In the latest twist in the ever-growing “Vaxxed” upheaval, Variety reports that the controversial documentary from embattled former doctor Andrew Wakefield has found a new home just days after the Tribeca Film Festival removed it from its slate. The outlet reports that Cinema Libre Studio will distribute the film, and soon, as a New York City premiere is scheduled for this Friday.
The film initially caused waves when it was announced as part of the April festival’s programming, and despite public comments from festival co-founder Robert De Niro voicing his support for the film, the festival ultimately pulled it late last week. The “Vaxxed” team immediately issued its own response to the news, attributing Tribeca’s reaction to corporate interests and outside pressures.
Of the news, Cinema Libre Chairman Philippe Diaz said, “We chose to distribute this film to correct a major issue, which is the suppression of medical data by a governmental agency that may very well be contributing to a significant health crisis. The media storm of last week also revealed another issue; the hyper mediatization by some members of the media and the documentary community who had not even seen the film, as well as Tribeca executives, which condemned it as anti-vaccine.”
He added, “Wakefield’s concern for the last twenty years has been about making sure that vaccines are safe for children. This is why we decided to release the film now rather than as originally planned later in the year.”
Richard Castro, head of distribution at Cinema Libre, weighed in, “It’s disturbing that an American film festival can succumb so easily to pressure to censor a film that it has already selected an announced. On Friday I received a call from Tribeca executives expressing concerns about showing the film, but no opportunity was afforded our filmmakers to even address those concerns. When I questioned the rationale, it was indicated that sponsors’ interest was a factor.”
Variety reports that the film will premiere this Friday at the Angelika FiIm Center in New York City. The outlet also shares that “Cinema Libre has not revealed future distribution plans other than saying it will be ‘widely released’ in other cities.”