Agenda and minutes

Licensing Sub-committee - Friday, 8th November, 2019 12.00 pm

Venue: Ground Floor Meeting Room 4 - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: Anna Martyn Tel 023 9283 4870  Email:

No. Item


Election of Chair


Councillor Tom Coles was elected to chair the meeting.



Apologies for absence


Declarations of interest


There were no declarations of members' interests. 



Licensing Act 2003 - Section 20 - Mandatory Condition - Exhibition of Films "I Am An Addict" - Boathouse No. 6 Portsmouth Historic Dockyard pdf icon PDF 51 KB

The purpose of this report is for the Committee to exercise its statutory powers as Licensing Authority to impose an age classification using the BBFC film classification categories in respect of a film exhibition to be shown at Boathouse No. 6, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, College Road, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth. The proposed date for public screening of this film is Saturday November 16 2019.


Members of the committee will have viewed this unclassified film prior to this




Additional documents:


Nickii Humphreys, Licensing Manager, presented her report, explaining the need for the Sub-Committee to classify the film in the absence of a BBFC classification so that it could be displayed at a screening at Boathouse No.6 in the Historic Dockyard on 16 November 2019. Therefore, an age appropriate condition needed to be considered and the panel had had the opportunity to view the film immediately prior to this public Sub-Committee meeting. Members had been provided with the BBFC classification guidelines.


In discussion on whether the film should be classified as a 15 or 18, the Licensing Manager pointed out that in order to receive a 15 rating sexual violence must not be "detailed or prolonged" and dangerous behaviour "should not dwell on detail which could be copied." In addition, sexual threat must not be "sustained." The Licensing Lawyer reminded members they could only assess the film in the form in which it had been shown to them.

Members felt the film should be classified as an 18 rating, particularly in view of the detailed depictions of self-harm and asphyxiation as well as some instances of sexual threat and violence.


The Sub-Committee unanimously approved the decision as outlined below, which would form part of the certificate provided to Boathouse No.6 and Rob Ulitski as the agents.



The Sub-Committee has carefully considered the appropriate classification for "I Am An Addict," a film work proposed to be screened publicly at Boathouse No. 6, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. In doing so it viewed the work and applied the BBFC Classification Guidelines. The Sub-Committee has attached an "18" classification rating.



Whilst the Sub-Committee considered carefully whether the work fell within a 15 classification there were significant elements that in line with the Guidelines ought not appear at that level of classification. The Sub-Committee noted scenes of asphyxiation, self-harming and suicide. At a 15 rating the work should not dwell on detail that could be copied. The Guidelines further state that any depiction of the stronger forms of sexual violence, must not be detailed or prolonged. A strong and sustained focus on sexual threat is unacceptable. And further that a sustained focus on sadistic threat is unlikely to be acceptable. Overall, the Sub-Committee was clear in its view that the combination of scenes containing detailed portrayal of drug-taking, scenes containing detailed portrayal of violence and sexual violence and in particular detailed and prolonged scenes of self-harming meant that no other category other than "18" would be appropriate.