The Office of Film & Literature Classification is the Government body responsible for classifying publications that may need to be restricted or banned in New Zealand.
Info for parents, teachers, librarians, lawyers and the general public.
Info for DVD and game retailers, cinema operators and filmmakers.
Info for New Zealand Customs, New Zealand Police, and the Courts.
It is illegal to supply restricted films and games to children.
All about classification labels and descriptive notes.
The video clip is two minutes twenty-five seconds long. Light percussive music plays (for duration of the clip). White background. Text on screen reads "Wise Choices for the school holidays." Fade to black.
Shot of a ten year-old boy looking in the kitchen fridge. His mother, in the foreground, sits at the kitchen table about to pour herself a cup of coffee. The boy, named Stevie, turns to her and says "There, there's nothing" in a whiny voice. His mother smiles ruefully and says "Have some cereal mate." Stevie says "There's some lemonade, can I make a spider?" His mother says "You can't have a spider for breakfast Stevie. Nice try." Stevie says "Why not? It's holidays, you know." His mother insists, "Have some cereal Stevie." Stevie says in a reasonable bargaining tone, "Can I have some cereal and a small spider?" His mother looks fed up but sternly agrees, "A small one."
Shot of Stevie skateboarding down a windy city street behind his mother who is walking along looking at something on her cellphone. Stevie stops in front of a tattoo shop and eagerly looks through the front window into the shop. He calls urgently to his mother, "Mum, mum." She turns and says impatiently, "What?" Stevie says "Can I get a tattoo? It's really cool." His mother is distracted by her cellphone and turns back to it. He pleads with her "Please? Can we have a look? Come on!" His mother looks up, irritated. She turns to Stevie and says "Fine!" and follows him into the shop.
Cut to a wide shot of mother and son happily sitting on a city park bench under a tree, a cafe in the background. Stevie is busy doing something on his mother's cellphone, and she is looking admiringly at something on her wrist. The shot moves closer as Stevie's mother says to him, "They actually look pretty good for fake tattoos mate." She eats a chip from a box of chips that they are sharing. Stevie agrees, "Yeah", but he's more interested in what he's doing on the cellphone. Suddenly he stops keying and shouts "Yes! Yeah! Wahoo!" His mother leans in curious, "What are you playing?" Stevie looks a bit guilty and says "I'm not playing anything. I just won a new skateboard deck." His mother says "What?" Stevie says "A new skateboard deck. Online auction." His mother snatches the phone off him, "What?" Stevie repeats "Online auction." His mother is looking at her phone. She exclaims, "Mate, that's my account Stevie!" Stevie says "And?" She looks dismayed, "That's my credit card!" Stevie shrugs and says "Yeah?" Fade to black. The percussive music stops.
Fade into a shot of Stevie's mother on the couch in the living room watching the television and enjoying a bowl of popcorn. The soundtrack of a daytime TV type of show can be heard. A louder soundtrack penetrates her hearing, of a woman screaming and the words 'you have to stop'. It catches Stevie's mother's attention and she turns to look at where the sound is coming from. The screaming continues and Stevie's mother gets up with a concerned expression on her face and moves towards the room the sound is coming from.
Cut to Stevie sitting on the floor of his bedroom leaning against his bed and in front of a low table with a laptop on it. He is hugging a soft toy monkey. His skateboard, piggy bank and other stuff can be seen in the background. A terrified crying sound is coming from the laptop as he watches what is on the screen. His mother comes into the room and says "Hey mate" in greeting. Stevie says "Hi" without taking his eyes off the screen. She sits down beside him saying "Do you want a snack or something?" Stevie says "No, thanks." His mother is now looking at the screen. A worried expression comes over her face, "What are you watching?" Stevie says "Um, movie." There is a close-up of a DVD case with an R16 classification label. We have time to read the descriptive note on the label that says "sex scenes, violence, drug use and offensive language". Stevie's mother reaches out for the DVD case and says "Where did you get this from?" Stevie says, "Found it on Dad's desk." Close up on mother and son as she says to him in a concerned tone "Mate, this is an R16. You're way too young to watch this buddy." She turns off the computer. Stevie objects "Oh but. Ooh!" He flops his head back on the bed behind him. His mother ruffles his hair and says "Mate, trust me - it's not good for your head." She smiles at him kindly and says "I've got some great films out in the lounge." He smiles and says "Oh, okay." She says, "I've made some popcorn. Come on." They get up together and leave the room.
