Timeline of Australian Film and Video Censorship


1970: Films Board of Review established

1971-Pre-R-rating

1971-Nov: R-rating introduced

1973-The Ratings are clarified

1973-South Australian drive-in regulations

1974-Queensland Board of Review established

1977-Overview of film classification

1980-Jan: Codified reasons introduced

1984-Jan: New Guidelines - X-rating introduced

1984-Apr: New Guidelines

1984-May: New Guidelines

1984-Nov: New Guidelines

1984-Dec: New Guidelines

1988-Apr: OFLC created

1988-Jul: New Guidelines

1989-May: Consumer advice introduced

1993-May: New Guidelines - MA15+ introduced

1996-Jan: Classification "replaces" Censorship

1996-Jul: New Guidelines

2000-Sep: New Guidelines for X18+

2003-Mar: New Guidelines

 

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes come from the Annual Report of the Classification Board.


 

 

 

1970: Films Board of Review established

How Australian Film Censorship Works
Janet Strickland, Deputy-Chief Censor
Cinema Papers issue 11, January 1977

Establishment of Films Board of Review to operate from January 4, 1971, under chairmanship of Mr Stanley Hawes, former producer-in-chief of the Commonwealth Film Unit (now Film Australia).


 

 

 

1971-Pre-R-rating

Before November 15 1971, all classifications were advisory, and not legally restricted.

 

The three rating categories were:

G -General Exhibition

A - Not Suitable for Children (broadly equivalent to NRC or PG)

SOA - Suitable only for Adults (broadly equivalent to M, and known as AO until July 1970)


 

 

 

 

 1971-November: R-rating introduced

All states, at instigation of Customs Minister Don Chipp, revise film censorship legislation to provide for introduction of the "R” certificate and for compulsory display of film classifications in advertising.

 

On November 15 1971, the R-rating was introduced.

The four ratings were

G - For General Exhibition

NRC - Not Recommended for Children

M - For Mature Audiences Only

R - Restricted Exhibition—No persons between the ages of 6 and 18 (2 and 18 in South Australia) will be admitted to cinemas showing 'R' certificate films.


 

 

 

 

1973-The Ratings are clarified

In 1973, the Censorship Ministers agreed on the following definitions.

How Australian Film Censorship Works
Janet Strickland, Deputy-Chief Censor
Cinema Papers issue 11, January 1977

Meeting of state ministers clarifies advisory classifications as follows to provide a greater guide for parents:

(i) "N.R.C.” (Not Recommended for Children) will be intended to mean “ not recommended for children under 12” .

(ii) “M” (For Mature Audiences) will be Intended to mean “ recommended as suitable for persons 15 years and over” .

(iii) Lower legal age limit for admittance of persons to theatres exhibiting “R” classified films will be reduced from six years to two years in all states and territories where that does not now apply.

 

 

Published guidelines for this period are not available. The Chief Censor explained why in his submission to the April 1988 Report of the Joint Select Committee on Video Material.

Written guidelines were first formulated in 1982 and were intended, initially, as a wholly internal working document. In October 1984 a meeting of State and Commonwealth Ministers responsible for censorship unanimously agreed to revised guidelines drawn up by the Board. These were designed to limit more strictly the violence permissible in the M and R classifications, and described general levels of impact and explicitness, together with the degrees of exploitativeness considered acceptable in the different classifications.


 

 

 

 

1973-South Australian drive-in regulations

How Australian Film Censorship Works
Janet Strickland, Deputy-Chief Censor
Cinema Papers issue 11, January 1977

South Australia amends legislation to give minister power to prohibit certain "R" films from showing in drive-in theatres, the screens of which are visible from nearby.


 

 

 

 

1974-Queensland Board of Review established

How Australian Film Censorship Works
Janet Strickland, Deputy-Chief Censor
Cinema Papers issue 11, January 1977

Queensland creates a Films Board of Review empowered to prohibit the distribution in the State films registered by the Film Censorship Board, which are determined to be "objectionable” .


 

 

 

 

1977-Overview of film classification

How Australian Film Censorship Works
Janet Strickland, Deputy-Chief Censor
Cinema Papers issue 11, January 1977

Classification of Theatrical Films
The basic idea behind the classification system is to inform the public on the nature of a film. Both merit and context are taken into account when deciding a classification.

We prefer not to cut films, but to classify them as presented to us. However, films are often cut, either by the importer (sometimes before submitting them to us) or by the Film Censorship Board at the request of the importer— to enable him to gain a lower classification.

G For General Exhibition — all ages; family entertainment.
These are not necessarily children’s films, but will not contain material which might distress children or upset their parents. There is an on-going argument as to whether this classification should be “whiter than white”, or family entertainment, with a broader spectrum.

N.R.C. Not Recommended for Children under 12.
Plot, theme or treatment offends against concepts of “G” — may be some violence, less than pure language, “light” sex scenes — (i.e. head and shoulder shots) mostly in a fairly moral context. There are problems with this classification because of its negative orientation.

M Mature Audiences  15 years and over.
A difficulty lies in the public interpretation of maturity. The film may deal with essentially adult concepts, but the treatment is more discreet (than “R”). It may explore sexual relationships (both homosexual and heterosexual); may contain crude language; may depict violence — but treatment differs essentially from that of the “R” certificate in terms of degree of explicitness and overtness.

R  Restricted to persons 18 years and over.
Adult themes are often treated in an overt and explicit way. The treatment shows a greater exploitation of sex and violence; considered to be harmful to children and offensive to some sections of the community. The “R” serves as a warning. It is the only legally enforceable classification — the others are merely advisory. We believe that no theme or idea is in itself unacceptable in this classification — it is the treatment of that theme or concept which determines whether it is acceptable.

5. Rejected
under Regulation 13 of the Customs (Cinematograph Films) Regulations and/or provisions of State Acts relating to films, which in the opinion of the Censor are:
(a) indecent or obscene, blasphemous;
(b) injurious to morality, encourage or incite to crime;
(c) offensive to a friendly nation or to the people of a part of the Queen’s dominions;
and
(d) undesirable in the public interest. (Some of state Acts refer to matters of a disgusting nature).

(Some of state Acts refer to matters of a disgusting nature).

Most films currently rejected — and that was about 3 per cent in 1975 — are those found under 13(a) as being “indecent or obscene”  This may be applied to either sex or violence. Films have occasionally been rejected under 13(d) as being “not in the public interest” — such as those inciting to drug abuse, hijacking etc.

The difficulties in defining what is indecent or obscene is revealed in the court cases in the U.S. and Britain. In Australia, we fall back on the “current community standards” test, and say that something is indecent if it is grossly offensive to most sections of the community. We believe that hard-core pornography would be equated with indecency in most people’s minds.

