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INSIDE WORD | What's In a Name: "Towelhead" v. "Baghead"

By Indiewire | Indiewire April 11, 2008 at 2:33AM

For a brief period of time this week it looked as if The Duplass Brothers' Sundance fest hit "Baghead" might lose its title due to a brewing scuffle between "Baghead" buyer Sony Pictures Classics and Warner Independent Pictures, distributor of Alan Ball's upcoming "Towelhead." The Duplass' film screened last week as "Baghead" at the Philadelphia Film Festival, noted blogger (and PFF progammer) Michael Lerman, and it is now listed simply as "The Duplass Brothers Movie" by this month's Tribeca Film Festival. Warner Independent balked when Sony Classics locked in "Baghead" for a mid-summer release ahead of their own "Towelhead" and the company was apparently digging in its heels, pursuing arbitration to settle the matter. An SPC insider indicated today that they will release the film as "Baghead" and the company is planning to give it an exclusive Austin, TX opening on June 13th, ahead of the release in New York, L.A. and other cities later in the summer. Meanwhile Warner Independent, a specialty division facing an expected Warner Bros. studio consolidation, is sweeping the incident under the rug given SPC's release plan. "Towelhead" opens on August 8th. A WIP insider indicated today that the company is no longer disputing the release date of "Baghead" or the title for that matter. Notably, "Towelhead" was known as "Nothing is Private" when it debuted at last year's Toronto fest, with filmmaker Ball explaining that the "Towelhead" name unnecessarily made the movie "more specifically about race and ethnicity." After Warner bought the movie, the title was changed and it next screened at Sundance as "Towelhead." [Eugene Hernandez]
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For a brief period of time this week it looked as if The Duplass Brothers' Sundance fest hit "Baghead" might lose its title due to a brewing scuffle between "Baghead" buyer Sony Pictures Classics and Warner Independent Pictures, distributor of Alan Ball's upcoming "Towelhead." The Duplass' film screened last week as "Baghead" at the Philadelphia Film Festival, noted blogger (and PFF progammer) Michael Lerman, and it is now listed simply as "The Duplass Brothers Movie" by this month's Tribeca Film Festival. Warner Independent balked when Sony Classics locked in "Baghead" for a mid-summer release ahead of their own "Towelhead" and the company was apparently digging in its heels, pursuing arbitration to settle the matter. An SPC insider indicated today that they will release the film as "Baghead" and the company is planning to give it an exclusive Austin, TX opening on June 13th, ahead of the release in New York, L.A. and other cities later in the summer. Meanwhile Warner Independent, a specialty division facing an expected Warner Bros. studio consolidation, is sweeping the incident under the rug given SPC's release plan. "Towelhead" opens on August 8th. A WIP insider indicated today that the company is no longer disputing the release date of "Baghead" or the title for that matter. Notably, "Towelhead" was known as "Nothing is Private" when it debuted at last year's Toronto fest, with filmmaker Ball explaining that the "Towelhead" name unnecessarily made the movie "more specifically about race and ethnicity." After Warner bought the movie, the title was changed and it next screened at Sundance as "Towelhead." [Eugene Hernandez]







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