (FSK 16): children 16 or older admitted, nobody under this age admitted (blue sign)
Keine Jugendfreigabe (FSK 18): "no youth admitted", only adults. (red sign)
Infoprogramm or Lehrprogramm: "educational programming". This rating is not issued by the FSK, but may be self-applied to films seeking to educate their audience (e.g. documentaries, instructional films, etc.), provided they do not contain any material "evidently harmful to the development of children and youths". Films with this rating may be sold without any age restriction.
All the above ratings also contain the phrase "gemäß §14 JuSchG" (in accordance with §14 of the Youth Protection Law), signifying that they are legally binding, rather than being mere recommendations. The FSK rating also limits the time of the day in which the movie may be aired on free-to-air TV stations to a time frame between 20:00 (FSK 12), 22:00 (FSK 16) or 23:00 (FSK 18) and 6:00. Stations can ask the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen (Voluntary Self-Regulation Television, FSF) for a different rating but are usually required to cut the film.
Any movies that will be shown in Greek movie theatres, whether local or foreign, must be classified. There are four ratings for movies shown in Greece and they are:
K – Suitable film for everyone, including children. The film does not contain violence, drug abuse, or sexual content.
K-13 – Suitable film for children 13+. The film may contain mild violence and adult themes. This is not recommended for those under 13 but not restricted.
K-17 – Suitable film for adults 17+. The film may contain violence, drug abuse, and mild pornographic scenes. An ID card certifying the age is required in all Greek cinemas and DVD rental shops in order to get a cinema ticket or rent a DVD of a "K-17" rated film. This category is legally restricted.
An official government agency issues ratings for any movie that will be shown in Hong Kong movie theaters, instead of a private institution. They are:
I – suitable for all ages (circle sign)
IIA – some content is unsuitable for children; parental guidance suggested (square sign)
IIB – some content is unsuitable for children and young persons; parental guidance suggested (square sign)
III – for aged 18 and above only. No one under 18 admitted. (triangle sign) This category is restricted to person 18 years of age and over only. Persons under 18 watching a Level III film in theaters, buying, purchasing or renting a Level III rated film or knowingly gaining access to a Level III film is strictly forbidden.
Of the four levels, Levels I, IIA, and IIB are unrestricted. Only Level III is a restricted category. Ticket sellers in movie theaters have a legal right to check the identity of a person who wishes to watch a Level III film to ensure legal compliance.
Hungarian ratings are decided by the Rating Committee of the National Office of Film:
KN – suitable for all (category I., filled green circle). These titles are not allowed to have violence, sex or any other harmful elements for children; however, a humor of those is allowed.
6 – not suitable for children under 6.(category II., yellow circle with number 6). Mild violence, sex references and drug references are allowed.
12 – not suitable for children under 12. (category III., yellow circle with number 12). Moderate violence, sex stuff, drug references and also strong language is allowed.
16 – not suitable for children under 16. (category IV., yellow circle with number 16). Strong violence, drugs, themes, sex scenes and also very strong language.
18 – not suitable for people under 18. (category V., red circle with number 18). Strong graphic violence, torture, glamorisation of drugs, very strong sexual content and also themes involving killing, incest and explicit content.
X – only for adults (category VI.) Very gruesome violent content or high impact sexual content
Since July 1, 2006, Smáís has replaced the Kvikmyndaskoðun system in Iceland. 12, 14, 16 and 18 rated films are legally restricted and nobody under these ages may see a movie in theatres with this rating or allowed to buy or purchase such films.
L: Suitable for All
7: Passed only for 7 and older (Parental guidance requested)
10: Passed only for 10 and older (Parental guidance requested)
12: Passed only for 12 and older (Nobody under this age will be admitted)
14: Passed only for 14 and older (Nobody under this age will be admitted)
16: Passed only for 16 and older (Nobody under this age will be admitted)
18: Passed only for 18 and older (Only adults will be admitted)
The Censor Board presently gives five categories of certificates, namely,
U – Universal – Unrestricted Public Exhibition throughout India, suitable for all groups Films under this category should not upset children over 4. This rating is similar to the MPAA's G and PG, the BBFC's U and PG, and the OFLC's G and PG ratings. Any nudity/drug innuendo is cut.Such films may contain mild profanity or crude humour, mild sexual content, educational or family-oriented themes and/or mild violence.
UA – Parental Guidance – Unrestricted public exhibition but with parental guidance for children under the age of 12. Those aged under 12 years are only admitted if accompanied by an adult. This rating is similar to the MPAA's PG and PG-13, the BBFC's PG and 12A and the OFLC's PG and M ratings. Such films may contain moderate coarse language or suggestive dialogue, references and use of soft drugs, people wearing minimal clothing (frontal or rear nudity is not permitted), moderate sexual content, mature themes and/or moderate violence (including brief or implied sexual violence).
