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by Eugene Hernandez
August 22, 2006 6:07 AM
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Fall Release Planned for "Dixie Chicks" Doc As Weinsteins Close Worldwide Deal

Emily Robison, Natalie Maines and Martie Maguire -- The Dixie Chicks -- subjects of Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck’s "Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing". Photographer by Mark Seliger, provided by The Weinstein Company

Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck's "Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing" has been acquired by The Weinstein Company, in a worldwide rights deal announced Monday ahead of the doc's upcoming debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film follows the female country music trio's ollercoaster three-year experience from popularity to pariah status in the wake of brief critical comments about George W. Bush on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The Weinstein Company is planning a release in U.S. theaters this fall.

"Shut Up and Sing" will be the first doc in 14 years to screen as a Gala Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival where it will have its world premiere next month. Produced by Kopple and Peck, the film is a presentation of Cabin Creek Films, and Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison of The Dixie Chicks.

"At a time when Americans are divided between red and blue, rich and poor, immigrant and citizen, the Dixie Chicks and their music cross over many lines," said Kopple in a statement. "They are contemporary but rooted in tradition, strong yet vulnerable-- career women who are deeply connected to family. This film tells the story of these all-American women who refused to back down and in the process became even stronger."

Michelle Krumm, TWC's EVP and co-head of acquisitions and co-productions, brought the project to the company and the deal was negotiated by Krumm, Michael Cole, co-president of production, and Barry Littman, EVP of business and legal affairs for The Weinstein Company with CAA and Simon Renshaw negotiated representing the Dixie Chicks.

"I am extremely proud to be associated with this film because it's not only an outstanding and creative piece of work but it also exposes our responsibility as Americans to confront our fundamental right to freedom of speech," said Harvey Weinstein, in a statement.

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