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Film Classification in Australia

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Vicki Irvine

on 30 January 2015

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Transcript of Film Classification in Australia

Film Classification in Australia
Year Ten Media
Who is responsible for classification?
There are two government departments in Australia responsible for media classification: Australian Classification & ACMA.
How are films classified?
There are three essential principles that underlie the use of the guidelines when classifying a film:

The importance of context
Assessing impact
The six classifiable elements



The Importance of Context
Context is crucial in determining whether a classifiable element is justified by the story-line or themes.

Australian Classification
Australian Classification (formerly OFLC- Office of Film & Literature Classification) classifies all films, video games and some publications.

There are two groups that do this:

The Classification Board is a full-time Board which decides the classification of films, computer games and certain publications.

The Classification Review Board only meets to review a decision of the Classification Board when there is a valid application for review. The Board has different members to the Classification Board and makes fewer decisions.
ACMA
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is the authority responsible for the regulation of free-to-air radio and television, pay TV, digital broadcasting and internet content in Australia.
Assessing Impact
The Six Classifiable Elements
The Guidelines use the following hierarchy of impact:

Very mild
Mild
Moderate
Strong
High
Very high

Assessing the impact of material requires considering the purpose and tone of a sequence and their cumulative effect.

The Six classifiable elements in a film or computer games are:

Themes
Violence
Sex
Language
Drug use
Nudity

The classification takes account of the context and the impact of each of these elements, including their frequency and intensity and their cumulative effect.

The film is then rated .
It is illegal in most states to sell x-rated material, though possession after sale is legal.
Ratings
Ratings are separated into two categories:

Advisory Categories


Restricted Categories


This means that the material has been assessed by the classification board and it has been Refused Classification. Sometimes people call this material 'banned' or 'prohibited'.

Material that has been Refused Classification cannot be sold, hired, or advertised in Australia.
Refused Classification
Test Yourself
1. What are the three essential principles?

2. What are the six classifiable elements?

3. What is the hierarchy of impact?

4. What are the six ratings? What colour and shape are used on their markings?

5. What is the difference between the advisory and restricted categories?
Answer these questions in your notebook.
Every film and computer game, whether produced locally or overseas, has to be classified before it can be made legally available to the public.

In "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1" the sex scene that takes place is on the couple's honeymoon. This context helps inform the rating decisions that are made
G, PG and M are advisory categories. Advisory categories are not restricted to anyone. These classifications are recommendations only.
MA 15+, R 18+ and X 18+ are legally restricted categories. It is illegal to sell this material to those under the age of restriction.
1. What are the three essential principles?

2. What are the six classifiable elements?

3. What is the hierarchy of impact?

4. What are the six ratings? What colour and shape are used on their markings?

5. What is the difference between the advisory and restricted categories?
Test yourself
Answer in your book.
Full transcript