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This Panel is Not Yet Rated

There is a national conversation happening around movie violence -- from parents groups to politicians, everyone has a view about appropriate content in film. SXSW presents a discussion for filmmakers about the ratings process, bringing Joan Graves the Chair of the Classifications and Ratings Association to SXSW for the first time. Given national scrutiny on movie content, this discussion will be of particular interest to genre fans and filmmakers providing context for the voluntary rating process, access to indie filmmakers, addressing questions about nuances between ratings and navigating international ratings boards.


MODERATOR Alyssa Rosenberg Culture Blogger at ThinkProgress, Television Critic at ThinkProgress

Alyssa Rosenberg is the critic She is a correspondent for and a columnist for the XX Factor at Slate. Alyssa grew up in Massachusetts and holds a B.A. in humanities from Yale University. Before joining ThinkProgress, she was editor of and a staff correspondent at Government Executive. Her work has appeared in, The Daily, The American Prospect, The New Republic, National Journal, and The Daily Beast.

Travis Stevens CEO Cheap Thrills

After working for years in both film development and film sales Travis founded Snowfort Pictures; a boutique production company specializing in the development, financing and production of commercial genre films.

The company's first production, A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE, premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival before being acquired for theatrical distribution by Anchor Bay Films. The film has since been released around the world on a variety of platforms.

Other Snowfort productions include WHAT FUN WE WERE HAVING (2011 Fantasia Film Festival), ALL IN ALL (2011 Tribeca Film Festival / 2011 AFI Film Fest), the 2012 Fright Fest and Sitges hit THE THOMPSONS (an international co-production with Lionsgate UK), JODOROWSKY'S DUNE (an international co-production with Germany’s Koch Media and France’s Camera One), the 2012 SXSW smash THE AGGRESSION SCALE (Anchor Bay), and two films premiering at the 2013 SXSW film festival; BIG ASS SPIDER! from director Mike Mendez (in association with Epic Pictures), and CHEAP THRILLS from director E.L. Katz.

Prior to launching Snowfort Pictures Travis worked as both the head international sales for Celluloid Nightmares and the Head of Acquisitions & Marketing for Imagination Worldwide. He has served as a panelist at the 2012 Black Hollywood Film Festival, the 2012 Tallinn Black Nights Industry Days, the 2012 Fantasia Film Festival New Frontiers program, the 2012 IFTA Production Conference and a jury member for both the Oldenberg International Film Festival and FantasticFest.

Scott Weinberg Film Critic

Editor / Film Critic for Twitch, FEARnet, Geek Nation and (also seen on Cinematical, The Guardian, Mr. Skin, Rotten Tomatoes, DVD Talk, JoBlo's, etc.) -- Wise-ass. Film Advocate. Cat lover. I tweet a lot. Proud online film writer since 1999.

Vincenzo Natali Dir Haunter

Director Vincenzo Natali is no stranger to dystopia; each of his four features thrusts ordinary characters into a darkened future realm governed by seemingly impenetrable logic, and follows the subjects as they struggle to come to terms with their environs. Natali burst onto the scene in 1997 with his surreal, low-budget sci-fi thriller Cube. This enigmatic film weaves a tale of a group of people clamoring to escape from an obscure cubic labyrinth where the casualty of a misstep involves full dismemberment by the cube itself. The film impressed viewers and critics alike with Natali’s ability to stretch cinematic boundaries on a shoestring budget, and became a cult favorite.

Natali’s 2002 follow-up, Cypher, starred Jeremy Northam and Lucy Liu in the tale of a man who assumes a new identity in preparation for an espionage career, but instead gets systematically brainwashed and finds himself engulfed in a shaky, paranoid reality. The film performed well internationally and paved the way for 2003’s Nothing. Described by Natali as “a buddy comedy set in a void,” the film follows two eccentrics who literally wish the world out of existence and end up in a limitless white landscape. Natali then shot a documentary on Terry Gilliam’s production of Tideland, which premiered concurrently with the feature in 2005. He also contributed a segment, Quartier de la Madeleine, to the 2006 portmanteau film, Paris Je T'aime.

Natali’s fourth feature Splice received a wide release by Warner Bros in summer 2010. It starred Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley as two rebellious scientists who defy ethical boundaries to forge ahead with a dangerous genetic experiment, resulting in a new organism. The creature rapidly develops into a beautiful but dangerous winged human-chimera, who forges a bond with both of her creators -- only to have that bond turn deadly. Natali just completed post-production on the supernatural thriller Haunter starring Abigail Breslin. He is currently adapting two famous works of speculative fiction, JG Ballard’s High-Rise and William Gibson’s seminal cyberpunk novel, Neuromancer.

Joan Graves Motion Picture Association of America

Joan Graves is Senior Vice President of the Motion Picture Association (MPAA) and Chairman of the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA). She joined CARA in 1988 and held previous positions as Administrative Director, Vice Chairman, and Co-Chairman of CARA, until assuming her current position as Chairman in 2000. Prior to joining the MPAA, Graves worked in real estate development, stock brokerage and administrative management consulting. She then took a hiatus to raise her two daughters.
Graves is a graduate of Stanford University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts. She currently lives in Los Angeles.