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This page provides information for film festival organisers on classification, labelling exemptions, batching short films, applying for fee waivers and exemptions to existing classifications.

Film Festival Organisers

Under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993, all films (including DVDs and videos) must be classified before they are supplied to the public. This includes showing films that will be shown free to charge. In all instances, applications are made to the Film and Video Labelling Body. For more information on submitting a film for classification, click here.

Which films are exempt?

Under Section 8 of the Act some films may be exempt from the labelling requirement. The exemption does not apply if there is something in the film that might cause it to be classified as restricted or objectionable. The law places the responsibility for deciding whether a film is exempt on the organisation supplying it to the public. If there is any doubt, the film should be sent to the Film and Video Labelling Body. For more information, go to the exemptions page.

Short films and batched publications

Under Regulation 8 of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Fees) Regulations 1994, two or more publications submitted at the same time (even under different sections of the Act) may be batched together and treated by the Chief Censor as a single publication for the purposes of setting the fee for classification. Films may be batched where the Chief Censor considers it would be unduly burdensome to pay seperate fees for each publication. Applicants should include a cover letter stating their reasons for wanting the publications batched. The applicants will be notified in writing that their request for batching publications has been approved.

Applying for Exemptions to Classifications

Under Section 44 of the Act, you can apply to the Office for an exemption from an existing classification (restricted or objectionable). The application is made to the Chief Censor in writing and accompanied by a fee of $100.

Applying for Fee Waivers

Regulation 7 of the Fees Regulations allows the Chief Censor to waive up to 75% of the fee otherwise payable for classifying a publications if he or she considers that it would be 'unreasonable', 'unfair' or 'unduly burdensome' to require the normal fee. The Chief Censor will take account of factors such as the publications age, value or importance and the likelihood of commercial gain to the applicant.

Over half of the waived classification fees are waivers for films submitted by festival organisers on the basis that the payment of the full classification fee would make it unprofitable to show films that attract little box office revenue, and without the waiver, there could be few film festivals. Fee Waiver applications are made in a letter addressed to the Chief Censor and included with the application for classification of a publication.

To download a pdf document (PDF, v7.0, 154kb) containing this information, click here.




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