The films which are most commonly rejected are those, which in the opinion of the Board, are pornographic, or feature obscene violence.

Our working definition of pornography is: “ Verbal or pictorial material devoted overwhelmingly to the explicit depiction of sexual activities in gross detail, with neither acceptable supporting purpose or theme, nor redeeming features of social literary, or artistic merit”

When we talk about obscene violence we think of such violence as being totally gratuitous, relished, dwelt upon, portrayed for its own sake — where (for example! the audiences are invited to “groove” on bloody nauseating close-ups and sadistic meaningless actions.

The Film Censorship Board does in a way exert a degree of both quantitative and qualitative control over films. Quantitative control in the sense that 3 per cent of films were rejected and 21 per cent were restricted (1975); qualitative control in as much as the overwhelmingly majority of those rejected were totally without redeeming social purpose or merit.


 

 

 

 

1980-January: Codified reasons introduced

In January 1980, the Censorship Board introduced a list of codified reasons to explain their decisions. The following explanation of how they operated is taken from the Chief Censor's submission to the April 1988 Report of the Joint Select Committee on Video Material.

It appears that the codified reasons stopped being sometime in 1993-94.

 

In classifying films and videotapes the Board is always conscious of individual acts of violence portrayed on the screen, as well as their cumulative impact. Since January 1980, the Board has published in the Commonwealth Gazette codified reasons for decisions made on feature-length films and tapes classified above 'G' level. A key to the codes for violence appears in Table I.

Table I

Violence (V)
Frequency: Infrequent (i) or Frequent (f)
Explicitness/Intensity: Low (l) or Medium (m) or High (h)
Purpose: Justified (j) or Gratuitous (g)

 

Codes denoting violence as a reason for a particular classification can appear in any of the following combinations:

Table II

NRC
V (i.l.j) - V (i.l.g) - V(f.l.j) - V(f.l.g) - V (i.m.j)

M
V(i.m.j) - V(i.m.g) - V(f.m.j) - V(f.m.g)

R
V (i.m.j) - V(i.m.g) - V(f.m.j) - V(f.m.g)

Refuse
V(i.h.g) - V(f.h.g) - Gratuitous Sexual Violence

 

Examples of the way code reasons are recorded beside the film title in the Commonwealth Gazette are:

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK - NRC V(f.l.j)

THE UNTOUCHABLES - M V(f.m.j) L(i.m.j)

MAD MAX - R V(f.m.g)

As can be seen, there is some overlap of code usage among the classifications, but the level of violence denoted is appropriate to the classification e.g. V(i.m.j) for R signals more detail and impact than the same code for M. Clearly, therefore, the stronger and more frequent the violence, and the more gratuitous it is judged to be in context, the higher the classification the film receives.


 

 

 

 

1984-January: New Guidelines - X-rating introduced and NRC renamed PG

In February 1984, new guidelines were introduced with the introduction of the X-rating. What followed was a year of debate that saw the guidelines for each category continually tightened.

The January 1984 guidelines were the most liberal that Australian censorship has ever been.

 

Report of the Joint Select Committee on Video Material, April 1988

7.6 Uncertainty about the way in which the Board carries out its classificatory task and about its public accountability was addressed at the beginning of 1984 when guidelines which had been drawn up in consultation with Commonwealth and State Ministers with censorship responsibilities were made public. The guidelines are more explicit and particular than the ACT Ordinance, giving substance to its broadly worded provisions. As the then Chief Censor explained to the Committee:

These are guidelines to help us interpret the regulations. They are for the guidance of classifying officers.

7.7 An obvious advantage of such guidelines is that they would be able to be adapted as understanding of current community standards changed. In fact they changed quite substantially between February and December 1984 probably as a consequence of increased public awareness of video material.

7.8 The original guidelines issued in January 1984 allowed assessments in a number of sub-categories within each classification: language, sex, violence and other, with a specific mix of what would be allowed in each category.

 

Refused Classification

Material considered to be harmful to society.

Language: No proscriptions.

Sex; Child pornography; bestiality.

Violence; Explicit detailed and gratuitous depictions of acts of extreme cruelty including extreme sexual violence.

Other: Instructions "manuals" for

(i) terrorist-type weapons and acts

(ii) abuse of hard drugs.

 

 

X Extra Point of Sale Controls

All overt and explicit material, except such as described under "Refused Classification".

Language: No proscriptions.

Sex: All depictions of sexual acts involving adults (except those of an extreme sexually violent or cruel nature) including explicit penetration, masturbation, ejaculation, fellatio, cunnilingus, insertion of objects in orifices, urolagnia, necrophilia, coprophilia, sado-masochism, fetishism.

Violence: Explicit depictions (except those referred to under "Refused Classification")

Other: Depictions of use of hard drugs which might be construed as advocatory.

 

 

R Restricted (18 years and over)

Adult material likely to be harmful to those under 18 years and possibly offensive to some sections of the adult community.

Language: Sexually explicit and/or assaultive dialogue.

Sex: Implied, obscured or simulated sexual activity.

Violence: Explicit depictions with some gratuitous and exploitive violence; decapitations, dismemberment, disembowelling, etc. if briefly shown; discreet sexual violence.

Other: Depictions of use of drugs which might be construed as mildly advocatory.

 

 

M Mature (Suitable for persons 15 years and over)

Material which is considered likely to disturb, harm or offend those under the age of 15 years. While most adult themes may be dealt with, the degree of explicitness and exploitiveness of treatment will determine whether they can be accommodated in this classification.

Language: No word or phrase is proscribed - "Fuck" and "cunt", for example, may be found, if not used excessively. (A high degree of assaultiveness or of verbal sexual explicitness is not acceptable.

Sex:  Implied sexual activity, but no "full length" depictions of intercourse. Implications of fellatio; cunnilingus, masturbation, etc. may be depicted, if visually discreet.

Violence: May be strong, realistic and sometimes bloody, but not exploitive, relished, very cruel or very explicit, e.g., dismemberment or beheadings, limited to flashes only; sexual violence, e.g., rape, only if very discreet.

Other: Drug abuse depictions, if not advocatory.

 

 

PG or PGR Parental Guidance Recommended

Material will be found in this classification which would be considered to be too strong for unsupervised viewing by children. While adult themes may be dealt with they should be handled in a way that would not cause distress or harm to children in a family viewing situation.

Language: Some infrequent crude language (e.g. "shit", "screw", "arsehole" - possibly "fuck" in exceptional circumstances) and mild sex-oriented dialogue and jokes.

