Kia ora te whanau o te Kotuku Throughout the journey, from a fledging kotuku through…
On Wednesday, 14 August, Year 12 and 13 Media Studies students went to the “Censor for a Day” workshop at Event Cinemas in Albany to learn the process of rating and restricting films in New Zealand. This workshop is run by the Office of Film and Literature Classification, to both educate young people and also for the OFLC to gain a better insight into young people’s opinions.
We were joined by various other schools. We stocked up on popcorn and ice cream and then made our way into the cinema. Once we were all seated, we were given a presentation on the big screen. We learnt about the process of restricting publications in New Zealand such as movies and video games. We were shown the list of guidelines in which is taken into consideration when restricting a film such as; violence, drug/substance use, sex and profane language. We also had to consider the Bill of Rights which guarantees our right to access information, and how restricting access to a publication goes against those rights.
With all of this information, it was now our turn to watch and then rate a film. Going into this day, no one had any idea what film we were going to watch, so this ensured there was no bias or pre-judgement of the film. The film we watched was ‘Mid90s’ directed by Jonah Hill. This film was a coming of age comedy/drama. After the film we were given a worksheet in which we would rate the film against the guidelines we were given earlier. Within the large group, there were a lot of differing opinions on what people thought the film should be rated. However, there was a large group who rated the film as R16, they were right. The film was rated R16 by the OFLC.
Finally, there was time for some questions from all the schools, which included questions about 13 Reasons Why, Wicked Campervans and the Christchurch Manifesto. Someone even asked what you would have to study at university to get a job in the OFLC!
Overall, this day was extremely interesting learning about the laws we have in New Zealand around restricting and rating content and actually learning about the process of how they do it. It was especially fun actually having a go at it ourselves while also getting to watch an awesome film and discuss it with my friends.