How are films classified?

Each country, and sometimes each area (such as a province) has its own board of film classifications. They take on different names depending on the place. In Australia, it is the Office of Film & Literature Classification, in the United States of America it is the Motion Picture Association of America, and so on.

Each board will have its own set of guidelines, and each film that is submitted to the board will be reviewed, and then placed into one of the classifications. Which classification it is put into, depends on many factors.

Some of the factors could include:

  • Violence
  • Sex Scenes
  • Nudity
  • Drug Use
  • Language
  • Themes
  • Horror

And then the frequency of each could be taken into account, as well as the context in which it is used.

For example, a film that contains drug use, but promotes against the use of drugs, would not be classified as harshly as a film which also contains drug use, but without any anti-drug messages.