Sex: Discreet verbal and/or visual suggestions of, and references to, intercourse and discussions about, for example, menstruation, masturbation, labour and childbirth; visuals of occasional full frontal nudity and head-and-shoulders shots of implied intercourse. (No implications of, for example, oral-genital sex or homosexual sex activity.)

Violence: Discreet and sporadic depictions, but if continuous (e.g. kung-fu films) should be inexplicit and/or stylized.

Other:

- mild supernatural and/or "horror" themes.

- informational drug references.

 

 

G General (Suitable for all ages)

Parents should feel confident that all children may view material in this classification without supervision, knowing that no distress or harm is likely to be caused.

Language: Some infrequent coarse language (e.g. "bloody", "bastard", "arse", "piss") may be found, if non-assaultive.

Sex:  Very discreet sexual references or implications only.

Violence: Minimal and incidental depictions of violent activity only.


 

 

 

 

1984-April: New Guidelines

Report of the Joint Select Committee on Video Material, April 1988

7.9 Early in 1984 the guidelines were tightened in relation to violence. In April the Refused category was changed in keeping with the amendment (of that month) to delete the word 'extreme' from the kind of violence that would be refused under Regulation 4A of the Customs '(Prohibited Imports) Regulations. Regarding violence the April guidelines for Refused classification now included:

Detailed and gratuitous depictions of acts of significant cruelty; explicit and gratuitous depictions of sexual violence against non-consenting persons.

X was reworded to exclude sexual violence against non-consenting persons but otherwise remained the same and the level of permissible violence in R was amended to include only non-sexual violence.

 

Refused Classification

Language: No proscriptions.

Sex: Child pornography; bestiality.

Violence: Detailed and gratuitous depictions of acts of significant cruelty; explicit and gratuitous depictions of sexual violence against non-consenting persons.

Other: Instruction "manuals" for

(i) terrorist-type weapons and acts.

(ii) abuse of hard drugs.

 

 

X Extra Point of Sale Controls (18 years and over)

Language: No proscriptions.

Sex: All explicit depictions of sexual acts involving adults (except those referred to under "Refused Classification") including explicit penetration, masturbation, ejaculation, fellatio, cunnilingus; insertion of objects in orifices; miscellaneous other sexual activities and fetishes.

Violence: Explicit depictions (except those referred to under "Refused Classification").

Other: Depictions of use of hard drugs which might be construed as advocatory.

 

 

R Restricted (18 years and over)

Adult material likely to be harmful to those under 18 years and possibly offensive to some sections of the adult community.

Language: Sexually explicit and/or assaultive dialogue.

Sex: Implied, obscured or simulated sexual activity.

Violence: Explicit depictions with some gratuitous and j exploitive non sexual violence; decapitations, dismemberment, disembowelling, etc. if briefly shown; discreet sexual violence.

Other: Depictions of use of drugs which might be construed as mildly advocatory.

 

 

M Mature (suitable for persons 15 years and over)

Material which is considered likely to disturb, harm or offend those under the age of 15 years. While most adult themes may be dealt with, the degree of explicitness and exploitiveness of treatment will determine whether they can be accommodated in this classification.

Language: No word or phrase is proscribed - "fuck" and "cunt", for example, may be found, if not used excessively. (A high degree of assaultiveness or of verbal sexual explicitness is not acceptable.)

Sex: Implied sexual activity, but no "full length" depictions of intercourse. Implications of fellatio, cunnilingus, masturbation, etc. may be depicted, if visually discreet.

Violence:  May be strong, realistic and sometimes bloody, but not exploitive, relished, very cruel or very explicit, e.g., dismemberment or beheadings, limited to flashes only; sexual violence, e.g., rape, only if very discreet.

Other: Drug abuse depictions, if not advocatory.

 

 

PG Parental Guidance (suitable for persons 12 years and over)

Material will be found in this classification which would be considered to be too strong for unsupervised viewing by children. While adult themes may be dealt with they should be handled in a way that would not cause distress or harm to children in a family viewing situation.

Language: Some infrequent crude language (e.g. "shit", "screw", "arsehole" - possibly "fuck" in exceptional circumstances) and mild sex-oriented dialogue and jokes.

Sex: Discreet verbal and/or visual suggestions of, and references to, intercourse and discussions about, for example, menstruation, masturbation, labour and childbirth; visuals of occasional full frontal nudity and head-and-shoulders shots of implied intercourse. (No implications of, for example, oral-genital sex or homosexual sex activity).

Violence: Discreet and sporadic depictions, but if continuous (e.g. kung-fu films) should be inexplicit and/or stylized.

Other: (i) mild supernatural and/or "horror" themes,

(ii) informational drug references.

 

 

G General (suitable for all ages)

Parents should feel confident that all children may view material in this classification without supervision, knowing that no distress or harm is likely to be caused.

Language: Some infrequent coarse language (e.g. "bloody", "bastard", "arse", "piss") may be found, if non-assaultive.

Sex: Very discreet sexual references or implications only.

Violence: Minimal and incidental depictions of violent activity only.


 

 

 

 

1984-May: New Guidelines

Report of the Joint Select Committee on Video Material, April 1988

7.9 In May the Refused classification regarding violence was further modified to include 'Detailed and gratuitous depictions of acts of considerable violence or cruelty;' etc. rather than 'significant' cruelty.

 

Refused Classification

Language: No proscriptions

Sex: Child pornography; bestiality.

Violence: Detailed and gratuitous depictions of acts of considerable violence or cruelty; explicit and gratuitous depictions of sexual violence against non-consenting persons.

Other: Instruction "manuals" for

(i) terrorist-type weapons and acts,

(ii) abuse of hard drugs.

 

 

X Extra point of Sale Controls  (18 years and over)

Language: No proscriptions.

Sex: All explicit depictions of sexual acts involving adults (except those referred to under "Refused Classification") including explicit penetration, masturbation, ejaculation, fellatio, cunnilingus; insertion of objects in orifices; miscellaneous other sexual activities and fetishes.

Violence: Explicit depictions (except those referred to under "Refused Classification").

Other: Depictions of use of hard drugs which might be construed as advocatory.

 

 

R Restricted (18 years and over)

Adult material likely to be harmful to those under 18 years and possibly offensive to some sections of the adult community.

Language: Sexually explicit and/or assaultive dialogue.

Sex: Implied, obscured or simulated sexual activity.

Violence: Explicit depictions with some gratuitous and exploitive non sexual violence; decapitations, dismemberment, disembowelling, etc. if briefly shown; discreet sexual violence.

Other: Depictions of use of drugs which might be construed as mildly advocatory.

