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Ex-MPAA Chief Defends Ratings Changes

Variety reports Dan Glickman, who recently took over from Jack Valenti as head of the Motion Picture Association of America, has been meeting with independent filmmakers as well as larger studio heads during Sundance, and giving assurances that indie filmmakers will be judged fairly--even appointing an administration liason to assist them in questions and issues they may have with the Ratings Board. Many independent filmmakers feel constricted by the somewhat general ratings systems, as they tackle complicated and decidedly adult issues in an adult fashion--only to be greeted with a branding that restricts the publicity and exposure allowed to their films.

The MPAA this week issued new guidelines and operating procedures which include more specific descriptions of movie content beneath the more general ratings stamp. Some commentators, however, view these changes as more cosmetic than substantial, arguing that vague language can lead to unnecessary discrimination against undeserving films. Valenti, meanwhile, has come forward to defend the changes.

All this comes on the heels of the DVD release of the documentary "This Film Is Not Yet Rated," which applies heavy scrutiny to the practices of the MPAA Ratings Board. Despite all the glad-handling, it seems certain this debate is far from over.

More information from the MPAA's rating system can be found at

Posted by on January 24, 2007 1:13 PM
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