The cheerful percussive music plays again. Against a white background some text appears on the screen: "It's OK to say No. R 16 means 16 years and over."
The cheerful music continues over a shot of Stevie and his mother sitting next to each other on the couch in the lounge, enjoying a bowl of popcorn in front of the TV. They are playfully fighting over the popcorn, and giggling. Screen fades to black.
White background. Image of Classification Office logo. Text on screen reads: Office of Film and Literature Classification Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga. www.classificationoffice.govt.nz. A male voiceover says jokingly: "Aww...don't push your luck kid." Screen fades to black. End of clip.
The video clip is one minute and forty seconds long. Light happy music plays (for duration of the clip). White background. Text on screen reads "Wise Choices for that special someone.” Fade to black.
Shot of man in his early twenties standing in front of a mirror in his bedroom buttoning a grey shirt. He finishes, looks at himself in the mirror and smiles, but then frowns, uncertain about his shirt choice. Cut to him standing in the same position in a different, tan coloured, shirt, adjusting his collar and smiling. In voiceover, he says "Ahh, sorted." He turns and exits the room through a door to his right.
Shot of a supermarket aisle, cereal on shelves on the left, wine bottles in the background, fridge on the left. The same man from before enters from the left of the screen, and wanders the aisle.
Point-of-view shot inside one of the wine fridges. The same young man opens the door. His voiceover: "Bubbles! Haha! But....that can be a bit..." He puts the bottle down and looks to the other bottles of wine in the fridge. Voiceover: "Yeah." He then begins weighing up the prices. Voiceover: "That's $25...$10...she likes wine." He chooses the wine (not the bubbles) and closes the fridge door.
Close shot over the top of shelves, with the backs of condom boxes in the foreground. The same young man walks past, then takes a step backwards. Voiceover: "Oh! Could get lucky tonight...though I don't want her to think that I expect it." He smiles wryly, appears to be tapping his foot and pokes his tongue out the side of his mouth as he contemplates whether to buy condoms or not. Voiceover: "It pays to be prepared though, right, you know?" He goes to reach for a box of condoms, then is surprised by another customer walking past behind him. He looks at and picks up a toothbrush from a box on the shelf as a shorter, older woman walks past behind him. Voiceover: "Oh...dental hygiene is really...dental..." He holds the toothbrush in his hand until the woman has walked past. Voiceover: "Get out Todd...idiot." He puts the toothbrush back in the box and walks off screen to the right. He then re-enters from the right, grabs a box of condoms. Voiceover: "Yoink!" He walks off screen to the right again.
Shot of the interior of a DVD rental store. Todd walks to the foreground of the shot, and turns to face the horror section. He picks up a DVD. Voiceover: "Oh, awesome." He examines the cover of the DVD. Voiceover: "R18...she can handle R18, right?" He looks towards the shelf and picks up another DVD. Voiceover: "Oh, what's this one?" Close-up shot of the classification label on the bottom left corner of the DVD cover. It reads: "Restricted 18. Restricted to persons 18 years and over. Note: Explicit sex, graphic violence and genital mutilation". Voiceover: "Graphic...mutilation...I...I don't want to freak her out." Shot of Todd's eyes and head, as he debates what DVD to choose. Voiceover: "I wonder what she would like." Wide-shot of Todd standing with the two DVDs, one in each hand, as he decides which one to choose. He then picks up a third DVD. Voiceover: "Oh, this one. I know this movie." Close-up shot of the classification label on the bottom left corner of the DVD cover. It reads: M. Suitable for Mature Audiences 16 Years and over. Note: Violence. Voiceover: "M...M's okay, safe, yeah? Shot Todd." He smiles, puts down the other DVDs and walks with his chosen M classified DVD off-screen to the right.
