As It Happens

UK man forces censors to watch his 10 hour film of paint drying

Filmmaker Charlie Lyne submitted a 10-hour movie of paint drying to the British Board of Film Classification to protest the organization's "strangle hold" on the film industry.
A screen grab of "Paint Drying", a protest film by Charlie Lyne (Charlie Lyne)

A British filmmaker has made a 10 hour film of paint drying and forced the British film rating agency to watch it in its entirety.

"It's designed as a protest against the British Board of Film Classification, who can rate as well as censor and ban films," Charlie Lyne tells As It Happens host Carol Off. "It's [censoring] always done on the justification that there's a potential for harm. Which is a fairly vague term."

Charlie Lyne hand delivered his 10 hour film to the BBFC (Charlie Lynn Twitter)

For the film, Lyne used white paint on a brick wall. SPOILER ALERT. The paint dries. Lyne also says "not much" happens in his epic. 

The BBFC was originally set up in 1912 as an independent body to rate films because local authorities were imposing their own ratings.

Charlie Lyne is protesting a law requiring all films to be rated through the British Board of Film Classification. (

Lyne crowd funded his film last year and successfully raised £5,963 ($12,036 Cdn) to make his film. The board charges per minute, so the more he raised, the longer his opus would be. 

Lyne says he doesn't like the current system because it might be a deterrent for young filmmakers, "the fact that it's a mandatory service means that for small filmmakers, that could be the difference between being able to release your film or not."

Two BBFC examiners watched the film over two days because they're only allowed to view nine hours of film per day.

"I'm sure it was fine," he says. "It sounds to me quite meditative."

They gave Lyne's work a "U" rating, which means it's suitable for most audiences over four years of age. 

Lyne says he's having a tough time finding a theatre to screen his masterpiece "It's always hard to find a place in the schedule for a 10 hour film. That's about four Star Wars."

He says ten hours is plenty of time for the theatre to make its money back at the bar.

"People may need a drink."