Belfast pupils learn how films are age rated

Pupils at Sacred Heart Primary School in Belfast were excited to learn about how films are age rated, when Heidi Renton, the BBFC Education Officer (above left), visited their school in October.

As part of the Cinemagic Film Festival for under-12s, Heidi made a special trip out to the school, where she met Connor Muldoon, Jay Morgan, Oisin McDonnell and the rest of their class. They watched the film Wreck-It Ralph in the school’s media room, then afterwards they heard what kind of issues the BBFC Examiners need to think about when deciding if a film should be a U, PG or 12A.

The whole class discussed the appropriate age rating for Wreck-It Ralph, with mild violence being the main aspect that everybody felt should decide the category. To help the pupils make their decision, Heidi also showed clips from Tangled and a few other children’s films, for comparison. The class took a vote, with PG being overwhelmingly agreed as the right rating.

Heidi said:“The pupils very quickly grasped what type of issues are important in films when we age rate them. Wreck-It Ralph went down really well, and even those children who had already seen it said that they thought about it in a different way once they were aware of what to look for.”

As part of the Cinemagic event Heidi also discussed classification with 130 children aged between 5 and 11 who attended a special screening of Wreck-It Ralph at the Odeon in the city centre. The Cinemagic Film and Television Festival programme for under 12 year olds is an annual festival held in Belfast, that features new film previews from around the world, classic films for young people, a CineSeekers film review panel, film and television masterclasses, education workshops and filmmaking competitions to motivate, educate and inspire young people.

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