A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the film, The Children in the Pictures, is classified M (Mature) with the consumer advice Mature themes and frequent references to child sexual abuse.
In the Classification Review Board's opinion The Children in the Pictures warrants an M classification as the film contains mature themes, mainly concerned with the sexual abuse and exploitation of children, which are justified within the context of a documentary exploration of the work that is necessary to identify the perpetrators and ultimately identify and rescue the victims of this abuse.
While these references have the potential to disturb some viewers, the Classification Review Board determined that the potential impact of these classifiable elements is reduced, once the purpose and context of the film are considered. The intended purpose of the film is to educate audiences about the dangers of child exploitation, and the work being carried out by authorities to combat it. The educational merit of this film has been explicitly supported by a number of specialist organisations in the fields of education and child safety.
Films classified M are not legally restricted, but are considered unsuitable for viewing by persons under the age of 15. 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 27 September 2021 in response to an application from the original applicant, DNX Media, to review the decision made by the Classification Board on 13 August 2021 to classify the film, The Children in the Pictures, MA 15+ (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.