Film Classification

What is film classification?

In British Columbia, all film festivals are required to comply with the Motion Picture Act legislation and the regulations set out by BC Consumer Protection. By these regulations, you must be a member of The Vancouver Out On Screen Film & Video Society and 18 years of age and older to view unrated films. 

For the access of our patrons, we get many of our films rated according to BC Consumer Protection's standards and six categories: G, PG, 14A, 18A, R, and A. We prioritize getting ratings for films that may be suitable for youth and children.

Due to the time it takes to get films rated, BC Consumer Protection ratings are only available on our online programme by late July or early August. We will always prominently display the film rating or that a program is unrated at the entrance of each screening.

Consumer Protection BC does not rate films screened online, so please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about our online film screenings.

New in 2023, memberships the Society are included in your ticket purchase! Please see our Ticket Information Page for information about tickets, passes, and additional memberships. Proof of age will be required for all films with an age restriction.

What are content warnings and how do they work? How are they different from film ratings?

Content warnings, if applicable, are determined by our programming team and provided on each program page in print and on our website to help audiences make informed decisions on potentially physiologically or psychologically triggering content. In addition to common triggers such as flashing lights, adult content such as explicit sexual content and nudity, and extreme violence and gore, our programming team also notes some instances of homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination that may be particularly upsetting for viewers.

I am under 18/I want to bring someone under 18 to a screening – which films are youth-rated or youth-friendly?

Our online programme includes a filter for “Youth-rated” programs, which are rated G, PG, or PG-13. There is also a filter for “Youth-friendly” programs, which includes programs that our team deems appropriate for youth, but that may or may not have been rated by BC Consumer Protection yet.

See the above question for more information on our content warnings and BC Consumer Protection ratings, which may also help you determine whether a film is appropriate for you or a child you are accompanying.

What does "youth-rated" mean?

At the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, we group all films rated G, PG, or PG-13 together into a category called "youth-rated." In-person film screenings of these films do not require a Membership unless they are grouped with other films which are rated higher, such as in the case of some shorts programs.

We have copies of Consumer Protection BC's specific ratings at each venue. If you have questions about any of our youth-rated films, we encourage you to contact us.

What does "youth-friendly" mean?

Some of our films and events are listed under the "youth-friendly" access filter. This denotes films and programs which are designed with young viewers (under age 18) in mind. Please note that online film screenings have not been rated by Consumer Protection BC.

Films not listed as "youth-friendly" may contain content that is not suitable for film-lovers under age 18. Please look for Content Advisories or feel free to ask us if you are uncertain about which films may be right for you or your fellow viewers.