GUIDE TO FILM CENSORSHIP

Censorship of Films: Under Cinematograph Act, 1961 Section 7

1. The Censorship Board is empowered to view films submitted to it as follow;

a)  Pass the film universal exhibition

b)  Pass the film for exhibition restricted to persons over the apparent age of eighteen years only

c) Pass the film for exhibition restricted to adults only and will exclude children under 18 years whether accompanied by an adult or not.

d)  Pass the film subject to other conditions as it thinks fit to impose

e)  Direct the applicant to carry out such excisions or modifications in the film as it thinks necessary before passing the film under any of the foregoing paragraphs.

f)   Refuse to pass the film for exhibition

2. Where the Board has refused to pass any film or part thereof, it may retain that film or excise and retain that part until its exportation or until it is otherwise disposed of in accordance with the direction of the Board.

3. The Board may, as it thinks fit, approve or refuse to approve a poster intended to advertise a film exhibition or approve part of a poster while refusing to approve another part

4. The Board shall signify its decision in the prescribed form and shall also affix to the film itself, an identification mark recording its decision.

Classification or Certification of Films

The Board is authorized to classify each film submitted to it for examination under three     categories, namely an ‘’A’’ certificate ‘’U’’ certificate or ‘’A’’ certificate.

Requirement For Previewing

The movie for previewing must be accompanied with the following items

Certificate of Registration

Previewing fees

Synopsis of the movie

Inlays and posters of the movie

Charges / Fees

 Local movieGH₵ 150.00
 Foreign moviesGH₵ 250.00
 Cinema Houses GH₵ 150.00
 Reissue of certificateGH₵ 50.00 
 Change of TitleGH₵ 50.00

Terms Of Reference

The Censorship Board is authorized to reject any film which comes under the following   headings:

(a)   Might offend the religious feelings or emotions of any sect and which, inter alia portrays the Deity.

(b)   Would cause, or strengthen, racial misunderstanding or hostility.

(c)   Is opposed to generally accepted standards of decency e.g. the nude orgy scene.

(d)  Might offend good taste by impropriety of behavior.

(e)   Is offensively vulgar.

(f)    Depicts cruelty of any kind.

The Censorship Board is also authorized to take the following in to consideration when rejecting film submitted to it and cutting in a film may be recommended:

(a) Fights, shootings and beatings-up which appear in average gangster films and,        subject to certain restrictions, it takes no exception to their inclusion when they          are essential to the story.

But the Board desires to see such incidents reduced to a minimum and feels           obliged to take exception to them when they are introduced without good cause           or exploited for their sensational value.

(b)   The Board objects to:

(i) Shootings or killings, when the murder is attended by particularly brutal circumstances.

(ii) Where a close-up emphasizes the details or the expression on the victim’s face.

(iii)  Where a horrible weapon is used.

(iv)  Where the savagery of the murder is underlined, e.g. when men or women are shot in the stomach at close range; when revolvers are repeatedly emptied in to their bodies; when they are beaten to death with several blows or the killings is prolonged; or when any particularly unpleasant method of killing is used.

(c)   The Board objects to fight scenes and beatings-up

(i) When these are prolonged.

(ii)   When they contain foul or particularly vicious blows (stomach punches, rabbit punches, kicks).

(iii) When the effect of the blows is emphasized on the sound track; or

(iv) When an opponent or victim is truck when he is defenseless or overpowered

(d)  The Board objects to torture scenes of any incident involving brutality or sadism, unless such scenes are a absolutely necessary, camera should not lay any emphasis on the method of torture or the sadistic pleasure of the torture or the         suffering of the victim that is:

(i)     His facial expression or cries.

(ii)   Horrible methods of torture should not be used.

(iii) Scenes of punishment should similarly be reduced to a minimum and there should be no close-up of the effects of punishment or torture on the victim.

(e)   The Board objects to scenes in which features violence or crime or suggests new kinds of crime or new ways of evading the law or of escaping detection.

(f)    The Board objects to scenes in which women are subjected to violence and they should be avoided, wherever possible. The Board can only allow where they are absolutely essential to the story and when they are introduced with the minimum of emphasis. Shots of men striking women in the face are included under this head.

(g)   The Board objects to scenes which the African plays inferior role.

(h)   The Board objects to scenes which undermine due regard for law and order and in this connection where a film dealing with law breaking is held not to be objectionable on other grounds the moral that crime does not pay can clearly be drawn from the film.

Conclusion

The Board wishes to remind that it is not the type of film that matters but the treatment and the moral tone. Adventure films such as gangster and cowboy films may do little harm to children as long as they are not brutal and sadistic, and as long as it is moral that is, the triumph of right over wrong is abundantly made clear.

GUIDE TO FILM CENSORSHIP

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