Cayman has a new standard for rating movies that originate locally.
The Film Control Board unveiled a new ratings system Wednesday that will allow local filmgoers to gauge the type of content of a film before they enter the theater.
The Film Control Board took elements of the American and British ratings systems and married them together to come up with a new system.
Films that are suitable for all audiences will be rated A, and films that have mature content will be rated M along with a number that indicates the appropriate age for filmgoers. The M-18 rating, for instance, indicates that parents must accompany all children who are under the age of 18.
The Film Control Board recently issued a statement urging local filmmakers to have their films rated ahead of the rush for festival season. Cayman routinely produces about 25 films a year, the board’s chairwoman Rita Estevanovich said, but many of those offerings are music videos and not feature length films.
“We have a lot of small projects here,” she said. “But if they’re going to be screened publicly, we need to make sure that people are aware of what they’re going to see before they actually get there.”
Local filmmakers are encouraged to send their films to the Film Control Board for review, and then three people will independently watch them and ascribe a rating.
After they have conferred and affixed a final rating, they will send a ratings certificate back to the filmmaker to certify the film.
The one exception, Ms. Estevanovich said, comes in the case of local film festivals.
“The only caveat is if you’re a festival organizer and you have 10 or more films being screened, the onus is on the festival organizer,” she said. “They have a panel of judges that is viewing these films and determining whether or not that film is a part of the festival. They send us the lineup and the ratings they’ve ascribed to each of the films.
“And then we sample to make sure we’re on the same page.”
Cayman’s arts community is small and intimate, Ms. Estevanovich said, and sometimes, many of the people in attendance at a film premiere will know the artist personally.
The new ratings will allow the films to appeal to a wider audience without putting children in an inappropriate theater.
“We’ve been fortunate. The community is so small,” Ms. Estevanovich said.
“If we’re going to develop the industry, it’s part and parcel of growing the community. A lot of people have said, ‘You know, when you go to an international festival, they don’t say R or G. They just say Mature.’ Even that signals to someone going to the film. We don’t even have that at this point.”