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Film classification

Film Classification is the process of giving age ratings and content advice to films and other audio-visual content to help children and families choose what’s right for them and avoid what’s not.

When you wish to exhibit a film to members of the public (including a private audience) and where no age rating certificate has been issued by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the Licensing Authority for where the film is due to be shown can classify it for you.  

An example of this would be a locally made film to be shown at a local film festival or cinema.

The location where the film is to be shown must have the relevant licence in place. Typically this will be a Premises Licence or a Temporary Event Notice.

An application to apply for a film classification must be applied for with a minimum of 20 working days’ notice prior to the first screening.

How to apply

To apply for the classification of a film you must complete the application form below and pay the appropriate fee. An application must be submitted with a minimum of 20 working days’ notice before the date of first screening.

You must:

  • Complete the application form (any missing information will be deemed as an incomplete application and rejected)
  • Provide a full copy of the film (links to films and digital copies are accepted), together with a written synopsis.
  • Pay the required fee based on the pay structure below.
  • Be aware that if a film is either partly or entirely in a foreign language, it must contain subtitles for all non-English speaking sections. If there is any doubt regarding the authenticity of the subtitles within the film the cost for an independent interpreter may be required before North Herts Council can classify it.

Fee calculation and payment

The classification of a film is charged for the length of the film plus 30 minutes for an Officer to determine the classification and provide a certification.

The fee is £65 per hour, chargeable every 15 minutes for the length of the film or part thereof.

Example fee amounts
Length of film Cost per hour (chargeable every 15mins or part thereof) Officer determination period (30 mins) Total cost
13 mins £16.25 £32.50 £48.75
1 hour £65.00 £32.50 £97.50
1 hours 30 mins £97.50 £32.50 £130.00

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