From 1st May 2021, No Television Station, Cinema Theatre Or Movie Screening Centre Shall Show Any Unclassified Audio-Visual Content – Film Classification Committee

 From 1st May 2021, No Television Station, Cinema Theatre Or Movie Screening Centre Shall Show Any Unclassified Audio-Visual Content – Film Classification Committee

The Film Classification Committee, formed by the National Film Authority has announced the decision taken on preview and classification of contents before its exhibition.

In a statement copied to Zionfelix.net signed by Socrate Safo, the Chairman of the Film Classification Committee said it is stated in the Development and Classification of Film Act 935, all audiovisual content shall be previewed and classified before it’s exhibited.

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According to them, they had several consultations with various stakeholders of the audiovisual industry in Ghana before the decision.

The statement implored the general public is hereby expected to note the following:

  1. From 1st May 2021, no television station, cinema theatre or movie screening centre shall show any unclassified audio-visual content.
  2. Such audio-visual content include feature films, short films, TV series, selected TV programs, documentaries, advertisements, music videos meant for public exhibition and broadcasting.
  3. A right owner, licensee or assignee who desires to exhibit an audio-visual content shall submit the content to the Film Classification Committee for examination and classification at least twenty-one days before the intended exhibition.
  4. Kindly find attached the Film Classification Criteria.
  5. Anyone who fails to comply with the set rules shall be subject to the Offences and Penalties in Section 27 of the Development and Classification of Film Act 935.

Read the full statement below:

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
As it is stated in the Development and Classification of Film Act 935, all audiovisual
content shall be previewed and classified before exhibition.
After several consultations with various stakeholders of the audiovisual industry in
Ghana, the general public is hereby expected to note the following:

