In case you’ve missed it, filmmaker Abel Ferrara and IFC Films have been in a war of words that has recently escalated. The director contends that IFC won’t release the directors cut of “Welcome To New York,” starring Gerard Depardieu. IFC insists they’ve done no wrong and plan to screen the version of the film they’ve been contractually obligated to show all. Here’s the just released official statement on the matter:
At IFC Films, we place high priority on our relationships with filmmakers and want to address the controversy and drama around the film Welcome to New York, which has now expanded beyond the scandalous story depicted in the movie. We want to set the record straight about our role as the U.S. distributor of the film.
Our contract with Wild Bunch (the film’s sales agent ) is for an R-rated version. We offered Mr. Ferrara an opportunity to edit his own R-rated version of the film at our expense, but he did not respond. After his threats of violence towards the IFC Center last September, we decided we could not risk showing the film there, but we offered to screen his original directors cut at the Anthology Film Archives theater in New York. It is our understanding that the theater was in touch with Abel Ferrara, after which they declined to screen it.
On March 27th, we will be releasing on VOD and in select theaters the version of Welcome to New York that has been delivered to us by Wild Bunch, in accordance with our contractual obligation. Any edits made to the original version of Welcome to New York were made by Wild Bunch, since Mr. Ferrara did not respond to our offer.
It’s a core mission of IFC Films to support and champion our filmmakers and we regret that Mr. Ferrara has refused to engage with us past slinging mud and insults. We’d have welcomed the opportunity to work more closely with him on the film, if he’d been willing.
A filmmaker that hasn’t read the fine print or read his emails? Aiming his vitriol at the wrong people? It sounds fairly simple, but we’re sure we haven’t heard the last of it.