British Columbia Film Classification Office
The British Columbia Film Classification Office is part of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority in the Canadian province of British Columbia under the Motion Picture Act (MP Act) of BC. The BCFCO film ratings are also used by Saskatchewan under the terms of a bilateral agreement. Beginning on January 1, 1997, the BCFCO used the following motion picture rating system (based on the Canadian Home Video Rating System) for theatrical releases:
- General. Suitable for viewing by persons of all ages. Occasional violence, swearing and coarse language, and the most innocent of sexually suggestive scenes and nudity, are permitted in this category. (Similar to the US rating or the lower end of the PG rating)
- Parental Guidance. Parental guidance advised. Theme or content may not be suitable for all children although there is no age restriction. Motion pictures in this category may contain less subtle sexually suggestive scenes and nudity and a more realistic portrayal of violence than in the General category; coarse language may occur more often than in the General category.
- 14A. Suitable for persons 14 years of age or older. Persons under 14 years of age must view these motion pictures accompanied by an adult. Motion pictures in this category may contain violence, coarse language or sexually suggestive scenes, or any combination of them.
- 18A. Persons under 18 years of age must view these motion pictures accompanied by an adult. Motion pictures in this category will contain horror, explicit violence, frequent coarse language or scenes that are more sexually suggestive than in the 14A category, or any combination of them.
- Restricted. Restricted to persons 18 years of age and over. Persons under 18 years of age are not permitted to attend under any circumstances. These motion pictures are “adult motion pictures”, as defined in the Act, and may contain explicit sexual scenes, violence or scenes referred to in Section 5(3) of the Act, or any combination of them. The director will assign this classification to motion pictures if the director considers that the theme, subject matter or plot of the adult motion picture is artistic, historical, political, educational or scientific.
- Adult - Restricted to persons 18 years of age and over. Persons under 18 years of age are not permitted to attend under any circumstances. These motion pictures are “adult motion pictures”, as defined in the Act, and may contain explicit sexual scenes or scenes of brutality or torture to persons or animals, or any combination of them, that are portrayed in a realistic and explicit manner; however, the scenes would, in the director’s opinion, be tolerable to the community.
Titles in the "Restricted" and "Adult" categories have labelling and/or display restrictions under the Motion Picture Act for home video retailing purposes, but not those rated 18A or below.
The B.C. Film Classification Office originated the restricted cougar symbol in the 1970s as an icon that audiences could easily associate with the "Restricted" category. The B.C. Film Classification Office chose the cougar not only for its dramatic presence but also its significance as the largest wild cat native to BC.
- "Film and Video Classification Board". Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice. Archived from the original on 2007-02-20. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
On October 1, 1997, an agreement between the province of British Columbia and Saskatchewan came into effect, under which the British Columbia Film Classification Office will classify all new theatrical releases and adult videos on behalf of the Saskatchewan Film and Video Classification Board.
- BC Film Classification Office Cougar symbol Archived February 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 24 March 2007