A – Adults only – Public exhibition restricted to adults (18 years or over) only. This rating is similar to the MPAA's R, the BBFC's 15, and the OFLC's MA15+ ratings. Nobody younger than 18 may rent or buy an A-rated VHS, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, UMD or game, or watch a film in the cinema with this rating. Such films may contain references and use of hard drugs, explicit language or intensely suggestive dialogue, partial nudity (full-frontal or rear nudity is not permitted), strong and crude sexual content, adult/disturbing themes and/or intense/brutal violence (including strong sexual violence).
S – Specialised Audience – Exhibition to restricted audience such as doctors etc.
Additionally, V/U, V/UA, V/A are used for video releases with U, UA and A carrying the same meaning as above.
Motion pictures shown in Indonesia must undergo reviewing by the Indonesian Film Censorship Board (Indonesian: Lembaga Sensor Film). Other than issuing certificates, the LSF/IFCB also reviews and issues permits for film-related advertising, such as movie trailers and posters. LSF has the authority to cut scenes from films. Certificates are issued based on the following categories:
PG – Parental Guidance – Parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of 12.
12A – Parental Guidance required for children under 12 – A person over 18 years of age must accompany a child under the age of 12 when seeing a film theatrically.
15A – Parental Guidance required for children under 15 – A person over 18 years of age must accompany a child under the age of 15 when seeing a film theatrically.
16 – Films classified in this category are considered to be suitable for persons of sixteen or over. Children under this age cannot be admitted to screenings. Violent content, crude and sexual content, and depiction of violence may be stronger than in films designated 15A.
18 – Adults only – The film is suitable only for adults. Nobody under age 18 can be admitted.
For video releases (VHS and DVD), categories G, PG and 18 share the same meanings as above, however, there is no 16, and categories 12 and 15 are mandatory, not advisory.
There used to be an additional category, 12RA, for video releases. This means that children under 12 can watch the video however an adult of at least 18 years old must accompany him/her. This is an extremely rarely used rating.
Because there is no "16" classification for home video, a movie will sometimes be edited for content to reach a "15" classification.
All videos and DVDs (except for music videos and educational material) must be submitted for classification by the IFCO and then displayed on the front of the packaging, the back of the packaging and on the individual discs.
The rating of a movie may be appealed up to six months after the release of a film. After this period expires the same uncut film is not allowed to be appealed until at least seven years after the release.
Originally, IFCO used to ban far more films, however they still occasionally ban films.
T (Per tutti – All): All ages admitted. The mark is a circle with a huge T inside on a green background.
V.M.14 (Vietato ai minori di 14 anni – Restricted to 14 and over): Nobody under the age of 14 years is allowed, parental guidance is strongly advised. The movie is likely to contain either sexual content, violence and some drug use. The mark is a circle with a 14 inside on an orange background.
V.M.18 (Vietato ai minori di 18 anni – Restricted to 18 and over): Nobody under the age of 18 years is allowed, for older audiences only. The movie is likely to contain very explicit and strong sexual content, strong and/or extreme violence and gore or really explicit drug use. The mark is a circle with an 18 inside on a red or bordeaux background.
Before 1963 the films were classiefied as T (Per tutti – All) or as V.M.16 (Vietato ai minori di 16 anni – Restricted to 16 and over). Some films were even banned for their extreme pornographic contents, disturbing violence, or for depictions of opposing political views, although such bans were lifted afterwards. Some films were even sentenced to be burnt at the stake. The last movie that has been banned in Italy is Morituris, directed by Raffaele Picchio in 2011. Before this case the last film that was banned in Italy was Totò che visse due volte, in 1998.
A Japanese film rating regulator known as Eirin(映倫?) (full-name: Eiga Rinri Kanri Iinkai (映画倫理管理委員会?)) has a film classification system under which films are classified into one of the following categories:
G: General audiences, all ages admitted.
PG-12: Some material may be inappropriate for children under the age of 12. Parental or adult accompaniment recommended. The film contains mature themes, partial nudity, explicit language, some violence, etc. which is inappropriate for people under 12.
R15+: For 15 and over only. Forbidden for under 15. The film contains mature themes, nudity, explicit language, violence, sexual situations and/or drug references which is inappropriate for people under 15.
R18+: For 18 and over only. Forbidden for under 18. The film contains adult themes, detailed violence, explicit sex, sexual violence, pornographic content and/or drug use, which is inappropriate for people under 18.
In Latvia, the film presenters added classification is the same as the one applied by the producers of the film. However, this could change from 2008, because in July 2007 the government of Latvia made a law that indicates a more strict classification policy. The classifications are approved by the National Cinema Center (Latvian: Nacionālais Kino Centrs). There is a new 'refreshed' rating system from July 2007. (The following classifications will operate as of September 2007)
Malaysia's motion picture rating system was introduced in 1953, initially classifying films either for General Audiences (Tontonan Umum) or For Adults Only (Untuk Orang Dewasa Sahaja). According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, all films in Malaysia, whether local or foreign, are scrutinised and then categorised by the Film Censorship Board Film Control Division before being distributed and screened to the public. The board was established under the Film Censorship Act 1952 and was later replaced by the Film Censorship Act 2002. In accordance to this act, the Film Censorship Board is appointed by the Minister of Home Affairs. A panel is then appointed by the chairman of the board to view each film.
