The Australian film industry is to get together to try and overhaul the rules that govern the screening of trailers in the territory. The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) gets more complaints about trailers than about any other subject, while the industry wants to be able to show trailers for more yet-to-be classified films than is currently allowed.

While it is illegal to advertise the theatrical screening of an unclassified film in Australia the major distributors are each permitted up to 16 exemptions annually up to a total of 80 films. This represents about one-third of all films released in a year.

The OFLC's Tricia Flanagan says most complaints flow from exhibitors not acting quickly enough to reposition a trailer once a film has been formally classified. By law they have one week to replace the slide that states "This film is yet to be classified" with the proper classification symbols and to ensure that the film is not trailed with anything of a lower certificate.

Although Flanagan says the range of advertising flowing from promotional partnerships compounds these problems, some of the requirements are just logistically tricky and the OFLC wants to work with the industry to find ways of making compliance easier.