A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the film, The Kerala Story, is classified MA 15+ with the consumer advice Strong scenes of sexual violence, violence and themes of religious intolerance.
In the Classification Review Board's opinion, The Kerala Story warrants an MA 15+ classification because the themes and violence in the film are justified by the film's narrative context and their impact does not exceed strong as it is mitigated by brevity, distant perspectives and other stylised production techniques.
Films classified MA 15+ are legally restricted. Persons aged under 15 cannot attend screenings of films classified MA 15+ unless they are accompanied by a responsible adult.
Consumer advice is additional information about the main content of a film which is intended to help consumers decide if they want to view this type of material.
The Review Board convened on 18 October 2023 in response to an application from the applicant, Alliance Against Islamophobia, to review the decision made by the Classification Board on 9 May 2023 to classify The Kerala Story MA15+ (Mature Accompanied).
In reviewing the classification, the Review Board worked within the framework of the National Classification Scheme, applying the provisions of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995, the National Classification Code and the Guidelines for the Classification of Films 2012. This is the same framework used by the Classification Board.
The Review Board is an independent merits review body. It makes a fresh classification decision upon receipt of an application for review. This Review Board decision takes the place of the original decision made by the Classification Board.
The Review Board's reasons for this decision will appear on the Classification website in due course.