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Film Division


The functions of the Film Division are as follows:

To examine films for public exhibition and to classify them into one of the following categories :

Category I Suitable for All Ages
Category IIA Not Suitable for Children
Category IIB Not Suitable for Young Persons and Children
Category III Persons Aged 18 and Above Only
Inspection at cinema

(Categories IIA and IIB are advisory in nature, but the age restriction for Category III films is strictly and legally enforced). Search here for films (intended for commercial release only) classified by the Film Censorship Authority (FCA) since 2004.
To examine films for public exhibition which are exempted from classification. Examination of films for public exhibition
To examine the packaging of Category III videotapes and laserdiscs and the advertising materials for Category III films. Inspection at video shops and other retail outlets
To verify that the videotapes and laserdiscs of classified films being published are the same as the approved versions.
To inspect cinemas to enforce the age restriction for admission to Category III films.
To inspect video shops and other retail outlets to regulate the publication of films in the form of videotapes and laserdiscs. Inspection at video tapes and laserdiscs retail outlets
To oversee a public advisory panel that allows public participation in the film classification process. Click here for an application form for Appointment to the Panel of Film Censorship Advisers.
Film censorship requirements
Films intended for public exhibition must be approved by the FCA who is the Director of Film, Newspaper and Article Administration. Films are either classified into the three-tier classification system or exempted from classification (examples of films eligible for exemption include educational, cultural, religious and promotional films). Examination of films for public exhibition
In classifying a film, the film censor has to consider whether the film portrays, depicts or treats cruelty, torture, violence, crime, horror, disability, sexuality, or indecent or offensive language or behaviour. The "Film Censorship Guidelines for Censors 1999" is published in PDF format for the information of the trade and members of the public.
To ensure that our film classification standards are in line with community standards, we conduct regular surveys of public views and consult the statutory panel of advisers, which includes about 300 members of the public drawn from a wide cross-section of the community. These advisers give their views to the film censors on the appropriate classification of a film.
We implement the film classification system in an objective manner. Censors' film classification decisions can be reviewed by the Board of Review (Film Censorship), a statutory body established under the Film Censorship Ordinance (FCO). The Board comprises nine non-official members and an ex-officio member who is the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development.
The censors also examine the packaging of Category III videotapes/laserdiscs and Category III film advertising materials, which must be approved by the FCA before being displayed in public.