Once the film is viewed, the board then categorises the film as follows:
Lulus Bersih (Passed Clean [i.e. without cuts]) – The movie distributor can place "No Cuts!" on the film's advertisement.
Lulus Dengan Pengubahan (Passed with Edits/Cuts) – Usually should the content of a scene be deemed inappropriate for screening by the Board, nudity and/or sexual acts which are deemed too "hot" and/or irrelevant to the film's plot are usually removed. Profanity maybe censored to allow a lower rating to be passed.
Tidak Diluluskan Untuk Tayangan (Not Approved for Screening) – These films are banned from being screened or sold in Malaysia.
Should a film be approved, the Board then assigns one of the following rating to it:
U (Umum, literally General (Audiences)) – For general audiences. The rating description describes the film as "depicting good values, politeness and providing a positive lesson as well as being entertaining". (Triangular sign, blue circle since 1 April 2012)
P13 (formerly PG13) – (Penjaga, literally Guardian) – Viewers under 13 require guidance from a parent or guardian. Film may contain scenes that are inappropriate for younger children or a hard to understand storyline. The classification PG13 was introduced in 2007 and replaced with the new classification P13 in January 2012. (Circle with a horizontal line in the middle through its diameter, Yellow circle since 1 April 2012)
18 – This film is for aged 18 years and above only. No people under this age will be admitted. Film may contain adult themes, explicit scenes, mature content, nudity, strong language, and/or sex, etc. This rating is used for 18+ movies released after 14 April 2010. Any 18+ movies shown in cinemas after that date will be classified as 18. The rating still uses the circle sign that the previous ratings 18SG, 18SX, 18PA and 18PL used. Any movies previously classified using the old 18+ ratings will now be re-classified as 18. However, video classifications that still rated as the previous 18+ ratings are still valid. (Red circle since 1 April 2012)
Categories U and P13 are unrestricted, only 18 is a restricted category.
Malaysian film classification logos used since 1 April 2012
Prior to April 2010, there were four 18+ classification with two letters added which were in use since 1996, however, it has been abolished due to direction by the Film Censorship Board. The ratings are listed below:
18SG (Seram, Ganas, literally Graphic Violence and Horror/Terror) – Film contains strong violence, gore or horror/terror that people may find objectionable.
18SX (Seks, literally Sexual Content) – Film contains sex scenes, nudity and/or sexual dialogues/references that people may find objectionable.
18PA (Politik, Agama, literally Strong Religious or Political Elements) – Film contains elements which include religious, social or political aspects that people may find objectionable.
18PL (Pelbagai, literally Variety) – Film may contain a mixture of the above objectionable content from two or more categories. (Example: A film with strong violence and sexual references will be classified as 18PL).
18 rated films require an accompanying adult for underaged patrons, though cinemas reserve the right to refuse sale or deny admission to underages even with adult accompaniment as they see fit or needed.
All film and cinema advertisements in newspapers must clearly show the classification for a movie once rated. For clarity reasons, cinema schedules in local newspapers only state the movie's rating if it is not rated as "U". All three ratings in use also cover other types of films (e.g. direct-to-video, documentaries, etc.) not released in cinemas.
A "B-certificate" sticker indicating the classification and a serial number specific for the movie title is legally required (usually stuck as a title sticker on VHS tapes and on the back of disc casings for optical media or on the back of the box for box sets) for each copy of the movie sold/distributed (including those distributed on hard drives for digital projectors in cinemas). This sticker is changed from time to time, with the latest change being from an RFID tag to a QR code which redirects to a page on the Ministry's website with slightly more detail on the movie along with a brief synopsis of the film.
Due to piracy of music CDs and DVD/VCDs in Malaysia, an additional sticker in the form of a hologram with the words "Tulen KPDN & HEP Original" are required for all original musical works or movies on any format.
With the formation of National Bureau of Classification on December 29, 2005, a new classification regulation and a new rating system for movies were introduced. A classification certificate must be obtained first, before a movie or a movie-related production is released for commercial use including its trailers. NBC has the authority to cut scenes from movies. Classification certificates issued are based on the following categories:
G – General viewing. No material that may evoke fear or concern, no violence, no sexual acts, no language, no drug abuse, no nudity.
PG – Parental Guidance. No material that may evoke fear or concern, no violence, no sexual acts, no language, no drug abuse, no nudity. However, viewing films of this category requires parental guidance. This rating is rarely used.
12+ – For viewers aged 12 and above. Mild violence, no sexual acts, infrequent harsh language, light drug abuse in productions that target this age group.