White background. Text appears on screen: "Descriptive notes - helping you get lucky since 1993."
Wide shot of Todd sitting at a bus stop. There is the sound of a phone message notification, and he reaches into his bag. Mid-shot of Todd reading the message on his phone. Voiceover: "Hey Todd, looking forward to our movie date tomorrow night." Todd's face changes from a smile to a look of realisation. Voiceover: "Tomorrow night...such an idiot." He shakes his head. Screen fades to black.
White background. Text appears on screen: Image of Classification Office logo. Text reads: Office of Film and Literature Classification Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga. www.classificationoffice.govt.nz. A male voiceover (not Todd) says: "Aww...nice practice run man." Screen fades to black. End of clip.
The video clip is three minutes and three seconds long. Elevator style light jazz music plays (and plays for the duration of the clip). Text on screen reads "Wise Choices for your teenage gamers." Fade to black.
Shot of the upper half of the face of a man in his twenties. His bored internal monologue wonders how much more of his shift is left. "Okay, alright...what's the time?" He turns away from the camera to look over his shoulder. "Ah, damn it...2 more hours, okay...2 more hours, you can do it." He turns back towards the camera, and stares off into the distance in the direction of the left of the screen.
Wide shot of the young man standing behind the counter. He is a shop assistant in a DVD rental store. Behind him are shelves of DVDs. He is wearing a red polo shirt and has a swipe card on a lanyard around his neck. He picks up a stapler off the counter and puts it underneath the counter as he sighs, “Oh yeah, that looks fine. Put that down there. Computer's looking sweet. Oh, a customer!” A male adult customer walks into the shot. The shop assistant nods in greeting.
The customer greets the shop assistant, "Hey, how're you going?" He turns to his teenage son who is standing behind him, and gestures for the game his son is holding, "James...cheers." The customer takes the game and puts it on the counter. "Just the game please." He looks at the shop assistant expectantly.
The shop assistant looks at the game. "Yeah...ah..that's an R18, so I'm going to have to see some ID, if that's alright." The customer scoffs, "Well, I'm clearly over 18." The shop assistant laughs, and points to the customer's son, standing in the background. "I didn't mean for you. I mean't for him." The customer turns, realises the shop assistant is indicating to his son and seems relieved, turning back to the shop assistant with a smile. "Oh? He's my son." The shop assistant explains "Yeah, I need to see his ID."
The shop assistant sighs, and we hear his thoughts in voiceover: "Looks like we've got a troublemaker here. I'm going to have to bust this out." He turns away and picks up a box marked 'Excuses' from behind the counter, and sets it down heavily on the counter top next to a perspex flier holder. Meanwhile, the customer is reassuring him "He's my son. I say it's okay. I'll be there supervising the whole time, it's fine, it's not a problem....what...what's this?" Without saying anything, the shop assistant takes a card out of the box and places it in the holder. It reads, 'I'll supervise'.
The customer stammers, confused. "Haha...what is this? I mean..." He looks back at the game he's holding. "It's....Violence. I mean, it's just a game though right, isn't it?" The shop assistant takes a second card out of the box and places it in the holder. It reads 'It's just a game'.
The customer awkwardly grins, thinking this is a joke, and gestures towards his son. "What, he's going to go round shooting people? Haha, stealing cars? Come on." The shop assistant sighs, obviously frustrated. The customer begins to get annoyed. "Look..." (he reads the shop assistant's name tag) "Craig. Don't tell me how to be a parent." As he is talking Craig takes another pre-prepared card from the box and places it in the holder. It reads 'Don't tell me how to parent'.
