DAILY NEWS: "Dogma" Acquisition Official; Next Wave's Next Film; Manne Upped at Sundance
by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE
>> Lions Gate Confirms "Dogma" Acquisition
The summer drama surrounding the fate of Kevin Smith's new film, "Dogma,"
came to a close on the eve of the film's North American Premiere at the1999
Toronto International Film Festival. Lions Gate Films (LGF) Co-Presidents
Mark Urman and Tom Ortenberg confirmed the company's acquisition, after
months of pursuing the movie following its world premiere in Cannes this
Following Cannes, Lions Gate emerged as an early contender for the movie,
which was dropped by Miramax for fear of religious groups targeting the
film and its corporate parent, Disney. In June, the conservative Catholic
League began aggressively targeting Miramax for its involvement with the
movie and Lions Gate was singled out by sources as the eventual
distributor. Last month, citing sources close to the movie, indieWIRE
reported that Lions Gate had indeed purchased the rights to the movie and
an announcement was anticipated.
In a conversation with indieWIRE, Mark Urman indicated that LGF is planning
a wide release of the movie, targeting 1,000 screens out of the gate. "The
world is waiting," Urman explained, "We have an exceptionally attractive
cast (and) a built in fan base." He continued, "This is not a film that has
to trickle, it's a film that can explode."
When asked about the attacks from the Catholic League, a membership
organization that does not necessarily reflect the official views of the
Roman Catholic church, Urman responded, "This is a comic fantasy of a
highly accessible nature, I think when people see the movie they will see
that much of what has been said about it by its detractors is both false
"The organization that has been most vocal is also in the business of
taking on corporations of a certain size in order to advance its own
agenda, it is not an official organization," asserted Urman, clearly
referring to the League, "It is a special interest group."
"We are a corporation of a different size," continued Urman, "There is
perhaps less to be gained by throwing rocks at David than throwing rocks at
RELATED ARTICLES @ indieWIRE.com:
(Aug 10, 1999) DAILY NEWS: Lions Gate Set to Release Kevin Smith's "Dogma" on
(Jun 23, 1999) BIZ NEWS: Catholic League President Announces Campaign
Encouraging Disney to Drop Miramax; "Dogma" Deal Announcement Near; Smith
Comments on Controversy
(May 27, 1999) DAILY NEWS: Chasing "Dogma" — Potential Distribs Emerge as
Critics Weigh In; Smith Offers Post-Cannes Thoughts
(May 22, 1999) CANNES '99: "Dogma" Has Its Day: Kevin Smith and Harvey
Weinstein on the Film and Controversy
(May 21, 1999) Distribs Circle Smith's "Dogma"
(May 17, 1999) DAILY BRIEFS: Weinstein's Screen "Dogma" for Distributors
Ahead of Cannes Debut
(Apr 09, 1999) DAILY BRIEFS: Dispatch from IndieWood — Miramax Drops
Kevin Smith's "Dogma"; Indie Crowd Gets "Slossed"
>> Next Wave Takes Julie Money's "Envy"
Next Wave Films, the finishing funds company from the Independent Film
Channel, is providing finishing funds and repping Australian director Julie
Money's "Envy," which is premiering in the Discovery section at the 1999
Toronto International Film Festival. According to a company announcement,
the movie "follows the unnerving chain of events that occurs when a trio of
streetwise teenagers clashes with a suburban family."
"Envy" was produced by Michael Cook and stars Linda Cropper and Anna Lise
Phillips. It was written by Jeff Truman and shot in 35mm by Graeme Wood.
>> Liz Manne Upped to EVP at Sundance Channel
Sundance Channel has promoted Liz Manne to the position of Executive Vice
President, Programming and Marketing. The announcement comes following the
departure of Tom Harbeck who served as Sundance's Executive Vice President
of Programming & Creative Director.
Manne joined the channel with Harbeck in January of 1998. She co-founded
Fine Line Features with Ira Deutchman in 1990.
…more TORONTO COVERAGE:
indieWIRE's Toronto '99 On The Scene.