15+ – For viewers aged 15 and above. Moderate violence, no sexual acts, some harsh language, moderate drug abuse.
18+ – For viewers aged 18 and above. Strong violence, sexual scenes, harsh language, strong drug abuse, veiled nudity.
18+R – 18+ and Restricted. High level violence, sexual scenes, harsh language, strong drug abuse, veiled nudity. Contents of this category may be inappropriate for some individuals.
PU – Released for PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY and is not classified for commercial use. Violence, nudity, sex scenes and strong language are released for educational, artistic and intellectual purposes under this category.
Frontal nudity and sex scenes are censored. Pornography is prohibited to air because such material is illegal in the Maldives
PG (Parental Guidance) – Some material may be unsuitable for younger children. Children under the age of 12 are to be accompanied by an adult.
12 – Suitable only for persons 12 years and older. Nobody under this age will be admitted.
14 – Suitable only for persons 14 years and older. Nobody under this age will be admitted.
16 – Suitable only for persons 16 years and older. Nobody under this age will be admitted.
18 – Suitable only for persons 18 years and older. Nobody under this age will be admitted.
Banned – As a final resort, there are instances in which a few motion pictures as well as theatre productions have been banned from public viewing, including pornographic material, which remains illegal in the country as of 2010.
The General Directorate of Radio, Television and Cinematography (in Spanish, Dirección General de Radio, Televisión y Cinematografía, or RTC) is the issuer of ratings for television programs (although only one channel in Mexico explicitly shows the classification on each program, XEIMT-TV in Mexico City) and motion pictures. The RTC is an agency of the Department of State (Secretaría de Gobernación). It has its own classification system, as follows:
AA Informative-only rating: Of interest to children under 7. This rating is usually given to animated TV shows or movies aimed at children. TV shows and movies under this rating have little to no violence, offensive language, and/or drug abuse. Sexual content is limited to mild affection and/or platonic friendship.
A Information-only rating: General Audience. Recommended people over 7 years. Content can be violence, crude humor, some bad words and sexual references.
B Information-only rating: For children 12 or over. Parental guidance suggested. Minimal and specifically motivated non-extreme violence. Sex can be shown, so long as it's merely implied. Nudity might be present, but not in an erotic or degrading manner. Drug use can be referenced, but actual consumption and any scenes condoning or glorifying drug abuse are prohibited. Language may be dirty, but no verbal violence is allowed.
B-15 Information-only rating: For people aged 15 or over. Parental guidance suggested for those under 15. More explicit content than B rating, but extreme violence, explicit sexual content, drug abuse (or scenes of drugs being glorified), and verbal violence is still prohibited.
C Restrictive rating: For adults over 18. Under-18s are strictly prohibited from viewing the film. High degree of violence (including cruelty), sexual content, and/or drug abuse/references. Verbal violence and offensive language is permitted, but only for narrative purposes.
D Restrictive rating: For adults 19 years of age and over only. Persons under this age are forbidden to gain access to the film. May contain strong sexual situations, explicit sexual activity, very coarse language or extreme violence which is considered to be inappropriate for anyone under this age and therefore minors are off-limits from viewing the film.
In the Netherlands, the Kijkwijzer system is used, which is executed by the NICAM.
Suitable for all ages (in Dutch: Alle Leeftijden).
Not recommended for children younger than 6 years. Replaced the older MG6 ("Meekijken Gewenst"), where parental guidance was recommended for viewers younger than 6 years.
Not recommended for children younger than 9 years. Now a standard rating.
Not recommended for children younger than 12 years; broadcasting is not allowed before 20:00 (8:00 pm).
Not allowed for children younger than 16 years; hence, according to Wetboek van Strafrecht art. 240A, it is forbidden to admit such a person to a screening, or rent out, sell, or give the movie (DVD, video, computer file, etc.) to such a person; broadcasting is not allowed before 22:00 (10:00 pm).
Mostly, these icons are used along with other symbols, displaying if a movie contains violence, sexual content, frightening scenes, drug or alcohol abuse, discrimination, or coarse language. These symbols are also used for TV-programs in the Netherlands.
The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 gives the Office of Film and Literature Classification (New Zealand) the power to classify publications into three categories: unrestricted, restricted, or "objectionable". With a few exceptions, films, videos, DVDs and restricted computer games must carry a label before being offered for supply or exhibited to the public.
The currently visible ratings are:
G Suitable for general audiences.
PG Parental guidance may be needed for younger viewers.
M Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over.
R13 Restricted to persons 13 years and over.
R16 Restricted to persons 16 years and over.
R18 Restricted to persons 18 years and over.
R15 Restricted to persons 15 years and over.
RP13 Children under age 13 are not admitted unless accompanied by a parent or an adult.
RP16 Children under age 16 are not admitted unless accompanied by a parent or an adult.