The customer raises his voice in frustration, "It's not like I'm breaking the law, is it?!" Craig explains the situation to the customer, "Well, actually sir, it is against the law to show anybody under the age on the classification that material. And, if I do rent you the game, I could lose my job, or get fined, or my boss could get fined, or I could go to prison. So, I don't want to risk it!"
The customer thinks for a second. "Okay, okay....how about we come to some sort of arrangement here..." Craig stares at the customer, as his internal voiceover vents his frustration "Ugh, what is with this guy." The customer tries to bargain his way into getting the game. He picks up some chocolate bars from the display next to the counter. "Chuck in a couple of chockie bars as well, you know...add to your sales, upsell, you know, all that sort of thing. That'll make the boss happy surely?" He leans in a lowers his voice, "We don't even need to tell the boss, do we?"
A close-up shot shows Craig taking another card from the box of excuses and putting it into the holder. It reads "Just don't tell your boss..." Craig shakes his head at the customer.
The customer pleads with Craig to let him have the game for his son, "Come on mate. All his friends are playing it. What am I supposed to do?" Again, Craig explains the situation to the customer: "Okay, I totally understand where you're coming from, but I can't rent you the game. So you're either going to have to go and get his ID or rent something that's more age appropriate."
The customer turns to look at his son, who looks bewildered and shrugs at his father. Resigned, the customer turns back to Craig and sighs. "Okay, um...guess we'll get another game." He turns and hands the restricted game back to his son, and waves him back in the direction of the game section. "Here, go and grab something with a G on it or something."
Against a white background some text appears on the screen: "It's simple. Restricted means restricted."
A close-up shot of Craig ending the transaction with the customer. "Have a good day sir." Another customer, a young man, approaches the counter and Craig greets him, "How's it going?" The new customer hands Craig a DVD and says "Just this thanks." Craig responds "Sure. Oh I love this movie, good choice man, good choice." The previous customer re-enters the shot, indignant, and says to Craig "Seriously, you're not even going to ID him?" Exasperated, Craig holds up the DVD and shows the yellow M label to the customer. "It's an M." Not understanding (and perhaps still feeling he was treated unfairly), the customer tries to push his point, "Yeah, he could be fourteen!" Calmly, Craig explains, "Okay. Anybody can rent an M." Defeated, the customer leaves, as Craig rolls his eyes.
White background. Image of Classification Office logo. Text on screen reads: Office of Film and Literature Classification Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga. www.classificationoffice.govt.nz. A male voiceover says sympathetically: "At least not all customers are like that." Screen fades to black. End of clip.
The video clip is one minute forty seconds long. It opens with a white background. Text on screen reads "Wise Choices for you and your bros." Fade to black.
Urban funk music fades up, a lazy, funky beat. We follow a young man of around eighteen wearing a dressy looking shirt as he approaches two friends in a playground setting. He says "What's up bros?" One friend comes to handshake with him, the other friend is spinning on a playground seat. The young man says "Why did you want to meet here?" His friend replies, "Wanted to a have a few pre-drinks man." He raises a bottle in a brown paper bag. "What?" exclaims the young man. "Yeah, you know, we gotta have pre-drinks" says his friend. "Is that it?" "That's it bro, that's all we wanted to do here." Cut to a black screen and the funky music gets louder.
Another day and another scene. We follow the young man out on a run. Ahead of him is a grey car. His two friends from the park are now in the car. As he runs past the car they laughingly toot at him and he runs over to see what they are up to. He talks to his friend in the passenger seat.
"What are yous doing?"
The young man is puzzled: "When did you get the car?"
The young man exclaims: "But you can't drive yet. You've got no licence."
Close up of the two friends in the car. The friend in the passenger seat says, "Bro, we're learning. Come on, jump in with us. We'll give you a turn."
