The Independent film, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, takes an undercover look at one of the most powerful, and influential groups in the Motion Picture Industry, the MPAA. The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), are the fine folks that rate movies, related media, and pursue strict enforcement of copyright laws. Out of dozens of movie ratings systems worldwide, the MPAA is the only movie rating system that doesn’t disclose who its ratings board members are.
The MPAA, was founded on Nov. 1st 1968 by Jack Velenti. Before founding the MPAA, Valenti worked for JFK as Head of Press, and then later was appointed Special Assistant to President Johnson, after Kennedy was killed. Valenti claims that the MPAA’s rating system is setup to help parents decide what films to let there children see, nothing more.
In this grounded, well produced documentary style film, director Kirby Dick points out some of the insane hypocrisy, and double standards the MPAA has concerning Independent films vs Studio projects. With great interviews from Matt Stone (South Park/ Team America), John Waters (Pink Flamingos/ A Dirty Shame), and Kevin Smith (Clerks/ Jersey Girl). Kirby also exposes the preference the MPAA has for violence over sex, in some great interviews with Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry), Wayne Kramer (The Cooler), and Mary Harron (American Psycho).
Kirby then takes on the challenge of identifying the MPAA film raters, by hiring a team of private investigators to stake out the MPAA headquarters. The lead private investigator, Becky Altringer, takes on the challenge with such a sense of humor, and realism that you feel like your in the back seat with her, and the crew.
With the film 79% complete, Kirby takes us along for the ride, as he submits the unfinished film This Film Is Not Yet Rated to the MPAA for a rating. The MPAA have no idea that the film “isn’t” complete, as we see Kirby hand off the film to some guy in the alley behind the MPAA headquarters. After “This Film Is Not Yet Rated”, gets the dreaded NC-17 rating, we follow Kirby as he then takes us through the secret MPAA appeal process.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated, uncovers secrets that the MPAA dosn’t want anyone to know about, it presents its facts in an even way, and gives the MPAA every chance to be transparent. Thanks to the efforts of Kirby, and Becky they were.
(MOVIEGUYS.org , 2008 UPDATE)
The MPAA has moved out, and is no longer at the address seen in the film. This Film Is Not Yet Rated, has obviously created a problem for the MPAA, as they had been at that location for 15 years.
Just under one year after the movie was released on dvd, The MPAA relocated to more secure offices next to the AMPTP, and DGA in The Sherman Oaks Galleria. (Less than a mile from the old location.)
This photo was taken a few weeks ago. As you can see the security gates are gone, and the door is wide open for lease.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated – Time line
- 9-1-06 Film released (NC-17)
- 1-23-07 DVD released (unrated)
- 4-26-07 Jack Valenti dies.
- 1-18-08 MPAA relocates.
THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED DVD Bonus features include some great deleted scenes, and an awesome commentary that I highly recommend with, director Kirby Dick, producer Eddie Schmidt, film critic Drew McWeeny (aka Moriarty) and private investigator Becky Altringer.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated, contains heavy sexual content and is Unrated.