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Monday, August 07, 2006

Moore film fest screens "Jesus" despite objection on Yahoo! News

By Gregg Kilday

Ignoring a request to remove the documentary "Jesus Camp" from its lineup, Michael Moore's Traverse City (Mich.) Film Festival went ahead Friday with the first of two screenings of the film.

The documentary looks at a summer camp for born-again Christian children, and has won top jury awards at this year's Tribeca Film Festival and AFI SilverDocs Film Festival.

After Magnolia Films acquired North American distribution rights last week, the company asked festival organizers to drop the film because it was concerned that any association with the polarizing director of "Fahrenheit 9/11" could damage its prospects in conservative circles. "Read More" click link below


In a statement issued Friday, Moore called Magnolia's request "truly one of the worst publicity stunts I have ever seen."

Moore added, "I had no intention of showing 'Jesus Camp' in this festival. The producers begged me to show it. I said OK. Then they sent me the film this week to show it in the festival. (Then), one day before its screening, after all its tickets have been sold, they sent me and the press a fax saying they want the film pulled."

A second screening is scheduled for Saturday.

Because the film presents the material in a manner that is considered by many who have seen it as fair and objective, Magnolia Films president Eamonn Bowles said Thursday he considers it "a Rorshach test. It's very neutral, right down the middle, and different people take away different things from it."

He plans to release "Jesus" in more conservative Christian markets where art films aren't commonly shown, in addition to the indie company's traditional art house venues.

"The reality of the world we live in today is that if Michael Moore endorses it, tens of millions will automatically reject it," said Bowles.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter
Print Story: Moore film fest screens "Jesus" despite objection on Yahoo! ews


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