The Classification Board generally classifies all films screened in a cinema for a public audience. This is the process that gives films the classification rating that most people are familiar with:
G : General Viewing
No legal restrictions.
PG: Parental Guidance Recommended
No legal restrictions, but parents are encouraged to assess the suitability of material for younger viewers.
M: Mature Audience Recommended
Not recommended for viewers under 15 years old, but no legal restrictions apply.
MA 15+: Mature Audiences Only
Not suitable for viewers under 15 years old. Viewers under 15 cannot legally watch unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
R 18+: Restricted to Adults
Not suitable for viewers under 18 years old. Viewers under 18 cannot legally watch even if with a parent or adult guardian.
Festival Classification Exemptions
Due to the time taken to process a classification, the Classification Board recognises that it is not possible for a film festival such as MIFF to only screen films that have been officially classified. Therefore, special exemptions apply to festivals.
This is not the same as an R18+ rating, but it acts in a similar way: nobody under 18 (including infants) can legally view a film with this exemption, even with a parent or adult guardian. One of the key differences between R and Unclassified 18+ is that the content will not be as per an R movie – rather, the film has not yet been classified as suitable for anyone other than an adult audience.
This is not the same as an MA 15+ rating, but it acts in the same way: nobody under 15 can legally view the film unless they are with a parent or reasonable adult guardian.
Unclassified, All Ages
These films can be viewed by, and are suitable for, audiences of all ages.