Request to exhibit a film that has no BBFC certificate

General information

In addition to having your film classified, be aware that you may also require a licence.

Under the Licensing Act 2003, the showing of a film is classified as 'regulated entertainment'.

Venues that hold a premises licence may be able to show films; if there is no premises licence in place or the licence does not authorise regulated entertainment, you may need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN).

If a premises licence, issued under the Licensing Act 2003 authorises film exhibitions, the licence holder must comply with any recommendation by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), or if the film has no classification, then in accordance with any recommendation by the Licensing Authority.

A Licensing Authority can either determine the appropriate classification of any film which has not been the subject of classification by the BBFC; or determine a different classification to that determined by the BBFC to apply generally in Birmingham.

The BBFC classifies films as follows:

U - Universal (suitable for all).

PG - Parental Guidance (some scenes may be unsuitable for young children).

12 - Suitable for age 12 years and over.

12A - Suitable for age 12 years and over, or younger when accompanied by an adult.

15 - Suitable for age 15 years and over.

18 - Suitable for age 18 years and over.


The Licensing Act 2003 sets out exemptions for the provision of regulated entertainment from requiring a licence under the Act:

  • film exhibitions for the purposes of advertisement, information or education; if the sole main purpose of the exhibition is to demonstrate any product, advertise any goods or services, or provide information, education or instruction, even if they simultaneously entertain
  • film exhibitions in museums and art galleries; if the exhibition consists of or forms part of an exhibition put on show for any purpose of the museum or art gallery, even if they amount to the provision of entertainment

How to apply

You must submit requests for film classification 28 days before the proposed screening. Requests must be made in writing and give details of the following:

  • where and when the film is to be exhibited
  • intended audience profile
  • suggested film classification

You must submit payment of the appropriate fee with your request. See the fees and charges page for further details on application costs.

All requests must be accompanied by a brief synopsis and a copy of the film must be made available, for example, uploaded with the request or a link provided.

Where Birmingham City Council has determined the classification of a film, it will be subject to the following standard conditions:

  • a notice must be displayed both inside and outside of the premises to ensure that persons entering are readily aware of the classification attached to any film or trailer
  • no person is to be admitted to any part of the programme unless they are of the age permitted by the relevant classification. This condition does not apply to members of staff under the relevant age provided that the prior written consent of the person’s parent or legal guardian is obtained

You can complete, submit, and pay for your request to exhibit a film using the online form.

The form can only be used for a single film.

You must submit a separate application form and fee for each individual film classification request. If the form contains multiple films, it will be rejected.

You will need to sign into the portal with your BRUM account login details or register if you do not already have an account.

You will need to login via the link below only as this will provide access to the Licensing Portal.

Apply online to request to exhibit a film that has no BBFC certificate

We have created a user guide to help you navigate the portal and pay your fee:

Download Licensing Portal user guide

Page last updated: 15 May 2024

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