R Restricted exclusively to a certain audience.
Under New Zealand law it is possible for the New Zealand Film and Video Labelling Body to give an unrestricted rating to a film if it has been given an unrestricted rating by either the Australian Classification Board or, if the Australian Board has not reviewed it, the British Board of Film Classification, and it is not likely to be restricted under New Zealand censorship law. If a film has received a restricted rating (of at least 15+) in either Australia or the UK it must be classified by the OFLC.
The OFLC may restrict a film to a certain audience, either by age or by purpose. The Office can assign any age restriction, but R13, R16 and R18 are most commonly used, with R15 used less often. Persons under the age restriction may not see the film under any circumstance, even with parental consent. However, the Office may assign an RP rating (i.e. RP13 or RP16) which allows children under the age of classification to see the film with an accompanying parent or adult guardian.
The Office may also restrict a film to a certain purpose, in which case the R rating is used. The film is considered objectionable unless the conditions of the restriction are met. This may mean that a film is limited to viewing for study or research purposes, theatrical release, or for screening at film festivals. For instance, the film Irréversible is classified R18, but with additional restrictions limiting it to "the purposes of theatrical exhibition or study in tertiary institutions only".
12: Suitable for children aged 12 years and older. (Yellow Sign)
12A: Same as 12, but younger children can be admitted if accompanied. (Yellow Sign)
15: Only 15 and older admitted. Under 15s are not allowed. May contain mature themes, sex scenes, coarse language, nudity, and drug references which is inappropriate for viewers under 15. (Red Sign)
18: Only adults are admitted. Children are not allowed. May contain adult themes, strong sexual content, very coarse language, graphic nudity and explicit drug use or graphic drug references which is inappropriate for children. (Red Sign)
RE: Restricted Exhibition: can be shown only subject to certain restrictions. (Red Sign)
In Norway all movies have to be registered by the Norwegian Media Authority (Medietilsynet, formerly Filmtilsynet), a government agency, to be exhibited commercially. Though if distributors wish, they can just register the movie with the agency without any need for approval, but the distributor is then obligated not to admit anyone under the age of 18. The distributor is also responsible that the movie does not violate Norwegian law.
Movies are rated using the following classifications:
A (all ages) Limited use of sound and effects. Some scary elements can be allowed.
7 (ages 7 and up) Children under 7 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 or older. Dramatic use of sound and effects. Comic violence, some dark or threatening scenes.
11 (ages 11 and up) Children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 or older. Violence in an unrealistic context, emotional outbursts, depictions of relationship problems and sexual acts. Violence in an unrealistic context generally includes violence in films adapted from famous works of fiction.
15 (ages 15 and up) Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 or older. Horror films in general. Realistic depictions of wars and disasters. Realistic depictions of lack of parental care. Depictions of abuse and murders. Indiscreet depictions of sexual acts.
18 (Adults only) No one under the age of 18 can be admitted to screenings. Most commonly not rated, only registered. If rated the lower 15 year limit may be refused because of: Grievous and detailed violence. Certain sexual acts. Non-consensual sexual acts. Combination of sex and violence.
Films rated 7, 11 or 15 may also be seen by children accompanied by a parent or adult guardian if the child has turned 4, 8 or 12 years, respectively. In addition to the ratings, the board indicates if a movie is suitable for children, families, youths or adults. A film may be given a rating even though it is intended for an older age group, e.g. an "A" film might be intended for adults if it does not contain material unsuitable for young children. The Norwegian Media Authority have a somewhat greater tolerance for bad language and suggestive content than certain other countries, therefore films rated PG-13 in USA, might be given '7+' or the 'Suitable for all' rating.
The board also indicates if a rating is "hard". A "hard" 11/15 rating is usually indicated by the text "not advised for children/youths under 11/15" ("frarådes barn/ungdom under 11/15 år"), however this does not affect if children under the given age are allowed to see the film if accompanied. In 2000 a Board of Appeal was established. Prior to this the ratings board could choose to reclassify a film.
The Norwegian Media Authority has the power to prohibit films. The Norweigian Media Authority has banned many films and many films remain banned in Norway. When the Authority thinks that a film is unacceptable for public viewing, then it will classified as Rejected Films that the Norweigian Media Authority prohibits are films that contain depictions of torture, cruelty, sadism, extreme violence, animal cruelty, sexual violence, sexualized violence, bestiality, depictions of sex with dead people, depictions of sexual assault or any content that violates Norweigian law. Films that are labeled Rejected are banned from being screened, sold, hired, possessed, owned or advertised. Persons in violation of Rejected films are subject to arrest and trial and can be punished with fines/imprisonment.
Ratings in Poland are not set by any board or advisory body, but it rather depends on distribution company, cinema or television station. In case of television, the supervisory body – Krajowa Rada Radiofonii i Telewizji (KRRiT, The National Council of Radio Broadcasting and Television) can impose fines upon those responsible for improper rating of a broadcast, or lack of it.