  1. From 1st May 2021, no television station, cinema theatre or movie screening
    centre shall show any unclassified audio-visual content.
  2. Such audio-visual content include feature films, short films, TV series, selected
    TV programs, documentaries, advertisements, music videos meant for public
    exhibition and broadcasting.
  3. A right owner, licensee or assignee who desires to exhibit an audio-visual content shall submit the content to the Film Classification Committee for examination and classification at least twenty-one days before the intended exhibition.
  4. Kindly find attached the Film Classification Criteria.
  5. Anyone who fails to comply with the set rules shall be subject to the Offences
    and Penalties in Section 27 of the Development and Classification of Film Act
    935.
    Signed
    Socrate Safo
    Chairman
    Film Classification Committee
    National Film Authority
    CC:
    Ghana Independence Broadcasters Association (GIBA)
    Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA)
    Film Producers Association of Ghana (FiPAG)
    Advertisers Association of Ghana (AAG)
    Film and Advertising Production Companies
    Television Stations and Broadcasters
    Film Exhibitors
    The Media
    FILM CLASSIFICATION CRITERIA
    INTRODUCTION
    The Film Classification Committee is a committee formed by the National Film Authority and mandated by the Development and Classification of Film Act 935 to preview and classify any audio-visual content intended for public exhibition in Ghana.
    The following categories of audio-visual content are set within the scope of materials to be classified by the Film Classification Committee
  6. Feature Film
  7. Short Film
  8. TV Series and selected TV Programs
  9. Documentary
  10. Advertisement
  11. Music Video
  • The Film classification rules shall apply to selected television programs that directly impact on the socio-cultural and moral conscience of the people of Ghana; example sex education programs, talkshows etc. However, the rules shall NOT apply to other types of television programming – such as news, newsreal and current affairs programmes, sports, events, games, teleshopping and in-house productions by the various television stations.
    The audio-visual content shall be classified for the various platforms and media.
  1. Free-to-Air Television
  2. Cinema theatres and movie centres
  3. Posters/Publicity materials
  4. Film Library *
  5. New media *
    The Committee examines and classifies films and other audio-visual content meant for public exhibition in Ghana to ensure:
  6. Conformity to the national aspirations, moral and cultural standards.
  7. Protection of children from premature exposure to adult experience.
  8. Provision of consumer advice to enable individuals and parents make informed
    viewing choices for themselves as well as for children in their care.
  9. Protection of children from exposure to disturbing and harmful materials.
    When making a classification decision for a content, the committee takes careful consideration of relevant factors and concerns. The description of each of the classification categories and the indication of the suitable audience in terms of age are stated accordingly in the guidelines.
    CLASSIFICATION
    Classification is the process of giving age ratings and content advice to films and other audiovisual content to help children and families choose what’s right for them and avoid what’s not.
    In accordance with the Development of Film Act 935, the Film Classification Committee in determining the suitability of a content for public exhibition, the Committee shall classify the content as follows:
    a. U — Universal for all categories of persons;
    b. PG — Viewers below twelve are to watch under Parental Guidance;
    c. 12 — For persons of twelve years and above;
    d. 15 — For persons of fifteen years and above;
    e. 18 — For persons of eighteen years and above; or
    f. NS — Not suitable for public exhibition.
    Universal Audience (“U”)
    Universal for all categories of persons
    ‘U’ content should be set within a positive framework to portray good values, decency and positive lessons as well as entertainment and should offer reassuring counterbalances to any violence, threat or horror.
    Content with a ‘U’ rating are aimed at very young children although they are marketed as content for adults If a content receives a U rating, it means that the elements in the content are suitable and does not threaten the socio-cultural and political conscience of the general public.
    A content classified as “U” shall, in the judgment of the Board, meet the following
    criteria:
    Theme – The content should not contain violence, threats, abuse, horror, or other themes that may cause fear or disturbance to a young child’s mind.
    Language – The film may contain polite dialogue or other word representations but not profane, offensive or sexually-suggestive language or gestures.
    Nudity – The film may contain occasional, as well as natural non-sexual nudity.
    Sex – The film cannot contain or depict any sexual activity.
    Violence – The depiction of any violence must be mild, brief, infrequent, and unlikely to cause undue anxiety or fear to young children.
    Horror – The depiction of horror and frightening scenes should be mild, brief,
    infrequent, and unlikely to cause undue anxiety or fear to young children.
    Drugs – There shall be no depiction of, or reference to, prohibited drugs or their use. Shall not contain inappropriate cultural or immoral tendencies that contradicts national aspirations, and alien cultural practices that are not acceptable within our society
    Parental Guidance (“PG”)
    Viewers below 12 are to watch under Parental Guidance
    A “PG” classification advises parents or supervising adults that the film may contain any of the elements whose treatment is suitable for children below 12 years of age.
    However if a content is rated ‘PG’, it is completely up to the discretion of parents and guardians to allow or not allow their children to watch. ‘PG’ rated content is usually aimed at a family audience.
    If a film is rated ‘PG’, some bad language, sex and scary scenes may be present, as may violence, but at all times these senes must be restrained and not glamourised in any way
    A film classified as “PG” shall, in the judgment of the Board, meet the following criteria:
    Theme – The film may contain themes that require parental supervision and guidance, but should not promote any dangerous, violent, discriminatory, or otherwise offensive behaviour or attitude.
    Language – The film may contain mild and infrequent swear words and menacing language. Offensive, menacing, threatening language and references to sex shall always be suitable for viewers who are below 12 years of age. Infrequent, brief and justifiable sexually-suggestive language may be allowed.
    Nudity – The film may contain occasional, as well as natural non-sexual nudity.
