Your film should be able to be classified with a PGR or M rating and we ask you to self-classify your film on your online wrap-up form.

Q. What do you mean we have to 'Self Classify' our Film?

A. We require all teams to put a Rating on their wrap-up form. Write 'G' 'PG' 'M' or 'R'. By giving us your personal classification, we can arrange the heats to allow school teams to view appropriate material, and advise other viewers if easily offended. We strongly suggest the content of your film is produced to conform with an M rating or risk being disqualified.

Q. What do you mean we have to aim for a PG/M rating?

A. Your film might get chosen to screen on TV or play in the finals which are open to the NZ Public. Therefore the guidelines of the BSA (Broadcasting Standards Authority, the Film and Video Labelling Body and finally the Office of Film an Literature Classification) may come into effect. We're not censors here at HP48Hours HQ and the last thing we want to do is to tell you what you can and can't shoot in regards to the content of your short. However, due to the nature and turnaround of this event, we need all participants to aim for a PGR and at the most an M rating. Because we screen in theatres and on TV we fall under different classification codes.

Q. So what constitutes PG or M and what constitutes an R+ rating.

A. Good question but there is no simple answer unfortunately.

PG stands for Parental Guidance and basically means its family friendly with a few minor concerns. (ie someone swearing). Sometimes it's not the words or actions that cause a rating to rise above an M, it's sometimes the overall tone of the film or the possible anti-social nature of the work.

When that happens it becomes rather subjective and hard to pin down with examples from films.

So the best bet is to play it safe. Swearing and showing rude bits is fun and all but does it really serve your story? Don't get us wrong, we love to push the envelope but HP48Hours is perhaps not the forum for such endeavours (see Incredibly Strange Film Fest in this years NZIFF for many examples of R rated films).

However, due to the organiser's foray into most levels of film classification here in NZ, you can take his word for it that the list below are ten things you can rely on to give you an R and above rating here in NZ. Which means we cannot accept your short and it will be ineligible for screening or awards.

HP48Hours top 10 things guaranteed to disqualify your short

  • Explicit coarse language used in a serious or threatening manner
  • Male/female nudity not done tastefully or in an educational manner
  • Explicit sexuality used in a lurid or serious manner
  • Gratuitous & serious use of Class A drugs
  • Scenes of necrophilia
  • Scenes of bestiality
  • Explicit & realistically portrayed graphic violence
  • Graphic torture and cruelty
  • The sexualisation / sexual exploitation of a minor, or any individual who appears under the age of 18
  • Any other depictions that may be offensive to the general public or specifically directed at individuals or groups.

The bottom line: When in doubt cut it out.