The Film and Publication Board’s vision is to be a “world class Film and Publication Regulatory Authority”. Their mission it is to contribute to the transformation of South African society by acting with due respect for the constitutional right and freedoms with regard to the protection of children from exposure to potentially disturbing, harmful, inappropriate material and from sexual exploitation in publications and audio visual.
The Films and Publications Act as amended establishes the Film and Publication Board. The objective of this Act are to (1) Regulate the creation, production, possession, and distribution of certain publications an certain films by means of classification, the imposition of age restrictions and giving of consumer advice and (2) Make exploitative use of children in pornographic publications, films or on the internet punishable.
In terms of the Films and Publication Act, the Board is required to publish guidelines used to determine what is disturbing, harmful and threatening to children and to advise the viewing public about such images and scenes. The FPB CEO constitutes the classification committee whose members are required to view every film to be distributed in South Africa to ensure that the classification decision is based on the law and accepted community standards of tolerance in terms of religious and cultural diversity; gender; ethnicity; etc.
The classification of films and interactive game products remain the main activity of the board, both in terms of workload and income earned from industry tariffs. All members of the public who write to the Board to complain about film classification decisions or who give the Board general feedback on the guidelines use for classification receive replies to their correspondence. Only pornographic publications need to be passed by the FPB before they are released on the market. The Board does, however, deal with complaints received from the public regarding specific publications. For more information, visit the FPB home page at http://www.fpb.gov.za/class_guide/class_guide.asp#4.2.
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