First of all, let’s get this understood; BBFC stands for British Board of Film Classification who play somewhat of an important role in society but who are they? Set up in 1912 to bring a degree of uniformity to the classification of film nationally, the BBFC is an independent, non-governmental body which classifies cinema films. Also, in 1984 Parliament passed the Video Recordings Act. This act stated that video recordings offered for sale or hire commercially in the UK must be classified by an authority designated by the Secretary of State. The BBFC is an organisation that makes no profit; their fees are adjusted only to cover its costs. In order to preserve its independence, the BBFC never receives subsidies from either the film industry or the government. Its income is solely from the fees it charges for its services, calculated by measuring the running time of films or DVDs submitted for classification.
Their system of classification is based upon age and one can see this in their tagline; “Age ratings you trust.” They are continuingly giving ratings to new films as this can be seen on their website – http://www.bbfc.co.uk/. Their “Recent Decisions” page reveals all their latest classifications and if we look at today, as this blog is being produced, you can see the latest Spider-man film has been given a PG rating.
What is this “PG”? What on earth is “12A”? Well it’s all on the BBFC website and not hard to find. Below you can see the key they stick to regarding each of their classes.