    Sex – The depiction of non-graphic sexual activity may be allowed, but it should be discreet, infrequent, and not prolonged.
    Violence – The depiction of non-gratuitous violence and suffering should be minimal, and without graphic detail;.
    Horror – The depiction of brief and infrequent horror and frightening scenes shall be allowed.
    Drugs – There shall be no depiction of, or reference to, prohibited drugs or substances and their use unless it is clearly for educational purposes and anti-drug campaigns suitable for children.
    Shall not contain inappropriate cultural or immoral tendencies that contradicts national aspirations, and alien cultural practices that are not acceptable within our society
    “12”
    For persons of twelve years and above
    Films classified ‘12’ contain material that is not generally suitable for children aged under 12. In the case of cinemas, parents or guardians shall accompany their children.
    A film classified as “12” must, in the judgment of the Board, meet the following criteria:
    Theme – The film may contain mature themes but is suitable for teenagers above 12
    years of age, and shall not gratuitously promote or encourage any dangerous, violent,
    discriminatory, or otherwise offensive behavior or attitude.
    Language – The film may contain moderate swear words and menacing language
    consistent with the context of the scene in which they are employed. The use of
    infrequent and non-vulgar sexually-derived or suggestive expletives and expressions
    shall be allowed. The use of sexually-oriented or suggestive language and other
    references to sex shall always be suitable for viewers who are at least 12 years of age.
    Nudity – The film may contain brief, discreet and justifiable occasional, natural and sexually-oriented nudity.
    Sex – Discreet, infrequent, brief, non-graphic and justifiable sexual activity may be depicted.
    Violence – Infrequent, non-gratuitous, non-graphic and justifiable violence may be allowed.
    Horror – Discreet and justifiable depiction of horror, frightening scenes, and occasional gore are allowed.
    Drugs – Brief, infrequent and justifiable depiction of drugs or their use may be allowed.
    The content shall not in any case promote, condone, justify and/or encourage drug use.
    Shall not contain inappropriate cultural or immoral tendencies that contradicts national aspirations, and alien cultural practices that are not acceptable within our society
    “15”
    For persons of fifteen years and above
    15 rated films are aimed at a ‘teenage’ audience
    Films that contain mature themes yet aren’t really graphic in their portrayal of sex, violence and bad language, although they may have what’s classified as ‘strong’ violence, nudity and hard drug use.
    The main difference between a 15 and an 18 rated film is the level of graphic or explicit detail shown, for example, if a film contains violence in a 15, a character may get hurt, but his injuries won’t be shown in graphic detail, compared to an 18 film
    A film classified as “15” must, in the judgment of the Board, meet the following criteria:
    Theme – There are no restrictions on themes; provided that the treatment is appropriate for viewers who are at least 15 years of age, and does not contain inappropriate cultural or immoral tendencies that contradicts national aspirations, and alien cultural practices that are not acceptable within our society.
    Language – The film may use any kind of language.
    Nudity – The film may contain discreet, non-gratuitous and justifiable natural and sexually-oriented nudity.
    Sex – Non-graphic, non-gratuitous and justifiable sexual activity may be depicted.
    Violence – Non-gratuitous and justifiable violence and mild scenes of gore may be allowed
    Horror – The non-gratuitous and justifiable depiction of horror, frightening scenes, and mild scenes of gore are allowed.
    Drugs – The non-gratuitous and justifiable depiction of drugs or their use may be allowed. The content shall not in any case promote, condone, and encourage drug use.
    18
    For persons of eighteen years and above
    An 18 rated film is designed specifically for adults.
    “18” rating does not mean that the film is “obscene”, “offensive”, or “pornographic,” as these themes are defined by law as unacceptable
    A film classified as “18” must, in the judgment of the Board, meet the following criteria:
    Theme – There are no restrictions on themes and their treatment.
    Language – The film may use any kind of justifiable language.
    Nudity – The film may contain justifiable sexually-oriented nudity.
    Sex – The realistic depiction of justifiable sexual activity may be allowed.
    Violence – There are no restrictions on the depiction of justifiable violence.
    Horror – The justifiable depiction of horror, frightening scenes, and gore are allowed.
    Drugs – The justifiable depiction of drugs or their use may be allowed. In no case,
    however, should the use of drugs be promoted, condoned, justified and/or encouraged.
    It may contain minimal cultural tendencies that may be alien to the Ghanaian culture but shall not promote immoral tendencies that contradicts national aspirations, and safety
    Not for Public Exhibition (“NS”)
    NS-rated films are not suitable for public exhibition.
    A film shall be disapproved for public viewing if, in the judgment of the Board:
    ● The average person, applying contemporary community standards and values, would find that the dominant theme of the content, taken as a whole appeals solely to a lustful interest and satisfies only the craving for sex and/or violence.
    ● The film depicts in a patently lewd, offensive, or demeaning manner and sexual
    conduct such as sexual intercourse, masturbation and exhibition of the genitals.
    ● The film clearly constitutes an attack against any tribe, race, creed, or religion.
    ● The film condones or encourages the use of illegal drugs and substances.
    ● The film tends to undermine the faith and confidence of the people in the State, its constitution and/or duly-constituted authorities.
    ● The film glorifies criminals or condones crimes.
    ● The film is libellous or defamatory to the good name and reputation of any
    person, whether living or dead.
    ● The film may constitute contempt of court or of a quasi-judicial tribunal, or may pertain to matters which are sub judicial in nature
    THE FOLLOWING ARE TIME SCHEDULE FOR TELEVISION
    U – Indefinite time
    PG – shall be exhibited between 5am to 10pm
    12 – Shall be exhibited between 5am to 10pm
    15 – Shall be exhibited between 5am to 11pm
    18 – Shall be exhibited from 11pm to 5am

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Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

http://zionfelix.net

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku is a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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