 

 

M Mature (suitable for persons 15 years and over)

Material which is considered likely to disturb, harm or offend those under the age of 15 years. While most adult themes may be dealt with, the degree of explicitness and exploitiveness of treatment will determine whether they can be accommodated in this classification.

Language; No word or phrase is proscribed - "fuck" and "cunt", for example, may be found, if not used excessively. (A high degree of assaultiveness or of verbal sexual explicitness is not acceptable).

Sex: Implied sexual activity, but no "full length" depictions of intercourse. Implications of fellatio, cunnilingus, masturbation, etc. may be depicted, if visually discreet.

Violence; May be strong, realistic and sometimes bloody, but not exploitive, relished, very cruel or very explicit, e.g., dismemberment or beheadings, limited to flashes only; sexual violence, e.g., rape, only if very discreet.

Other: Drug abuse depictions, if not advocatory.

 

 

PG Parental Guidance (suitable for for persons 12 years and over)

Material will be found in this classification which would be considered to be too strong for unsupervised viewing by children. While adult themes may be dealt with they should be handled in a way that would not cause distress or harm to children in a family viewing situation.

Language: Some infrequent crude language (e.g. "shit", "screw", "arsehole" - possibly "fuck" in exceptional circumstances) and mild sex-oriented dialogue and jokes.

Sex: Discreet verbal and/or visual suggestions of, and references to, intercourse and discussions about, for example, menstruation, masturbation, labour and childbirth; visuals of occasional full frontal nudity and head-and-shoulders shots of implied intercourse. (No implications of, for example, oral-genital sex or homosexual sex activity)

Violence: Discreet and sporadic depictions, but if continuous (e.g. kung-fu films) should be inexplicit and/or stylized.

Other:

(ii)mild supernatural and/or "horror" themes,

(ii) informational drug references.

 

 

G General (suitable for all ages)

Parents should feel confident that all children may view material in this classification without supervision, knowing that no distress or harm is likely to be caused.

Language: Some infrequent coarse language (e.g. "bloody", "bastard", "arse", "piss") may be found, if non-assaultive.

Sex: Very discreet sexual references or implications only.

Violence: Minimal and incidental depictions of violent activity only.


 

 

 

 

1984-November: New Guidelines

Report of the Joint Select Committee on Video Material, April 1988

7.10 Towards the end of the year the guidelines were changed again in response to the developing unwillingness of most State Governments to include an X classification in their legislation. On 26 October the Commonwealth Attorney-General issued a press statement announcing revised guidelines to which the meeting of Commonwealth and State Ministers responsible for censorship matters meeting in Sydney that day had agreed.

7.11 One of the things the new guidelines were designed to do was to limit the violence permissible in the M and R categories even further than before. 'Gratuitous' depictions of violence were now no longer allowed in either R or M, and the word 'very' was deleted before 'cruel' in the M category.

7.12 The most significant change in these guidelines was that the previous category X Extra Point-of-Sale Controls (18 years and over) was abolished and an entirely new tighter classification initially entitled ER Extra-Restricted (18 years and over) was put in its place. (ER Extra-Restricted was changed to X Extra-Restricted in December). The new Extra-Restricted guidelines would allow only:

Material which includes explicit depictions of sexual acts involving adults, but does not include any depictions suggesting coercion or non-consent of any kind.

7.13 The majority of Ministers at the meeting on 26 October agreed to recommend the adoption of this new category to their Governments, and it seemed this would become an aspect of the new system of uniform legislation for those States prepared to go beyond R in their legislation. Accordingly, the Film Censorship Board informed the Committee in December 1984 that the ER Extra-Restricted criteria were the ones which were now being applied to X under the ACT Ordinance.

7.14 The category was called Extra-Restricted in order to eliminate any misunderstandings about the category above R which may have hung over from what had previously been allowed in X in Australia or from what was currently included in X in the United States. During the course of taking evidence the Committee found that the name change for the sexually explicit category created further misunderstanding. People assumed that the new Extra-Restricted category was merely the previous X Extra Point-of-Sale Controls material put under a new name, failing to register that the old classification had been replaced by a different category embracing sexually explicit material without any depiction suggesting coercion or non-consent of any kind. They still read the December X classification as the earlier one.

 

Refused Classification

Language: No proscriptions.

Sex: Child pornography, bestiality.

Violence: Detailed and gratuitous depictions of acts of considerable violence or cruelty; explicit or gratuitous depictions of sexual violence against non-consenting persons.

Other: Instruction "manuals" for

(i) terrorist-type weapons and acts,

(ii) abuse of hard drugs.

 

 

ER Extra-Restricted (18 years and over)

Material which includes explicit depictions of sexual acts involving adults, but does not include any depiction suggesting coercion or non-consent of any kind.

 

 

R Restricted (18 years and over)

Adult material which is considered likely to be possibly harmful to those under 18 years and possibly offensive to some sections of the adult community.

Language: May be sexually explicit and/or assaultive.

Sex: Implied, obscured or simulated depictions of sexual activity; depictions of sexual violence only to the extent that they are discreet, not gratuitous and not exploitative.

Violence: Explicit depictions of violence, but not detailed and gratuitous depictions of acts of considerable violence or cruelty (see "Refused Classification").

Other: Depictions of drug abuse if not advocatory.

 

 

M Mature (suitable for persons 15 years and over)

Material which is considered likely to disturb, harm or offend those under the age of 15 years. While most adult themes may be dealt with, the degree of explicitness and exploitativeness of treatment will determine what can be accommodated in this classification.

Language; Crude language that is excessive, assaultive or sexually explicit is not acceptable.

Sex: Depictions of discreetly implied sexual activity.

Violence; Depictions of realistic and sometimes bloody violence but not if gratuitous, exploitative, relished, cruel or unduly explicit.

Other: Depictions of drug use if not advocatory.

 

 

PG Parental Guidance (suitable for persons 12 years and over)

Material in this classification may contain adult themes/concepts which require the guidance of a parent or guardian.

Language: Minimal crude language if not gratuitous.

Sex: Discreet verbal and/or visual suggestions and references to sexual matters.

Violence: Discreet, inexplicit and/or stylized depictions.

Other:

(i) mild supernatural and/or "horror" themes.

(ii) minimal nudity if in justifiable and non-sexual context. discreet informational and/or anti-drug references.

 

 

G General (suitable for all ages)

Parents should feel confident that children may view material in this classification without supervision, knowing that no distress or harm is likely to be caused.

Language: Mild expletives only if infrequent and used in exceptional and justifiable circumstances.

Sex: Very discreet verbal references or implications and only if in a justifiable context.

Violence: Minimal and incidental depictions, and only if in a justifiable context


 

 

 

 

1984-December: New Guidelines

Refused Classification

Language: No proscriptions.

