How do you classify a film?

Licensing officer David Knowles-Ley and licensing manager Laurence Foord get ready to give their judgement on the films
Licensing officer David Knowles-Ley and licensing manager Laurence Foord get ready to give their judgement on the films

COUNCIL officers took over from Barry Norman and Jonathan Ross when they had to classify six films for the Chichester International Film Festival.

Because the films were not classified by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) the New Park Centre, in Chichester, turned to their Chichester District Council licensing officers for help.

“People wouldn’t normally associate the classification of films with the work of the council,” said Cllr John Connor.

“At the moment, establishments such as New Park have to turn to the council when films aren’t classified – otherwise they would currently be unable to show them.

“This is particularly important because people need to be aware of the rating when they are considering whether to take their children along with them.

“We wanted to help the Film Festival so that it could continue to show a variety of films that people may otherwise be unable to see.”

Currently, any film not classified by the BBFC must be classified by the local licensing authority.

However, the government is looking to relax the rules.

Walter Francisco, general manager of the Chichester International Film Festival, said: “Running a film festival poses obvious certification problems, as we deal with many films from the UK and abroad without BBFC certificates.

“The licensing team at Chichester District Council has come to the rescue for the last two years by providing these for us.”