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Regulating the Moving Image: Presentation at University of Sunderland

Regulating the Moving Image: Presentation at University of Sunderland

Dr Sian Barber (Film Studies) presented a research paper at the Where Are We Now conference hosted by the University of Sunderland at their campus in London on 23-24 April. The conference explored the thirty years which have followed the passing of the Video Recordings Act in 1984 and how regulation of the visual medium – film, video and still images – continue to be heavily influenced by this piece of legislation.

Dr Barber’s presentation explored the relationship between the British Board of Film Classification and the Government at the time when the Video Recordings Act legislation was being discussed in Parliament and the ‘video nasties’ were on the front pages of every newspaper. It drew on papers from the BBFC and from recorded Parliamentary debates to explore the shifting landscape of media regulation, and the lasting impact this has had upon the British film industry. 

Other speakers included Martin Barker, who reflected on his own experience of the ‘video nasties’ debates, and Julian Petley and Clarissa Smith, who both highlighted the ways in which government legislation continues to impact on film and moving image, including that which appears online and that produced by amateur filmmakers.

The lively keynotes and contributions from a range of speakers including the Head of the BBFC David Cooke and senior film examiner Craig Lapper demonstrated the level of interest in regulation of the moving image and the debates which arose touched on political regulation, personal freedom of expression, the importance of industry engagement, amateur produced content and the role of film and video censorship in the digital age.


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Where Are We Now

July 18 2014