Sex: Child pornography, bestiality

Violence: Detailed and gratuitous depictions of acts of considerable violence or cruelty; explicit or gratuitous depictions of sexual violence against non-consenting persons.

Other: Instruction "manuals" for

(i) terrorist-type weapons and acts.

(ii) abuse of hard drugs.

 

 

X Extra-Restricted (18 years and over)

Material which includes explicit depictions of sexual acts involving adults, but does not include any depiction suggesting coercion or non-consent of any kind.

 

 

R Restricted (18 years and over)

Adult material which is considered likely to be possibly harmful to those under 18 years and possibly offensive to some sections of the adult community.

Language: May be sexually explicit and/or assaultive.

Sex: Implied, obscured or simulated depictions of sexual activity; depictions of sexual violence only to the extent that they are discreet, not gratuitous and not exploitative.

Violence: Explicit depictions of violence, but not detailed and gratuitous depictions of acts of considerable violence or cruelty (see "Refused Classification").

Other: Depictions of drug abuse if not advocatory.

 

 

M Mature (suitable for persons 15 years and over)

Material which is considered likely to disturb, harm or offend those under the age of 15 years. While most adult themes may be dealt with, the degree of explicitness and exploitativeness of treatment will determine what can be accommodated in this classification.

Language: Crude language that is excessive, assaultive or sexually explicit is not acceptable.

Sex: Depictions of discreetly implied sexual activity

Violence: Depictions of realistic and sometimes bloody violence but not if gratuitous, exploitative, relished, cruel or unduly explicit.

Other: Depictions of drug use if not advocatory.

 

 

PG Parental Guidance (parental guidance recommended for persons under 15)

Material in this classification may contain adult themes/concepts which require the guidance of a parent or guardian.

Language; Minimal crude language if not gratuitous.

Sex; Discreet verbal and/or visual suggestions and references to sexual matters.

Violence; Discreet, inexplicit and/or stylized depictions.

Other;

(i) mild supernatural and/or "horror" themes.

(ii) minimal nudity if in justifiable and non-sexual context.

(iii) discreet informational and/or anti-drug references.

 

 

G General (suitable for all ages)

Parents should feel confident that children may view material in this classification without supervision, knowing that no distress or harm is likely to be caused.

Language; Mild expletives only if infrequent and used in exceptional and justifiable circumstances.

Sex; Very discreet verbal references or implications and only if in a justifiable context.

Violence; Minimal and incidental depictions, and only if in a justifiable context.


 

 

 

 

1988-April: The OFLC is created

The Office of Film and Literature Classification was created in April 1988.

It incorporated the Film Censorship Board, the Literature Censorship function of the Attorney-General's Department; and the censorship policy function within the Attorney-General's Department.


 

 

 

 

1988-July 01: New Guidelines

Internal working classification guidelines have been user by the Film Censorship Board since 1982. They elaborate on legislative requirements for each category and help to ensure consistent decision-making.

Increased public attention was focused on the guidelines following the introduction of the videotape classification scheme in February 1984. In October of that year the Standing Committee of Ministers with responsibility for censorship matters effected revisions in the guidelines which came into operation in December, 1984.

In April 1988 the Attorney-General wrote to the Chief Censor and to the Chairman of the Films Board of Review, asking them to consult with a view to revising the guidelines to reflect changing community attitudes, particularly towards violence.

The participation of the Films Board of Review represented a significant departure from previous practice. The Review Board had, until then, taken the guidelines into account in its decision-making without considering itself bound by them. This was because it had no role in their formulation.

The new guidelines represent a different approach. They are the product of consultation between both Boards and aim principally at:

- simplicity and comprehensibility

- objectifying the classification criteria as far as possible

- placing the decision-making process of both Boards in a philosophical context (see the preamble).

The revised guidelines incorporate certain recommendations of the Joint Select Committee on Video Material and the views of State officials. The Ministers, having approved the ne« guidelines, asked the Chief Censor and the Chairman of the Films Board of Review to ensure that they would effectively reduce the levels of permissible violence in the upper reaches of the ‘M' and ‘R' categories.

The current guidelines have been in force since 1 July 1988.

 

Refused Classification

Any film or video which includes any of the following will be refused classification:

(a) depictions of child sexual abuse, bestiality, sexual acts accompanied by offensive fetishes, or exploitative incest fantasies

(b) unduly detailed and/or relished acts of extreme violence or cruelty; explicit or unjustifiable depictions of sexual violence against non-consenting persons

(c) detailed instruction or encouragement in:

(i) the use of terrorist-type weapons and terrorist acts

(ii) the abuse of proscribed drugs.

 

 

X Non Violent Erotica (18 years and over)

No depiction of sexual violence, coercion or non-consent of any kind is permitted in this classification. Material which can be accommodated in this classification includes explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adults and mild non-violent fetishes.

 

 

R Restricted (18 years and over)

Material considered likely to be harmful to those under 18 years and possibly offensive to some sections of the adult community warrants an 'R' classification.

Language: There are virtually no restrictions on language in 'R' films.

Sex: Sexual intercourse or other sexual activity may be realistically implied or simulated. Depictions of sexual violence are acceptable only to the extent that they are necessary to the narrative and not exploitative.

Violence: Highly realistic and explicit depictions of violence may be shown, but not if unduly detailed, relished or cruel.

Other: Drug abuse may be depicted, but not in an advocatory manner.

Extreme "horror" special effects usually warrant an 'R'.

 

 

M Mature (suitable only for persons 15 years and over)

Material which is considered likely to disturb, harm or offend those under the age of 15 years will be classified 'M'. While most adult themes may be dealt with, the degree of explicitness and intensity of treatment will determine what can be accommodated in this classification.

Language: Crude language may be used, but not when it is excessive, unduly assaultive, or sexually explicit.

Sex: Sexual intercourse or other sexual activity may be discreetly implied or simulated.

Violence: Realistic violence of medium intensity may be depicted, but violent depictions with a high degree of realism or impact are acceptable only if contextually justified.

Other: Drug use may be depicted, but not in an advocatory manner.

Supernatural and "horror" special effects usually warrant an M.

 

 

PG Parental Guidance (parental guidance recommended for persons under 15)

Films in this classification may contain adult themes or concepts which, when viewed by those under 15 years, require the guidance of a parent or guardian. The following are permissible

Language: Low level coarse language is acceptable, provided its use is not excessive.

Sex: Discreet verbal and/or visual depictions, and references to sexual matters.

Violence: Depictions of violence must be mild in their impact, and/or presented in a stylized or theatrical fashion, or in an historical context.