The young man looks uncertain. He indicates where he's heading and says "But I've got to finish my run."
His friend says cheerfully, "Stuff your run - we've got a car!"
The young man firms up his resolve and says "No I can't. Just pick me up later."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, just pick me up later." They part ways.
His friends bunny hop the car as they drive on. Quick fade to black.
The background music gets louder, but then crossfades as we follow our young man into a room where his two friends are playing a video game. We see that our young man has his twelve year-old brother with him. Both lean in to have a look at what's on the video game screen. Our young man asks, "What are yous doing?"
"Just jamming GTA" says his friend.
"When did that come out?"
"Just last week."
"I've got my little bro with me man."
"That's alright, he can come and play too."
"I can't bro, it's R18."
"That's alright man, remember - you, me, him, we used to play back then."
Close up on the young man making up his mind. "No, I can't man. Not this time." He turns to his younger brother. "Come on, let's go."
His friend says "Are you sure?"
He's firm. "Yes." He and his brother leave the room. He says over his shoulder as he goes "I'll catch you later. Text up."
Against a white background text appears on the screen. It says "It's Up to You to be a Choice Bro"
Cut back to the two friends left playing the game. They shrug at each other, as if to say 'that's a shame.' One carries on playing while the other looks thoughtful.
White background. Image of Classification Office logo. Text on screen reads: Office of Film and Literature Classification Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga. www.classificationoffice.govt.nz. A male voiceover says: “Ah - putting your little bro first. Nice one.” Screen fades to black. End of clip.
The video clip is one minute forty seconds long. It opens with a white background. Text on screen reads “Wise Choices for the whole family." Fade to black. Fade up on close up of a forty-something dad, wiping the sleep from his eyes as he contemplates getting out of bed. Slide guitar music plays.
Cut to Dad sniffing yesterday's t-shirt and reeling back because it's a bit wiffy. He ponders for a second then decides to put it on anyway. The music amps up with some additional drumbeats as Dad walks up the corridor to the kitchen, nearly tripping on a buzzy bee toy lying on the floor.
In the kitchen, Dad discovers his tea bags are all finished. In the sink he spies yesterday's teabag. Regretfully he uses that to make his tea.
Cut to Dad swiftly walking back up the hallway. He knocks on a bedroom door in passing and calls out "Boys, wake up! We're late. Time to go to school!"
In the garage, Dad presses a button to open the garage door. The garage door jams. He presses the button again. It's still jammed. He looks up at the mechanism in the ceiling. He impatiently jabs at the button, but we see that the door is still stuck. Dad kicks an upturned green recycling bin into the middle of the garage, underneath the mechanism. We see his foot step up onto the bin and he slips and falls backwards. The music stops abruptly. Quick fade to black.
Against a white background some text appears on the screen. It says "We all make poor choices..."
TV sounds fade in as we see Dad on a couch, a big screen TV in the foreground. The shot pans across to reveal a twelve year-old boy, Dominic, sitting on the floor leaning back on the couch, and a four year-old, Tavi, sitting on the couch alongside Dad. Dad is holding an icepack on his head with one hand and with the other he's pointing a remote control at the TV. His leg is up on the couch as if he may have sprained an ankle in the earlier fall in the garage.
Dad says, "Hey boys, which one do we want to watch?" Dominic points at the screen and says "That one." His Dad says "That one?" and looks down at the remote. Dominic replies "Yes, that one." We see a close up of an M label on the TV screen. Dad says "Oh, that's an M. It's not good for Tavi." He looks at his younger son, concerned. He says, "Ah, it's too old for Tavi. He's too young to watch that. Sorry Dominic." Dad changes to another screen and we see the PG symbol on this choice. Back to a wider shot of all three, as Dad asks "What do you think?" Tavi responds eagerly, "Yes, that one." Dad says, "You want to watch that one. Alright then." Dad looks at Dominic and says, "Sorry Dominic. Maybe another time. Alright Tavi, what do you say to Dominic?" Tavi says "Thank you." Dad presses play and says "Let's enjoy this" and the family look happy.