Rating for movies shown in cinemas:
AL (ALL) – Suitable for Everyone
7 – Suitable for children 7 years and older (this rating is not considered 'official', but it's used by some cinemas. Other variations include '6', '8', '9' or '10')
Movies are rated in Portugal by the Comissão de Classificação de Espectáculos of the Ministry of Culture. In cinemas the ratings are mandatory whereas for video releases they are merely advisory. Movings M/6 to M/18 require adult supervision to view such films at cinemas. There are no restricted ratings in Portugal. The categories are the following:
M/4 Passed for viewers aged 4 and older. This is used mostly for movies and videos that are particularly recommended for young children.
M/6 Passed for viewers aged 6 and older. May have some mild content/foul language. This is also the lowest rating a subtitled movie can get.
M/12 Passed for viewers aged 12 and older. Younger viewers must be accompanied by an adult. Movies rated M/12 may contain moderate violence and some gore, moderate sex scenes or references, suicide, strong language and drug references.
M/16 Passed for viewers aged 16 and older. Younger viewers must be accompanied by an adult. Movies rated M/16 may contain strong violence and gore, sexual violence, aggressive language, strong sex scenes and drug use.
M/18 Passed for viewers aged 18 and older. Younger viewers must be accompanied by an adult. Movies rated M/18 may contain extreme violence and gore, strong sustained sexual violence, unsimulated sex scenes, frequent aggressive strong language and glamorized drug use.
These classifications can be added to the previous ones:
Pornographic(M/18-P) Generic characteristics: content is considered pornographic if it contains, cumulatively: a) exploitation of situations to try to arouse the spectator; b) low aesthetic quality. Specific characteristics: the first level (hardcore: content that presents a very thorough demonstration of real sexual acts being perpetrated, with the exhibition of genitalia); the second level (softcore: content that presents a very insistent and thorough demonstration of simulated sexual acts). Children under 18 are strictly prohibited from viewing the film.
Quality(M/4-Q, M/6-Q, M/12-Q, M/16-Q, M/18-Q) Content that, due to its artistic, thematic, educational and technical aspects deserve this attribute.
G: General – Suitable for all ages. This category is rarely used except for films targeted to children and family audiences.
PG: Parental Guidance – Suitable for most ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young.
PG13: Parental Guidance 13 – This is an advisory rating that falls between PG and NC16.
NC16: No Children Under 16 – For persons 16 years and above.
M18: Mature 18 – For persons 18 years and above.
R21: Restricted 21 – For persons 21 years and above. Films under this category are currently excluded from screening in residential areas, television advertisements and video releases but is available on Video-on-Demand (VOD) services and downtown cinemas.
Orange rectangles are age-restricted ratings whereas green circles are age-advisory ratings. The rating PG13 is a new rating.
G has no restriction on age and all audiences are allowed admission. The same applies to PG and PG13 rated shows but parental guidance is advised for children, especially in the case of PG13 rated shows. NC16, M18 and R21 groups are legally restricted to persons of the specified age or above of the particular group. Cinemas are legally obligated to check the identity document of every patron attending a film with a restricted rating.
All ratings have the number in a red circle and are shown at the opposite direction of the corner from the logo, but same vertical direction where the logo is located. Prva Srpska Televizija has a white border around the circle. All of those circles have the white number. They're controlled by the Republic Broadcasting Agency of Serbia.
G - Suitable for all ages, never used on Prva Srpska Televizija. On RTS, the G letter is not shown, making it the empty red circle.
12 - Unsuitable for those under 12
14 - Unsuitable for those under 14
15 - Unsuitable for those under 15 (used on RTV Pink only, acting as a replacement to the 16 mark)
16 - Unsuitable for those under 16
17 - Unsuitable for those under 17
18 - Unsuitable for those under 18 (As from April 2011, films and/or programs showing the 18 mark on the screen can be broadcast between midnight and 6am.)
Attitudes toward film censorship in Spain are unusual due to the adverse effect of dictatorship and heavy censorship until 1975 under General Francisco Franco. Therefore, most Spanish citizens are against censorship of any kind and prefer personal responsibility and liberalism, thus very few people show serious respect for certification of films.
APTA – Suitable for all audiences
Especialmente Recomendada para la Infancia – Especially suitable for small children
7 – Not recommended for audiences under 7
13 – Not recommended for audiences under 13
18 – Not recommended for audiences under 18
Película X – Pornographic or extremely violent content
Statens medieråd (the Swedish Media Council) is a government agency with the aims to reduce the risk of harmful media influences among minors and to empower minors as conscious media users. The classification bestowed on a film should not be viewed as recommendations on the suitability for children, as the law the council operates under (SFS 2010:1882) only mandates them to assess the relative risk to children's well-being.
