Categories and Advisories
The Motion Picture Act Regulations define 6 unique classification categories used for film classification in British Columbia.
Suitable for viewing by persons of all ages. Occasional violence, swearing and coarse language, and the most innocent of sexually suggestive scenes and nudity, are permitted in this category.
Parental guidance advised. Theme or content may not be suitable for all children although there is no age restriction. Motion pictures in this category may contain less subtle sexually suggestive scenes and nudity and a more realistic portrayal of violence than in the General category; coarse language may occur more often than in the General category.
Suitable for persons 14 years of age or older. Persons under 14 years of age must view these motion pictures accompanied by an adult. Motion pictures in this category may contain violence, coarse language or sexually suggestive scenes, or any combination of them.
Persons under 18 years of age must view these motion pictures accompanied by an adult. Motion pictures in this category will contain horror, explicit violence, frequent coarse language or scenes that are more sexually suggestive than in the 14A category, or any combination of them.
Restricted to persons 18 years of age and over. Persons under 18 years of age are not permitted to attend under any circumstances. These motion pictures are “adult motion pictures”, as defined in the Act, and may contain explicit sexual scenes, violence or scenes referred to in Section 5(3) of the Act, or any combination of them. The director will assign this classification to motion pictures if the director considers that the theme, subject matter or plot of the adult motion picture is artistic, historical, political, educational or scientific.
Restricted to persons 18 years of age and over. Persons under 18 years of age are not permitted to attend under any circumstances. These motion pictures are “adult motion pictures”, as defined in the Act, and may contain explicit sexual scenes or scenes of brutality or torture to persons or animals, or any combination of them, that are portrayed in a realistic and explicit manner; however, the scenes would, in the director’s opinion, be tolerable to the community.
Consumer Protection BC uses 3 designations for trailers.
Approved for exhibition with all films.
Approved for exhibition with films classified as 14A or 18A.
Approved for exhibition with films classified as Restricted or Adult.
Advisories provide the public with information regarding film content. The information provided in advisories, lists the key reasons why a film is classified into a particular category. The following is a list of advisories that have been recently applied to films.
Bullying. Anti-social behaviour (particularly in a school environment) in which a character intimidates, torments or physically harms another character.
Coarse Language. Dialogue using profanity (i.e. "four letter" words), blasphemy, disparaging racial or sexual orientation. May include sexual language.
Crude Content. Ingestion, evacuation of, or contact with bodily fluids. (e.g. vomit, urine, feces).
Domestic Violence. Violence involving characters in the same family (e.g. spousal or child abuse).
Drug Use. The injection, consumption or inhalation of illegal drugs.
Explicit Sexual Scenes. Scenes that depict a sexual act, the occurrence of which is actually visible by the viewer. For example, the viewer will be able to clearly see a genital-to-genital connection. Limited to Restricted and Adult films.
Explicit Violence. Violence that is expressly conveyed and depicted in detail. It may be characterized by extreme brutality, torture, tissue damage, dismemberment and/or decapitation.
Horror. Predominant theme of terror, cruelty or misery.
May Frighten Young Children. Scenes that may be shocking or alarming to a viewer under the approximate age of eight.
Frightening Scenes. Scenes that are startling, suspenseful, threatening and/or intense. May involve supernatural beings.
Nudity. The appearance of any of the following:
- post-pubescent human genitals;
- post-pubescent human buttocks; or
- post-pubescent human female nipples.
Sexual Content. Dialogue, props, costumes, situations or other depictions that are overtly sexual.
Sexual Language. Dialogue that does not necessarily include coarse language, but describes or refers to sexual activity.
Sexually Suggestive Scenes. Characters are acting as if they are engaging in sex. The scene suggests that a sexual act may be occurring. Genital connections, and other explicit depictions, are not visible.
Sexual Violence. Physically coercive sexual assault.
Violence. Behavioural acts resulting in harm and/or having the potential for harm. This may include natural disasters, accidents, fighting, weapons, torture, suicide and violent sports.