The Classification Office receives complaints each year about teachers showing restricted material to underage students. Here's some useful information to help educators navigate age restrictions.
There are two types of restricted films:
- RP-rated (RP13, RP16)
These films are able to be watched by students under the age on the label but only if an adult is with them. This is so the adult can support the students in understanding material in the film.
- R-rated (R13, R15, R16, R18)
These films must not be shown to anyone under the age on the label. Supplying or showing a restricted film/game or other publication to someone underage is an offence. This includes clips from restricted films, such as those found on websites like YouTube, and applies to downloaded films as well.
Teachers or parents cannot give permission for an underage student to watch a restricted film which has an R13, R15, R16 or R18 restriction placed on it. The only way to legally screen these restricted films to underage students is with the direct permission of the Chief Censor.
Getting an exemption to show a restricted film
You can apply to the Chief Censor for an exemption from classification under section 44 of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993. An exemption means you will be able to legally show a specified film/publication to students under the age of the restriction.You can apply to the Chief Censor for an exemption from classification under section 44 of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993.
An exemption means you will be able to legally show a specified film/publication to people under the age of the restriction, or show an objectionable publication.
The application must be accompanied by the required fee of $102.20. This fee is non-refundable if the application is declined.
Your application should explain the reasons for seeking the exemption (for example why you are wishing to use the particular film in question instead of one with a lower or no restriction).
You may also like to outline what steps you will be taking to mitigate the injury to the public good which the Classification Office identified when assigning the film its restriction.
Summaries of reasons for decisions on films are available from the Information Unit.