See your art in cinemas with the CBBFC Centenary Competition

Posted on 22 February 2012

The BBFC is 100 this year. They are the organisation that gives age ratings to films, DVDs and some films online. You see their black card in the cinema when you go to see a movie, or their white card online when you download one.

The BBFC was set up in 1912 to help parents chose what films their kids could watch and to make sure cinemas all agreed on what films they could let children see. A lot has changed since 1912. Barbie dolls, Mr Potato Head toys, televisions, car seats, DVDs, the internet and games consoles hadn't been invented! Movies are now (usually) in colour, and we can hear the characters talk. We have digital film, IMAX, 3D, online movies and very different special effects.

Films certificates have changed over time. There has always been a U certificate, but a long time ago films could get an H (for horror), an X or even an A.

To celebrate the centenary the BBFC is inviting kids to redesign their Black Card. Nowadays we see film certificates online, on film posters and on DVD covers. Whenever you go to the cinema you'll see a card just before the movie starts. The card is a certificate telling you what rating the film got and the film's title. The winning entry will have their design made in to real black card to be shown in cinemas. You can also win other cool prizes including the chance to train to be a BBFC examiner for a day with your class and rate movies and trailers yourself.

All you have to do is make a note of the information needed on the card (the film title, ID number, signatures from the BBFC, and the rating) and then let your imagination run wild. You can enter by email or by posting a design or picture you've drawn yourself.

The BBFC is also showing different Black Cards during 2012, so your parents, grandparents and teachers might be able to spot the cards they used to see when they went to the cinema as children.

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