Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Censors back down on Potter rating
Australia's film censors have reviewed the M15+ rating for the children's movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which will now be classified PG.
A four-member panel of the Classification Review Board met today and unanimously determined that the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban be classified PG, the board said in a statement. "The consumer advice is to be (that) some fantasy scenes may frighten young children."
The Classification Review Board met in response to an application by distributor Roadshow Film to review the M15+ classification granted last week for the film, which opens nationally on Thursday.
The M15+ classification meant the film was recommended for mature audiences only.
"In the review board's opinion, the film warrants a PG (parental guidance) classification because the impact of the frightening fantasy scenes was no higher than mild and generally had a low sense of threat or menace," the board said in a statement.
"On this basis an M classification was not warranted."
The new classification means that the film may contain material which some children find confusing or upsetting and may require guidance.

Last week, in a 5-3 majority decision, the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) board gave the film an M15+ rating.
The board's report on the decision cited a number of different scenes in the film which contain a "horror element".

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