So, day-and-date maven Mark Cuban (pictured right with indie producer Susan Stover) pulled filmmaker Caveh Zahedi‘s film from Landmark Theaters this week because Cuban is in a battle with Comcast Theaters (which has a day-and-date deal with IFC Films), as we reported in indieWIRE today. Bad move, Mark.
Zahedi pleaded with Cuban to stick with the booking since all of the marketing had already been done for the Berkeley opening this week, and Cuban countered by asking Caveh to go back to IFC and tell them to drop the film from Comcast. Wow. That cutthroat approach may explain how Cuban became a billionaire but it won’t win him any fans in the indie film community where he is building his growing business.
Even if he didn’t care about Caveh’s movie, Cuban’s should have stood by Landmark Theaters’ booking and given in to Zahedi’s appeal. After all, Caveh’s film won the award for best undistributed film at the Gotham Awards and the IFP is supporting his release with grassroots marketing. Perhaps by backing this small indie film, Cuban could have made an exception this time, and then fully explained why his own battles to create two new cable networks are worth supporting.