Other: Discreet informational and/or anti-drug references.

Mild supernatural or "horror" themes may warrant *PG'.

Minimal nudity if in a justifiable context.

 

 

G General (suitable for all ages)

Parents should feel confident that children may view material in this classification without supervision, knowing that no distress or harm is likely to be caused. The following are permissible

Language: The mildest expletives, but only if infrequent and used in exceptional and justifiable circumstances.

Sex: Very discreet verbal references or implications, provided they are justified by the narrative or other context.

Violence: Minimal, mild and incidental depictions, provided they are justified by the context.


 

 

 

 

1989-May: New Classification labels and consumer advice introduced

As a result of the April 1988 'Report of the Joint Select Committee on Video Material', new classification labels and consumer advice was introduced. For videos, this meant:

The display covers on videos (or slides) will carry a strip 20mm deep across the front of the cover which will state the category, an age symbol if appropriate for the category, the description of the category and, in all videos above the G classification, consumer advice relating to the content of the video.

The category symbol will also appear on the spine of the cover case and on the back, and on the spine of the cassette itself; the latter will additionally carry the age symbol and category description.

 

All videos classified from May 1989 carried the new classification labels and consumer advice.


 

 

 

 

1993-May 01: New Guidelines - MA15+ introduced

The OFLC began applying the MA15+ classification on May 1st, 1993. The guidelines for the M 15+ and R18+ were also changed to reflect the introduction of the new rating.

 

 

Refused Classification

Any film or video which includes any of the following will be refused classification:

(a) depictions of child sexual abuse, bestiality, sexual acts accompanied by offensive fetishes, or exploitative incest fantasies;

(b) unduly detailed and/or relished acts of extreme violence or cruelty; explicit or unjustifiable depictions of sexual violence against non-consenting persons;

(c) detailed instruction or encouragement in:

(i) matters of crime or violence

(ii) the abuse of proscribed drugs.

 

 

X18+ Contains sexually explicit material (restricted to adults 18 years and over)

The classification and guidelines for video are the same as those for cinema except that for video there is an extra classification, 'X', which is defined as follows:

No depiction of sexual violence, coercion or non-consent of any kind is permitted in this classification. Material which can be accommodated in this classification includes explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adults and mild non-violent fetishes.

 

 

R18+ Restricted (restricted to adults 18 years and over)

Material considered likely to be harmful to those under 18 years and/or possibly offensive to some sections of the adult community warrants an 'R' classification.

Language: There are virtually no restrictions on language in 'R' films.

Sex: Sexual intercourse or other sexual activity may be realistically implied or simulated.

Violence: Highly realistic and explicit depictions of violence may be shown, but not if unduly detailed, relished or cruel. Depictions of sexual violence are acceptable only to the extent that they are necessary to the narrative and not exploitative.

Other: Drug abuse may be depicted, but not in an advocatory manner.

Extreme 'horror' special effects usually warrant an 'R'.

 

 

(MA) 15+ Mature Accompanied (restrictions apply to persons under the age of 15 years*)

Material which contains coarse language or depictions of sex or violence or any combination of elements likely to disturb, harm or offend those under 15 years to the extent that it should be restricted to those 15 years and over will be classified "MA".

Language: Crude language may be used, but not when it is excessive. unduly assaultative. or sexually explicit.

Sex: Sexual intercourse or other sexual activity may be discreetly implied or simulated.

Violence: Realistic violence of medium intensity may be depicted, but violent depictions with a high degree of realism or impact are acceptable only if contextually justified.

Other: Drug use may be depicted, but not in an advocatory manner.

Supernatural and 'horror' special effects usually warrant an 'MA' classification, but not if overly graphic or impactful.

* Children under 15 years will not be admitted to cinemas unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, video material not permitted to be sold/hired to persons under 15 years.

 

 

M 15+ Mature (recommended for mature audiences 15 years and over)

Material which is considered likely to disturb, harm or offend those under 15 years to the extent that it is recommended for viewing by those 15 years and over will be classified 'M'. Most adult themes may be dealt with, though the degree of explicitness and intensity of treatment will be an important factor.

Language: Crude language may be used, but not if overly frequent or impactful.

Sex: Sexual intercourse or other sexual activity may be discreetly implied.

Violence: Realistic violence of low intensity may be depicted if contextually justified.

Other: Drug use may be discreetly depicted, but not in an advocatory manner.

Supernatural and 'horror' special effects may be depicted, but not if graphic or impactful.

 

 

PG Parental Guidance (parental guidance recommended for persons under 15 years)

Films in this classification may contain adult themes or concepts which, when viewed by those under 15 years, require the guidance of a parent or guardian. The following are permissible

Language: Low level coarse language is acceptable, provided its use is not excessive.

Sex: Discreet verbal and/or visual depictions, and references to sexual matters.

Violence: Depictions of violence must be mild in their impact, and/or presented in a stylized or theatrical fashion, or in an historical context.

Other: Discreet informational and/or anti-drug references.

Mild supernatural or "horror" themes may warrant *PG'.

Minimal nudity if in a justifiable context.

 

 

G General (suitable for all ages)

Parents should feel confident that children may view material in this classification without supervision, knowing that no distress or harm is likely to be caused. The following are permissible

Language: The mildest expletives, but only if infrequent and used in exceptional and justifiable circumstances.

Sex: Very discreet verbal references or implications, provided they are justified by the narrative or other context.

Violence: Minimal, mild and incidental depictions, provided they are justified by the context.


 

 

 

 

1996-January 01: Censorship Board becomes Classification Board

The Film Censorship Board was renamed the Classification Board.

The Chief Censor, Deputy Chief Censor, and Senior Censors were replaced by officers and office holders on the Classification Board.


 

 

 

 

1996-July 01: New Guidelines

RC Refused Classification

As pointed out in the introduction, films and videos must be classified- A film or video which does not have the authorised classification symbols or the consumer advice is either an unclassified film or video, or it has been refused classification.

Films or videos which contain elements beyond those set out in the above classification categories are refused classification.

Films or videos which fall within the criteria for refused classification cannot be legally brought into Australia.

The Classification Code sets out the criteria for refusing to classify a film or video. The criteria fall into three categories. These include films that:

- depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should be classified RC.

- depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult a person who is or who looks like a child under 16 (whether or not engaged in sexual activity), or;

-  promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence. Films and videos will be refused classification if they appear to purposefully debase or abuse for the enjoyment of viewers, and which lack moral, artistic or other values, to the extent that they offend against generally accepted standards of morality, decency and propriety.

