Baby friendly screenings cancelled at Bristol cinema after complaints over 18 rated films

The cultural Bristol venue has cancelled this week's Cinebabies screenings Credit: PA Media

A film screening programme in Bristol which allowed parents and carers to bring babies under the age of one has been temporarily cancelled due to rating concerns.

Cinebabies at Watershed started over 15 years ago to give parents and carers of young children access to their cultural film screening programme.

The creative venue offers screenings with lower volume and brighter lighting, allowing parents to socialise with like-minded others.

Watershed announced yesterday (September 5) that showings have been cancelled for the rest of the week due to British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) licensing concerns.

In a statement, they said: "We have been informed by the Bristol City Council Licensing Authority that they have received a complaint about ‘the alleged access of Children to 15 and 18 Rated films’ at Watershed.

“Whilst the licensing authority is sympathetic to the intention of the Cinebabies screenings in giving new parents access to the full range of our film programme, the licensing is directly linked to the BBFC system.

“This means at present we are only able to show 12A (or under) certificate films for Cinebabies whilst we continue conversations and discussions around what we can do to resolve this matter.”

“Unfortunately none of our current films are lower than a 15 certificate which is why we are unable to present a Cinebabies screening this week.

Watershed say they have never restricted what films are shown during Cinebabies, as adults "should be making the decisions about what they want to see."

A spokesperson for Bristol City Council said: "The council has a responsibility of granting and enforcing the licences of venues such as Watershed.

"Following receipt of a complaint about the screening of 15 and 18-rated films with children present, officers have asked Watershed to review the British Board of Film Classification recommendations for such films to ensure they comply with their licence conditions.

"Any decisions taken on the Cinebabies screenings have been taken by management at the Watershed."

  • Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know