The Film and Publication Board (FPB) has launched the review of its current classification guidelines, to better reflect South Africa’s societal values and norms. In a launch event at Gallagher Estate in Midrand on Wednesday (21 February), the FPB said the classifications are reviewed every five years, and is often a difficult process as it has to reflect South Africa’s diverse society.
“The review provides an opportunity for South Africans such as religious and cultural groups, film-makers, government, child psychologists, parents to raise issues with FPB to protect children in their care against harmful media content,” it said.
The FPB recently came under fire after it changed the rating of the South African film ‘Inxeba’ (The Wound) after pressure from civil groups within the country. After first being awarded a 16LS rating, Inxeba was reclassified as X18 by the Film and Publication Board Appeal Tribunal, which means the only “legal” way to watch the film is by accessing it via “designated adult premises”.
Speaking on the judgement Sandile Nene, the FPB’s acting CEO, said that the FPB’s Council and the FPB’s Appeal Tribunal act independently of each other and function without any bias. However he noted that the movie allowed for stakeholders and participants to engage in robust conversation regarding the current classification guidelines.
Of interest, was the suggestion to include Gender Based Violence (GBV) as a classifiable element. The FPB said it was also looking into a classification for ‘Culturally Sensitive’ material in its guidelines.
The FPB will continue holding public consultations across the country until the end of March 2018. More information on the public consultations will be made available on the organisation’s website