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by Indiewire
April 2, 1998 2:00 AM
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Three Docs Snapped Up By Three Small Indie Distribs

by Mark Rabinowitz




A trio of acclaimed documentaries have been acquired by small indie
distributors, with award winners "Out of the Past" and "Hands on a
Hardbody
," and Nick Broomfield's controversial doc "Kurt and Courtney"
all getting tabbed for theatrical release. "Past" was nabbed by New
York-based Unapix Films, "Hardbody" by L.A.-based Legacy Releasing and
"Kurt" was picked up by San Francisco indie distributor, Roxie
Releasing
, the distribution arm of the renowned San Francisco arthouse,
The Roxie Cinema.


The Broomfield doc has received by far the most attention, having been
removed from the lineup of this year's Sundance Film Festival due to
protracted legal difficulties regarding music used in the film. It was
eventually screened at a private midnight sneak screening at the Elks Lodge
in Park City. The Roxie Cinema was in fact the first theatrical playdate for
the film, and Roxie Releasing made the decision during its run at the
Roxie theater. indieWIRE spoke by telephone with Roxie spokesperson
Elliot Lavine who told us that after opening the film in Seattle on
this Friday, the film would then move to Portland, Oregon on the
10th, Los Angeles on the 17th and "hopefully the 24th in New
York...other cities like Denver, Boston, Chicago, Detroit will all be
forthcoming." The cut of the film has been cleaned up since its
screening in Park City, according to Lavine, with Broomfield having
"substituted different music and he had to alter the voiceover narration
that accompanied those scenes in the first place." Roxie releases from
one to two films per year, with past titles including John Dahl's "Red
Rock West
" and Susanne Ofteringer's "Nico Icon." When asked about
Roxie's upcoming release plans, Lavine remarked that they would like to
increase the number of films they release. "If this experience with this
film allows for us to do that, then sure, we would try to jump on as
many interesting titles as we could."


S. Robb Bindler's "Hands on a Hardbody," a documentary about a contest
in which the winners come away with a brand-new "Nissan Hardbody" pickup
truck, is the latest pickup from Legacy, whose previous titles include
"A Rat's Tale," 1997 Sundance pic "Eden" (opening Friday in New York
City) and 1996 Sundance pic, "Wedding Bell Blues." Legacy releases
approximately nine to ten films per year, and they have not set a
release date for "Hardbody." The doc is set to screen at the upcoming
Gen Art Film Festival in New York City.


Jeffrey Dupre's Sundance documentary Audience Award winner "Out of the
Past" was picked up by Unapix Films, which acquired both theatrical and
home video rights to the pic. The film "traces the emergence of gay and
lesbian consciousness in American history" by focusing on the life of 17
year-old Kelli Peterson and her efforts to establish a Gay-Straight
Alliance at her Salt Lake City high school. The film is narrated in part
by actors Gwyneth Paltrow and Edward Norton, with commentary by
contemporary figures such as gay-rights leader Henry Gerber and civil
rights activist Bayard Rustin round out the film. Zeitgeist Films will
be distributing the film theatrically for Unapix.

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