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Show a film publicly

Generally, a film must be classified before it can be shown publicly.

Unclassified films can be shown in a film festival or event if the event has been registered.

Some films may be exempt from classification if they meet certain criteria.

General rules

Before screening a film publicly, it must be:

  • classified
  • age restrictions must be applied when showing MA 15+ or R 18+ films
  • a notice must be displayed listing the classification categories in a prominent place

It’s prohibited to publicly show films that have been classified X 18+ or Refused Classification (RC).

Once a film has been classified, it must be shown publicly exactly as it was when it was classified. If the film is modified after it’s classified, it may require a new classification decision before being shown publicly.
 
If the title of the film has changed since it was classified, you need to apply for a title change.

Check the classification

Search the Classification Database to check the classification of a film.

If the film is not listed in the Classification Database you can apply for a classification decision. First, contact the distributor for information about the classification of the film.

Show trailers

If you want to show trailers for other films, you must follow the rules for showing trailers. There are different rules for showing trailers before and after the film has been classified.

Advertise the film

If you want to advertise the film you are showing, you must follow the rules for advertising films. There are different rules for advertising before and after the film has been classified.

Age restrictions

G, PG and M

Anyone can view G, PG and M rated films.

Parental guidance is recommended for PG content, and M content is not recommended for people under the age of 15.

MA 15+ restricted

MA 15+ films are legally restricted. MA 15+ films are not suitable for people under the age of 15.

People showing MA 15+ films cannot allow a person under the age of 15 into the film unless they are with a consenting parent or guardian.

The guardian must be an adult with parental control over the child. This could include a grandparent, aunt or uncle, but generally not an older sibling or friend.

The parent or guardian must stay with the child during the film.

In Queensland, the person accompanying the minor can be any adult.

R 18+ restricted

R 18+ films are legally restricted. R 18+ films are not suitable for people aged under 18 and people screening R 18+ content must not allow those aged under 18 to view the content.

Proof of age

Check a person’s age before providing access to an MA 15+ or R 18+ rated film. You can ask for proof of age of the person claiming to be 15 or 18, or of the parent or guardian.

You must not provide access to an MA 15+ film to anyone who looks under 15 and cannot provide proof of age, or who is not accompanied by a parent or guardian.

You must not provide access to an R 18+ rated film to anyone who looks under 18 and cannot provide proof of age.

Check the legislation

For detailed information about public exhibition rules, check the legislation for your state or territory.