Film Classification Procedure
The Film Classification Committee is mandated by the Development and Classification of Film Act 935 to preview and classify any audio-visual (feature film, short film, documentary, advertisement and musical video) intended for public exhibition in Ghana.
The committee is committed to ensuring that filmmakers experience a very effective system and process in the course of operationalizing its mandate.
A person who intends to classify his/her content should take note of the following procedure/steps.
- Apply at the Film Classification desk by filling the required form as prescribed by the Film Classification Committee.
- Pay the prescribed fees
- The Film Classification Officer will provide you with an order number unique to your content
- A date and time (usually within fourteen working days after the application) will be scheduled for the right owner, licensee or assignee of the content to submit his/her content (audiovisual and poster) and may decide to be present for previewing. Where the content to be classified is a television program, the right owner shall submit a pilot program/concept paper for examination.
- The Film Classification Committee shall within seven days after previewing the content communicate its decision on recommendation from the Preview Committee to the right owner of the content.
- The Board shall issue a certificate and an identity mark of the classification to the right owner of the content
- An exhibitor of a classified content shall visibly display the classification certificate number unique to the content and the identity mark at the beginning of the content to advise consumers of the classification of the content.
- Where a poster has been approved by the Board, a person shall not display that poster unless that poster has clearly and boldly printed or embossed on it the classification identity mark recommended by the Film Classification Committee for the film to which the poster relates.
Further Key Notes
- In a case where a right owner, licensee or assignee is not able to submit content on the scheduled date for previewing, the person is expected to inform the Film Classification Committee twenty-four (24) to Forty-Eight (48) hours ahead of the SCHEDULED date/time and request for a new date for previewing. This shall NOT require any additional payment of fees.
- If the right owner, licensee or assignee fails to inform the Film Classification Committee twenty-four (24) to Forty-Eight (48) hours ahead of time about his/her inability to submit a content on time for preview, the person shall pay the prescribed fee for a new date.
- In a case where a right owner, licensee or assignee is not able to submit content on the RESCHEDULED date and time for previewing, the person shall pay the prescribed fees for a new date. A reschedule is a one time courtesy per content.
- The right owner will not be obliged to hand over a copy of the content intended for preview to the committee until the content has been released to the public. In essence, the moment a classified content is being released to the public, the right owner of that content is obliged to submit a copy of the content to the committee for the records.
- Where the Film Classification Committee determines in a preview that parts of a film are not suitable for exhibition on television and in the cinemas, it shall recommend that the Board direct the person who submitted the film to excise those parts of the film it considers unsuitable for exhibition and re-submit the film for classification. This shall NOT require any additional payment of fees.
- Where the Film Classification Committee determines that a film as a whole is not suitable for exhibition, it may recommend that the Board refuse to pass the film for exhibition and classify it as “NS” meaning “not suitable”.
- The Board shall not approve for exhibition, a film which it considers to be pornographic.