Unclassified, but still rated
Films containing graphic depictions of sexual violence can be screened at film festivals without having been viewed by the federal government agency responsible for classifying films.
A director of the Sydney Underground Film Festival, Katherine Berger, said it was required to ”send detailed synopses and notes on what elements” included sex, violence and obscene language, but not the actual film unless requested.
No film can be publicly screened in Australia without first being rated by the Classification Board, which may refuse a classification if it offends standards of morality and decency. However, it may permit a festival to screen films that have not been rated.
”The organisers of film festivals wishing to screen unclassified films must apply to the director of the board for an exemption from classification under the National Classification Scheme,” a spokesman for the Classification Board told The Sun-Herald.
This year’s Sydney line-up is scheduled to open on September 8 at the Factory Theatre, Marrickville, but has yet to be approved by the Classification Board. It includes Japanese horror films, the ”Extreme Film” night of shorts, and rape and revenge films.