The slide guitar music volume goes up as we cut to a white background with the text "We all make poor choices. Classifications can help you make wise ones."
Cut back to the family in front of the TV. Tavi is giggling as his father finds the buzzy bee toy squashing against his leg on the couch. He pulls it out and hands it to the giggling Tavi. Dad says, "Tavi, put this away!" Dominic smiles. Tavi puts the buzzy bee next to him. Dad says "Let's watch this movie". They all laugh at something on the screen.
White background. Image of Classification Office logo. Text on screen reads: Office of Film and Literature Classification Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga. www.classificationoffice.govt.nz. A male voiceover says warmly: “Nice one. Better safe than sorry eh?” Screen fades to black. End of clip.
These are brief summaries of recent classification decisions. For more detailed classification information on selected titles see our recent decisions page:
R16: graphic violence, horror, sex scenes and offensive language. Read more about Cabin Fever
This film is a remake of the 2002 Eli Roth horror cult classic Cabin Fever.
College friends Paul, Karen, Jeff, Marcy and Bert face a horrifying ordeal as they navigate hostile locals and a flesh eating disease while holidaying in an isolated woodland cabin.
This film’s treatment of violence and cruelty, as well as depictions of gory injury, requires restriction because it is likely to shock and disturb children and younger teenagers. The strong sex scenes and frequent use of highly offensive language supports the need for restriction.
The impact of the film is mitigated by the fact the narrative is tied so tightly to expectations about the cabin-in-the-woods horror genre, its conventions and, at times, black comedy.
Many experienced viewers (including older more sophisticated teenagers) will confidently be able to anticipate the content in this film. Given these considerations, the film is classified R16.
R16: Horror, graphic violence and offensive language. Read more about The Witch
The Walking Dead Michonne: What We Deserve is the final episode of a story driven series of video games. Set in a post-zombie apocalypse America, the game follows Michonne, a survivor haunted by the loss of her two children. But in this desperate world, the danger of zombies pales in comparison to the cruelty of humanity.
The game utilises a graphic novel aesthetic, with strong lines and painterly details, which reduces the realism. Despite this, the extent and degree of graphic violence, cruelty and horror in this game is likely to shock and disturb younger players. As a result the game is restricted to older teenagers and adults.
R16: violence, offensive language, drug use and sexual material. Read more about Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a film set during the recent Afghan War. Journalist Kim Baker leaves her comfortable life in America to become a war correspondent. Once in Afghanistan she discovers a different and more exciting world among Afghan society, the military, and other war correspondents. She also finds a completely foreign world where women are subject to severe oppression. The film ultimately depicts a female journalist's voyage of discovery through reporting from a war zone.
The film has been classified as R16 primarily because of a series of sexual references which occur in the dialogue, and scenes of drug use among Kim's journalist colleagues. The film also contains scenes of wartime violence, some of which are likely to be disturbing to younger viewers. Regular use of offensive language rounds out the reasons why this film has been restricted to those over the age of sixteen.
R16: violence, horror and content that may disturb. Read more about The Witch
The Witch is a film to be screened at the 2016 New Zealand International Film Festival concerning a New England Puritan couple and their 5 children in the 17th Century. They are banished from their community and forced to settle in the wilderness, where their youngest goes missing and suspicions of witchcraft take hold.
The film is a well-made and atmospheric horror/drama that deals with the occult and religious zealotry of the time, as these become the catalysts for family dysfunction and implosion. It is likely to be very frightening and unsettling viewing experience for children and younger teenagers, with strong realistic scenes of violence, cruelty and supernatural events, many of them open to interpretation as to their explanation.
2 May 2016
28 April 2016
8 March 2016 (updated post)
3 March 2016 (updated post)