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Film rating system


- Belgian exhibitors create their own film rating system prior to a national legislation coming on stream

ABDF, the theatrical distributors’ association of Belgium is worried about the variety of film ratings systems in operation in that country by exhibitors. Belgium does not have a single countrywide system. Four months ago the Carpentier group, which manages multiplexes in Mons and Tournai, implemented its own system while Kinepolis plans on setting up a sort of “parents’ guide” based on a Dutch model.
The Dutch system is called Kijkwijzer and it uses a series of “pictogrammes” or symbols to indicate whether a given film, programme, or CD-Rom is suitable for children of age 6, 12 and 16 or under. These symbols inform adults whether there are violent scenes or bad language and are based on data supplied by producers and distributors in a detailed questionnaire. Failure to adhere to the ratings system results in fines being levied.
Belgian distributors are worried that the coexistence of numerous different ratings systems will create confusion in consumers, not least because the systems are limited to exhibition sector and do not apply to either homevideo or television. The Belgian authorities are working on a reform to the legislation that will subsequently be implemented throughout the audiovisual sector, and are modernising Belgium’s very unpopular audiovisual watchdog commission.

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