Agenda and minutes

Licensing Sub-Committee - Thursday, 27th June, 2024 12.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - The Guildhall, Portsmouth. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services - Tel 023 9283 4870  Email:

No. Item


Appointment of Chair


Councillor Madgwick was elected as chair. He welcomed everyone and introductions were made by those present.



Declaration of interests


There were no declarations of members' interests.



Licensing Act 2003 - Section 20 - Mandatory Condition - Exhibition of Films - "Norwegian Democrazy" - Portsmouth Film Society CIC, Palmerston Road. Southsea pdf icon PDF 87 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 Portsmouth Film Society CIC, Palmerston Road, Southsea, Portsmouth. The date for the proposed screening is scheduled for 30 June 2024.


The panel will have viewed this unclassified film prior to the meeting.


RECOMMENDED that the Committee apply an age-appropriate film classification.

Additional documents:


Nickii Humphreys, Licensing Manager, introduced 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 shown at a screening at Southsea Cinema & Arts Centre on 30 June 2024. Therefore, an age appropriate condition needed to be considered and the panel had had the opportunity to view the film immediately prior to the public Sub-Committee meeting. Members had been provided with the BBFC classification guidelines.


Members felt the film should be classified as an "18".


The Sub-Committee approved the decision as outlined below, which would form part of the certificate provided to the Southsea Cinema & Arts Centre and Aysegul Epengin as the applicant. 



The Sub-Committee has carefully considered the appropriate classification for "Norwegian Democrazy", a film work proposed to be screened publicly at the Southsea Cinema & Arts Centre. In doing so it viewed the work and applied the BBFC Classification Guidelines. The Sub-Committee has attached an "18" classification rating.




The Sub-Committee considered carefully whether the work fell within a particular classification according to the BBFC guidelines (as updated March 2024).


Whilst carefully considered, the Sub-Committee was not satisfied that the work could be assigned a "15" rating for two reasons:


i.         Dangerous and explicitly discriminatory behaviour, i.e. the repeated public burning of the Quran in sensitive places, without legal repercussion (the film endorsing the fact that this is legal in Norway) could lead to copycat behaviour by a younger person without the understanding of legal differences between nations.

ii.         The Sub-Committee was not satisfied that sufficient balance was presented by the documentary, the views of the main protagonist were not sufficiently addressed (it was clear that others did not agree and conflict / aggression resulted); however, assertions regarding empirical evidence were not sufficiently rebutted.