Film classification

If you want to show a film to a public audience, you must apply to either the British Board for Film Classification (BBFC) or us.

Before you start

Your film must not contravene the Obscene Publications Act 1959, the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988, or any other relevant legislation. It must not have been created through the commission of a criminal offence.

We can only authorise showings within the district.  It is assumed that all relevant third party consents and licences in respect of any and all copyright, confidential information and all other intellectual property rights have been obtained.


A film doesn't need to be classified if:

  • it's part of a museum or art exhibit;
  • its sole or main purpose is to demonstrate any product or advertise any goods or services (excluding the advertising of films); or,
  • its purpose is to provide information, education or instruction.

Please note, adverts require clearance from the Cinema Advertising Association (CAA).

How to apply

Use the button below to apply for:

  • a previously unclassified film to be classified
  • a film that has been previously classified by the BBFC or other licensing authority, to be reclassified

You will need to:

Log into your MyAccount (or create an account if you don't already have one) to complete the form. MyAccount is an easier and quicker way to interact with us and is available 24/7

  •  complete the application form

Film classification request

What happens next?

You should allow at least 28 days for your application to be processed. 

Your film will be considered for classification by the Licensing Sub-Committee, and a decision will be given within 5 working days of the meeting. We consider each application on its own merit and may impose additional recommendations to comply with the licensing objective of protecting children from harm.