Festival classification exemptions
Due to the time taken to process a classification, the Classification Board recognises that it is not possible for film festivals to only screen films that have been officially classified. Therefore, special exemptions apply to festivals. Unclassified festival ratings are as follows:
18+: Restricted to Adults
The majority of films at Palace festivals are Unclassified 18+. This is not the same as an R18+ rating, but it acts in a similar way – nobody under 18 (including infants) can legally attend a session with this exemption, even with a parent or adult guardian. One of the key differences between R and Unclassified 18+ is that the content will not be as per an R movie - it is only that it hasn’t yet been classified as suitable for anyone other than an adult audience.
15+: Mature Audiences
Some screenings are Unclassified 15+ including films that have been secured to screen in a festival’s kids or family sections. This is not the same as an MA 15+ rating, but it acts in the same way – nobody under 15 can legally attend such a session unless they are with a parent or reasonable adult guardian. In terms of content, the age range for these films varies, but generally the content includes mature themes. Please see the age recommendations each festival has listed on the film in its program as guidance. If there is no specific recommendation we strongly advise for only children aged 15+ to attend with their parent or adult guardian.
Entry into all festival screenings is at the discretion of Front of House at each venue.
The Classification Board generally classifies all films screened in a cinema for a public audience. This is the process that gives films the classification rating that most people are familiar with:
G : General Viewing
No legal restrictions.
PG: Parental Guidance Recommended
No legal restrictions, but parents are encouraged to make a judgement call.
M: Mature Audience Recommended
Not recommended for people below 15-years-old but no legal restrictions apply.
MA 15+: Mature Audiences Only
Not suitable for people below 15-years-old and people under 15 cannot legally attend unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
R 18+: Restricted to Adults
Not suitable for people below 18-years-old and people under 18 cannot legally attend even if with a parent or adult guardian.
CTC: Check the Classification / Restricted to Adults
While a film is getting officially classified by the Classification Board the film will be listed as CTC until it receives its classification. Unfortunately, until it receives official classification the festival will require that these films remain restricted to adult-only audiences.
Please note: All classifications and exemptions are age restrictions that are set by the Classification Board and the festival must legally adhere to them.