Film festival classification

Films must have a classification label before they are supplied or exhibited to the New Zealand public. There are a few exceptions to this rule.

Please contact the Film and Video Labelling Body as soon as possible because the film classification process can take up to 3 months for festival submissions.

Applying for reduced classification fees

There are two ways that classification fees can be reduced for film festivals:

Applying to have short films classified as a group for a single fee

If you have two or more short films for a film festival, you can apply to the Chief Censor to group them for a reduced fee.

When you submit the films to the Film and Video Labelling Body (the Labelling Body) include a cover letter stating your reasons for wanting the films grouped for fees. The Chief Censor will consider reasons such as that it would be unreasonable or unfair or unduly burdensome for you to pay a separate fee for each film. You will be notified in writing of the outcome of your request. If the films are grouped for fee purposes, they will still be examined and classified individually. You can also seek a fee waiver on grouped films.

Applying for a reduced fee (fee waiver) for classification

If you are submitting films for a film festival, you can apply to the Chief Censor to waive up to 75% of the standard classification fee. Make your fee waiver application in a letter addressed to the Chief Censor when you submit the film to the Labelling Body.

When you request a fee waiver, the Chief Censor takes into account a range of information that you provide such as the film's age, its value or importance, the purpose for which the film is intended to be used (for limited screenings at a film festival, for example), and the commercial gains, if any, likely to be derived from the use of the film.

Fee waiver requests for film festivals must specify the dates and places of the proposed screenings.

If a classification fee waiver has been granted but subsequently the film is distributed more widely, the distributor must pay the remainder of the standard classification fee.

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