Films and videos will be refused classification if they contain:

(a) depictions of child sexual abuse or any other exploitative or offensive depictions involving a person who is or who looks like a child under 16;

(b) detailed instruction in:

(i) matters of crime or violence,

(ii) the use of proscribed drugs;

(c) depictions of practices such as bestiality.

Films and videos will be refused classification if they contain gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of:

(d) violence with a very high degree of impact or which are excessively frequent, prolonged or detailed:

(e) cruelty or real violence which are very detailed or which have a high impact;

(f) sexual violence;

(g) sexual activity accompanied by fetishes or practices which are offensive or abhorrent:

(h) incest fantasies or other fantasies which are offensive or abhorrent.

 

 

X18+ Contains Sexually Explicit Material (Restricted to adults 18 years and over*)

* Available only on video; available only in the ACT and Northern Territory

This classification is a special and legally restricted category which only contains sexually explicit material. That is material which contains real depictions of actual sexual intercourse and other sexual activity between consenting adults, including mild fetishes.

No depiction of sexual violence, sexualised violence or coercion, offensive fetishes, or depictions which purposefully debase or abuse for the enjoyment of viewers is permitted in this classification.

 

 

R18+ Restricted (Restricted to adults 18 years and over)

The R category is legally restricted to adults. Material which is given a restricted classification is unsuitable for those under 18 years of age. Material classified R deals with issues or contains depictions which require an adult perspective.

The classification is not intended as a comment on the quality of the material. Some material may be offensive to some sections of the adult community. Material which promotes or incites or instructs in matters of crime and/or violence is not permitted.

Violence:
Depictions of violence which are excessive will not be permitted.

Strong depictions of realistic violence may be shown but depictions with a high degree of impact should not be gratuitous or exploitative.

Sexual violence may only be implied and should not be detailed.

Depictions must not be frequent, gratuitous or exploitative. Gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of cruelty or real violence will not be permitted.

 

Sex:
Sexual activity may be realistically simulated; the general rule is "simulation, yes - the real thing, no.

Nudity in a sexual context should not include obvious genital contact.

Verbal references may be more detailed than depictions.

 

Coarse Language:
There are virtually no restrictions on coarse language at R level.

 

Adult Themes:
The treatment of any themes with a very high degree of intensity should not be exploitative.

 

Drug Use:
Drug use may be shown but not gratuitously detailed.

Drug use should not be promoted or encouraged.

Detailed instruction in drug misuse is not permitted.

 

 

MA15+ Mature Accompanied (Restrictions apply to persons under the age of 15*)

* The MA category is legally restricted. Children under fifteen will not be allowed to see MA films in the cinema or hire them on video unless in the company of a parent or adult guardian.

Material classified MA deals with issues or contains depictions which require a mature perspective. This is because the impact of individual elements or a combination of elements is considered likely to be harmful or disturbing to viewers under 15 years of age.

 

Violence:
Generally, depictions of violence should not have a high impact. Depictions with a high impact should be infrequent, and should not be prolonged or gratuitous.

Realistic treatments may contain detailed depictions, but these should not be prolonged.

Depictions of violence in stylised treatments may be more detailed and more frequent than depictions of violence in close to real life situations or in realistic treatments if this does not increase the impact.

Visual suggestions of sexual violence are permitted only if they are not frequent, prolonged, gratuitous or exploitative.

 

Sex:
Sexual activity may be implied.
Depictions of nudity in a sexual context which contain detail should not be exploitative.

Verbal references may be more detailed than depictions, if -this does not increase the impact.

 

Coarse Language:
Coarse language may be used.

Coarse language that is very strong, aggressive or detailed should not be gratuitous.

 

Adult Themes: The treatment of themes with a high degree of intensity should be discreet.

 

Drug Use: Drug use may be shown, but should not be promoted or encouraged.

More detailed depictions should not have a high degree of impact.

 

 

M 15+ Mature (Recommended for mature audiences 15 years and over)

The Mature category is advisory and not legally restricted. However, material in this category cannot be recommended for those under 15 years.

Films classified M contain material that is considered to be potentially harmful or disturbing to those under 15 years. Depictions and references to classifiable elements may contain detail. However, the impact will not be so strong as to require restriction.

Violence:
Generally, depictions of violence should:
- not contain a lot of detail and
- not be prolonged

In realistic treatments, depictions of violence that contain detail should:
- be infrequent and
- not have a high impact and/or
- not be gratuitous

In stylised treatments, depictions of violence may contain more detail and be more frequent if this does not increase the impact.

Verbal and indirect visual references to sexual violence may only be included if they are:
- discreet and infrequent, and
- strongly justified by the narrative or a documentary context.

 

Sex:
Sexual activity may be discreetly implied.

Nudity in a sexual context should not contain a lot of detail, or be prolonged.

Verbal references to sexual activity may be more detailed than depictions if this does not increase the impact.

 

Coarse Language:
Coarse language may be used.

Generally, coarse language that is stronger, detailed or very aggressive should:
- be infrequent and
- not be gratuitous

 

Adult Themes: Most themes can be dealt with, but the treatment should be discreet, and the impact should not be high.

 

Drug Use: Drug use may be discreetly shown. Drug use should not be promoted or encouraged.

 

Nudity: Nudity outside of a sexual context may be shown but depictions that contain any detail should not be gratuitous.

 

 

PG Parental Guidance (Parental guidance recommended for persons under 15 years)

The PG classification signals to parents that material in this category contains depictions or references which could be confusing or upsetting, to children without adult guidance. Material classified PG will not be harmful or disturbing to children.

Parents may choose to preview the material for their children; some may choose to watch the material with their children. Others might find it sufficient to be accessible during or after the viewing to discuss the content.

Violence:
Violence may be discreetly implied or stylised, and should also be:
- mild in impact, and
- not shown in detail

 

Sex
Sexual activity may be suggested, but should:
- be discreet, and
- be infrequent, and
- not be gratuitous

Verbal references to sexual activity should be discreet.

 

Coarse Language:
Coarse language should be mild and infrequent.

 

Adult Themes:
Supernatural or mild horror themes may be included.
The treatment of adult themes should be discreet and mild in impact.
More disturbing themes are not generally dealt with at PG level.

 

Drug Use:
Discreet verbal references and mild, incidental visuals of drug use may be included, but these should not promote or encourage drug use.

 

Nudity:
Nudity outside of a sexual context should not be detailed or gratuitous.

 

 

G General (Suitable for all ages)

This is a category which is considered suitable for all viewers.

The G classification symbol does not necessarily indicate that the film is one that children will enjoy. Some G films contain themes or story-lines that are of no interest to children. Parents should feel confident that children can watch material in this classification without supervision. Material classified G will not be harmful or disturbing to children.