The council only allows a very limited amount of violence in films for very young children. Violence is generally seen as far more socially disruptive than consensual sexual acts, nudity or strong language. The classification process also includes assessments of film sequences that may have a terrifying effect on young children, including films and sequences that are difficult for children to understand and liable to cause confusion and fear. Since cinema films in most cases are subtitled and not dubbed in Sweden, the possibility for children to read the subtitles is sometimes an issue.
The censorship of films for adults (over 15 years) was abolished when the National Board of Film Classification was merged into the Swedish Media Council on January 1, 2011. In practice however, the board had only censored a very limited number of films in the preceding two decades. Excluding pornography, the last time the board banned a motion picture was in 1996 and in 2002 it used its privilege to censor specific scenes for the last time.
It has never been strictly necessary to submit films for classification if they are to be screened for audiences over the age of 15 or at private gatherings (such as film festivals). However, an episode of Studio S in 1980 promoted a major moral panic on the violence in movies and a subsequent surge in the number of complaints to the authorities. This prompted a some new laws, making it illegal to rent or sell videos depicting realistic violence to children below the age of 15 and to make it a criminal offense to rent or sell videos containing unlawful depictions of violence, thus meaning that the distributor could be held responsible for the content. Both laws still apply, but to and through 2010, a film that had been rated by the board could not be considered to violate any laws regarding its content, so the distributors in practice sent all their films to the board for a classification to eliminate the risk that they would be held liable. Meanwhile, from a high of hundreds of complaints per year in the early 1990s, only a handful was made in the late 2000s and virtually none of those films was actually seen as being in violation with the law by the prosecutors or the courts. In view of this and to lessen the burden on the new agency, the law was changed so all films not seen as suitable for children by the council can be brought to court for its content, and the distributors' practice of sending all films for classification have seized.
The following categories are used:
Btl (Barntillåten = Children allowed) – Suitable for all ages.
7 – Deemed non-harming for children of at least 7 years of age. Younger children are admitted if accompanied by an adult 18 or older.
11 – Deemed non-harming for children of at least 11 years of age. Children of at least 7 years of age are admitted if accompanied by an adult 18 or older.
15 – Not rated, means that no one under 15 years of age is admitted, may include strong violence, strong drug use, explicit depictions of sexual activity. This also includes pornography; however, that is usually not shown at ordinary cinemas.
The councils classification only apply for cinematic screening. So even though distributors usually align the recommendations on cases of videos or DVDs with the rating given by the council, they are unofficial. It is also common for television channels, rental shops and adult cinemas to use their own classifications to hinder persons below the age of 18 years to be exposed to pornography, such as Barnförbjuden ("Children Banned"), 18 år ("18 years") and Vuxenfilm ("movies for adults").
General audiences category (普遍級(普)) – General audiences are able to view. (green sign)
Protected category (保護級(護)) – Children under 6 years old are not allowed to view. Children aged at least 6 but less than 12 require guidance of accompanying parents, teachers, or adult relatives to view. (blue sign)
Parental guidance category (輔導級(輔)) – Children under 12 years old are not allowed to view. People aged at least 12 but less than 18 require attentive guidance of parents or teachers to view. (yellow sign)
Restricted category (限制級(限)) – People under 18 years old are not allowed to view. (red sign)
Film advertisements use a single Chinese character surrounded by a square to show the film's category. Television stations must clearly show a film's rating before the start, and after each commercial break.
Before the introduction of the rating system, films are subject to the 1930 Film Act, under which films must be viewed by the Board of Censors, which can then impose cuts on the films prior to release. The board is composed of members of the Royal Thai Police and the Ministry of Culture, with advisory roles from the Buddhist religion, educators and the medical community. Most cuts are made for sexual content, while acts of violence are typically left untouched.
A motion picture rating system was proposed in the Film and Video Act of 2007, and was passed on December 20, 2007 by the Thai military-appointed National Legislative Assembly. The draft law was met with resistance from the film industry and independent filmmakers under the Free Thai Cinema Movement. Activists had hoped for a less-restrictive approach than the 1930 Film Act, but under the Film and Video Act, films are still be subject to censorship, or can be banned from release altogether if the film is deemed to "undermine or disrupt social order and moral decency, or might impact national security or the pride of the nation".
The ratings were put into effect in August 2009. They are as follows:
P – Promotional, film is educational and viewing is encouraged for all Thai people. (the children smile In the box on the left green. and The right is the letter "ส")
G – Suitable for everyone. (the house in green box in the left hand. and rside with the letters "ท")
13+ – Films not suitable for viewers under 13 years old. (Right And wrong (X) in the yellow box on the left. and The right side has the letters "น".)
15+ – Films not suitable for viewers under 15 years old. (Right And wrong (X) in the yellow box on the left. and The right side has the letters "น".)
18+ – Films not suitable for viewers under 18 years old. (Right And wrong (X) in the yellow box on the left. and The right side has the letters "น".)
