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Ghana’s National Film Authority Film Classification Criteria.

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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

  1. Feature Film
  1. Short Film
  1. TV Series and selected TV Programs
  1. Documentary
  2. Advertisement
  3. 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; for example sex education programs, talk shows etc. However, the rules shall NOT apply to other types of television programming – such as news, newsreel 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
  1. Cinema theatres and movie centres
  1. Posters/Publicity materials
  2. Film Library *
  3. New media *

 

The Committee examines and classifies films and other audio-visual content meant for public exhibition in Ghana to ensure:

  1. Conformity to the national aspirations, moral and cultural standards.
  2. Protection of children from premature exposure to adult experience.
  3. Provision of consumer advice to enable individuals and parents make informed viewing choices for themselves as well as for children in their care.
  4. 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:

  1. U — Universal for all categories of persons;
  2. PG — Viewers below twelve are to watch under Parental Guidance;
  3. 12 — For persons of twelve years and above;
  4. 15 — For persons of fifteen years and above;
  5. 18 — For persons of eighteen years and above; or
  6. 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 contradict 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 the 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 scenes must be restrained and not glamorised 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 contradict 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 behaviour 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 contradict 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 contradict 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 contradict national aspirations, and safety

 

 

 

Not for Public Exhibition (“NS”)

NS-rated films are not suitable for public exhibitions.

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 SCHEDULES FOR TELEVISION

 

U – Indefinite time

PG – shall be exhibited up to 5PM – 5AM

12+ – Shall be exhibited before 9PM – 5AM

15+ – Shall be exhibited up to 10PM – 5AM

18+ – Shall be exhibited from 11PM – 5AM

 

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A post shared by GhMovieFreak (@ghmoviefreak)

Second on my list of addictions is Movies.. the only thing I could possibly love more is my Dearest Waakye lol. Nothing else does a better job of reminding me that ANYTHING is possible with the right amount of effort. I have great eye for details and flaws in scripts. Shallow scripts bore me. I am an avid reader. Your everyday Mr Nice guy. Always the last to speak in a room full of smart people. Half Human, half Martian but full MOVIE FREAK.

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