Whether or not the film is intended for children, the treatment of themes and other classifiable elements will be careful and discreet.

Violence:
Violence may be very discreetly implied, but should:
- have a light tone, or
- have a very low sense of threat or menace, and
- be infrequent, and
- not be gratuitous

 

Sex
Sexual activity should: -
only be suggested in very discreet visual or verbal references, and
- be infrequent, and
- not be gratuitous

 

Coarse Language:
Coarse language should:
- be very mild and infrequent, and
- not be gratuitous


 

 

 

 

2000-September: New Guidelines for X18+

The application of the revised X18+ guidelines, which came into force on 18 September 2000, has been an ongoing issue for the Board and applicants over the last year. The amendments further restricted the type of material that is allowed in the X18+ category.

Initially, the meanings of 'violence', 'sexualised violence', 'fetishes such as body piercing', 'sexually assaultive language' and other activities that are now not allowed in X18+ were rigorously debated by the Board in order to set standards to ensure consistency.


 

 

 

 

2003-March 30: New Guidelines

The Attorney-General launched the combined Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games on 28 March 2003, following extensive public consultation and re-drafting in consultation with industry and academics.

The Combined Guidelines are a world first in successfully combining classification criteria for films and computer games, and an effective response to the challenge of classifying converging media.

 

RC - Refused Classification

Note: Films that exceed the R 18+ and X 18+ classification categories will be Refused Classification. Computer games that exceed the MA 15+ classification category will be Refused Classification.

Films and computer games will be refused classification if they include or contain any of the following:

CRIME OR VIOLENCE
Detailed instruction or promotion in matters of crime or violence.

The promotion or provision of instruction in paedophile activity.

Descriptions or depictions of child sexual abuse or any other exploitative or offensive descriptions or depictions involving a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 years.

Gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of:

(i) violence with a very high degree of impact or which are excessively frequent, prolonged or detailed;

(ii) cruelty or real violence which are very detailed or which have a high impact;

(iii) sexual violence.

SEX
Depictions of practices such as bestiality.

Gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of:

(i) activity accompanied by fetishes or practices which are offensive or abhorrent;

(ii) incest fantasies or other fantasies which are offensive or abhorrent.

DRUG USE
Detailed instruction in the use of proscribed drugs.

Material promoting or encouraging proscribed drug use.

 

 

X18+ - Restricted

Contains Consensual Sexually Explicit Activity (Restricted to adults 18 years and over*)

*Available only for sale or hire in the ACT and Northern Territory.

Note: This classification category applies only to films. This classification is a special and legally restricted category which contains only sexually explicit material. That is material which contains real depictions of actual sexual intercourse and other sexual activity between consenting adults.

No depiction of violence, sexual violence, sexualised violence or coercion is allowed in the category. It does not allow sexually assaultive language. Nor does it allow consensual depictions which purposefully demean anyone involved in that activity for the enjoyment of viewers.

Fetishes such as body piercing, application of substances such as candle wax, ‘golden showers’, bondage, spanking or fisting are not permitted.

As the category is restricted to activity between consenting adults, it does not permit any depictions of non-adult persons, including those aged 16 or 17, nor of adult persons who look like they are under 18 years. Nor does it permit persons 18 years of age or over to be portrayed as minors.

 

 

R 18+ - Restricted

Impact test

The impact of material classified R 18+ should not exceed high.

Note: This classification category applies only to films. Material classified R 18+ is legally restricted to adults. Some material classified R 18+ may be offensive to sections of the adult community.

Classifiable elements

THEMES
There are virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes.

VIOLENCE
Violence is permitted. Sexual violence may be implied, if justified by context.

SEX
Sexual activity may be realistically simulated.

The general rule is “simulation, yes – the real thing, no”.

LANGUAGE
There are virtually no restrictions on language.

DRUG USE
Drug use is permitted. NUDITY Nudity is permitted.

 

 

MA 15+ - Mature Accompanied

Impact test

The impact of material classified MA 15+ should be no higher than strong.

Note: Material classified MA 15+ is considered unsuitable for persons under 15 years of age. It is a legally restricted category.

Classifiable elements

THEMES
The treatment of strong themes should be justified by context.

VIOLENCE
Violence should be justified by context. Sexual violence may be implied, if justified by context.

SEX
Sexual activity may be implied.

LANGUAGE
Strong coarse language may be used.

Aggressive or very strong coarse language should be infrequent.

DRUG USE
Drug use should be justified by context.

NUDITY
Nudity should be justified by context.

 

 

M - Mature

Impact test

The impact of the classifiable elements for material classified M should be no higher than moderate.

Note: Material classified M is not recommended for persons under 15 years of age. There are no legal restrictions on access.

Classifiable elements

THEMES
The treatment of themes may have a moderate sense of threat or menace, if justified by context.

VIOLENCE
Moderate violence is permitted, if justified by context. Sexual violence should be very limited and justified by context.

SEX
Sexual activity should be discreetly implied, if justified by context.

LANGUAGE
Coarse language may be used. Aggressive or strong coarse language should be infrequent and justified by context.

DRUG USE
Drug use should be justified by context.

NUDITY
Nudity should be justified by context.

 

 

PG - Parental Guidance

Impact test

The impact of the classifiable elements for material classified PG should be no higher than mild.

Note: Material classified PG may contain material which some children find confusing or upsetting, and may require the guidance of parents or guardians. It is not recommended for viewing or playing by persons under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians.

Classifiable elements

THEMES
The treatment of themes should generally have a low sense of threat or menace and be justified by context.

VIOLENCE
Violence should be mild and infrequent, and be justified by context.

Sexual violence is not permitted.

SEX
Sexual activity should be mild and discreetly implied, and be justified by context.

LANGUAGE
Coarse language should be mild and infrequent, and be justified by context.

DRUG USE
Drug use should be justified by context.

NUDITY
Nudity should be justified by context.

 

 

G - General

Impact test
The impact of the classifiable elements for material classified G should be very mild only.

Note: The G classification is for a general audience. However, it does not necessarily indicate that children will enjoy the film or computer game. Some G films and games contain themes, story-lines or game play that do not interest children.

Classifiable elements

THEMES
The treatment of themes should have a very low sense of threat or menace, and be justified by context.

VIOLENCE
 Violence should have only a low sense of threat or menace, and be justified by context. Sexual violence is not permitted.

SEX
Sexual activity should be very mild and very discreetly implied, and be justified by context.

LANGUAGE
Coarse language should be very mild and infrequent, and be justified by context.

DRUG USE
Drug use should be implied only very discreetly, and be justified by context.

NUDITY
Nudity should be justified by context.

All other films


 

 

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