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by Dana Harris
June 9, 2011 9:55 AM
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Documentary Filmmakers Fight the IRS! Read the Arguments Why Movies Are Designed to Make Money

Last week, we wrote about why documentary filmmakers could suddenly be in a lot of trouble with the IRS. Now, as promised, attorneys have filed an amicus brief in the case. (A deep bow to Ray Pride at Movie City News, who has published the full amicus brief.)

To support its argument that "documentary filmmaking is overwhelmingly undertaken in pursuit of profit," the brief goes into great detail to support points that might have seemed self evident.

These include "the Production of a documentary film involves a great amount of time and money in the early phases of Development prior to THE generation of any revenue from the film" and "In most cases, a documentarian must complete her film before she can secure a buyer or obtain any form of financial support. that it can take many years to complete a film, and even more to generate profit."

In addition to the International Documentary Assoc., the friends of the court also include Film Independent, the National Assn. of Latino Independent Producers and Women Make Movies, among others. Letters of support also include Rob Epstein, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Documentary Branch.

Counsel for the Amici Curiae are Michael C. Donaldson and Christopher L. Perez of Donaldson & Callif in Beverly Hills.

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