20- – Films not suitable for viewers under 20 years old. (the wrong mark (X) In the red box on the left. and The right side has the letter "ฉ")
Banned – Films that are not allowed to screen publicly in the Kingdom.
The 13+, 15+ and 18+ age classifications are advisory; only the 20- rating reqires ID checks at cinemas.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) rates both motion pictures and videos (and an increasing number of video games). The rating system was introduced in 1913 and, as of 1985, also rates videos. Local authorities are ultimately responsible for film ratings for cinema showings in their area. District councils sometimes vary the BBFC advised rating and rate films with different restrictions in their area only, e.g.: the BBFC rates a film as 15 but the local council gives the film a 12A rating in their area. Rating certificates from the BBFC are not legally binding whereas those for videos are. British cinemas generally stick closely to the policy of ratings and a young person may often be asked for proof of age if deemed younger than the rating.
The current BBFC system is:
Uc (Universal Children) Suitable for all, but especially for children under 4. Used for video only. Retired in 2009.
U (Universal) Suitable for all. (The board states that while they cannot predict what might upset a particular child, a 'U' film should be suitable for audiences aged 4 and older).
PG (Parental Guidance) General viewing but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children. (It is the board's policy that movies rated 'PG' should not disturb a child of about 8 years of age or older; however, parents are advised to consider whether the content may upset young or more sensitive children).
12 Recommended for 12 years and older. Anybody under 12 may see it, as long as a parent or guardian says they can. Nobody younger than 12 may rent or buy a '12' rated video.
15 Suitable only for 15 years and older. Nobody younger than 15 may see a '15' film in a cinema. Nobody younger than 15 may rent or buy a '15' rated video.
18 Suitable only for adults. Nobody younger than 18 may see an '18' film in a cinema. Nobody younger than 18 may rent or buy an '18' rated video These films may contain extreme gore/violence and/or sexually explicit content.
The 12A, 12, 15, 18 and R18 categories are restricted, and it is against the law for anybody under age to obtain such material.
Films may receive a different rating when released on DVD/video to that at the cinema. It is not unusual for certain films to be refused classification, effectively banning them from sale or exhibition in the UK. Sometimes compulsory cuts are made to films, such as cuts to sexual violence and animal cruelty. Any media which has been banned receives an 'R' certificate (Rejected).
Videos deemed by their distributors to be exempt under the Video Recordings Act 1984 may bear the mark E (for exempt), though this is not a rating and the BBFC does not maintain a symbol.
Prior to 1968, some large cities and states had public rating boards which determined whether films were suitable for display to the public in theatres. The United States Supreme Court in the case of Freedman v. Maryland380 U.S. 51 (1965) effectively ended government operated rating boards when it decided that a rating board could only approve a film; it had no power to ban a film. A rating board must either approve a film within a reasonable time, or it would have to go to court to stop a film from being shown in theatres. Other court cases decided that since television stations are federally licensed, local rating boards have no jurisdiction over films shown on television. When the movie industry set up its own rating system, most state and local boards ceased operating.
In the United States, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), through the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA), issues ratings for movies. The system was instituted in November 1968 and is voluntary; however, most movie theater chains will not show unrated domestic films and most major studios have agreed to submit all titles for rating prior to theatrical release. Most films will have the MPAA insignia at the end of the closing credits. Earlier films that had full opening credits would bear the insignia in the opening. The same applies to American films released outside of the U.S.
The ratings (as of 2013) are:
G – General Audiences – All Ages Admitted. There is no content that would be objectionable to most parents and guardians. These films may not contain rude language and no serious cursing. As with violence it must be mild and minimal, if any, without any blood or gore.
PG – Parental Guidance Suggested – Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children. These films are generally inappropriate for young children and may contain milder swear words, crude or suggestive humor, short and infrequent horror moments and/or mild violence.
PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13. These films may contain sex references, up to four uses of explicit language, drug innuendo, strong crude/suggestive humor, mature/political themes, moderately long horror moments, blood,and/or moderate action violence.
R – Restricted – Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent Or Adult Guardian. These R rated films contain some adult material and parents are urged to learn more about these motion pictures before taking their young children to watch them. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R rated films unaccompanied by an adult. These films may contain mild or implied sex scenes, prolonged nudity, strong violence often with blood and gore, strong horror scenes and explicit/illegal/prolonged drug use.
NC-17 – No One 17 and Under Admitted. These NC-17 rated films are patently adult and children are not admitted. These films may contain strong graphic violence with a very large amount of blood and gore, sex scenes, explicit content, rape or sexual assault, depraved, aberrational behavior, sexual nudity, or any other elements which that are not suitable for children and strictly prohibited from viewing by minors. Many theater companies and local operators will not play NC-17 titles and some newspapers and magazines will not run ads for these films. Most NC-17 titles have limited theatrical release, usually in smaller theaters, or are released directly to video or DVD. Most NC-17 titles also have edited versions released on home media that are either unrated or R-rated.