By Bryce J. Renninger | Indiewire May 11, 2011 at 3:28AM
Following an Indian Supreme Court decision regarding the fate of several managers and supervisors who were arrested following the 1984 Bhopal gas leak disaster at Union Carbide, IndiePix has announced that they have acquired the U.S./Canadian distribution rights to Van Maximilian Carlson's doc about the disaster, "Bhopali," which debuted at this year's Slamdance. The film will get a theatrical this fall.
Full release follows...
IndiePix Acquires Documentary Film "Bhopali"
Award Winning Documentary Details Aftermath of World's Worst Industrial Disaster
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011 New York, New York /Targetwire/ - IndiePix Films announced today the acquisition of distribution rights to "Bhopali", the award winning and much applauded documentary film directed by Van Maximilian Carlson.
"Bhopali" is the story of the survivors of the world’s worst industrial disaster, the 1984 gas leak from a Union Carbide owned and operated plant in Bhopali, India. Shortly after midnight on December 3, 1984, nearly 40 metric tons of toxic methyl isocyanate gas leaked into the atmosphere and was carried by the wind to the residential communities comprising the city of Bhopal in Central India. Over 25,000 people have died from causes directly related to this event, which killed thousands in the pre-dawn hours immediately after the horrific leak and many thousands more, continuously, for the next 27 years from the lingering effects of extensive ground and air polution in the immediate area. Spokespersons for the community say that about 100 thousand people who were exposed to the gas and environmental contamination continue to suffer and die today from afflictions that range from cancer, blindness and birth defects.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court of India dismissed a government plea for stiffer sentencing for seven Indian citizens who were employees who were in management and supervisory positions at the time. As reported by Reuters, the seven employees had earlier been sentenced to two years imprisonment by a lower court, sparking outrage across the country and forcing the government to seek a tougher penalty on grounds of homicide. Attempts to hold Union Carbide, its successor corporations and its global management responsible for the consequences and liabilities of this disaster have continuously failed. Union Carbide claims to have settled claims with the Indian government. The corporation divested itself of its Indian operations before being acquired by Dow Chemicals.
Bob Alexander, President of IndiePix, said: "This film is of striking relevance today, not only for the continuing inattention and suffering that is the legacy of this disaster, but for the fundamental questions of corporate responsibility, liability and governance that it so bluntly raises. We are pleased to have the opportunity to present such an important film of such timely significance."
The film premiered this year at Slamdance, where it promptly took top honors, claiming both the Audience Award and Best Documentary Feature. It has since screened across the country and garnered critical acclaim including Jo Leyndon of Variety Magazine, who called BHOPALI "Intimate…Heart-Wrenching…(and) Impressively polished".
IndiePix will be distributing the film theatrically this fall and handling distribution for home video DVD, digital, broadcast and new media throughout the United States and Canada. The deal was negotiated by Mark DeFrancis of IndiePix Films and Marcus Fishman of Advance Talent Management.