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Michael Moore Takes Top Prize at Cannes Film Festival

At the Cannes film festival, Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" became the first documentary in nearly 50 years to take the festival's coveted top prize the Palme d'Or. During his acceptance speech he said, "I want to make sure if I do nothing else for this year that those who have died in Iraq have not died in vain."
In a matter of weeks Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" has gone from the documentary Disney did not want you to see to the most talked about film in the world. On Saturday Moore took home the prestigious Palme d'Or in Cannes. We play his acceptance speech, and replay his Oscar appearance last year as well as an excerpt from an interview Moore did with Democracy Now! on the day his book Dude, Where is My Country? came out.
Michael Moore, speaking on Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival

Michael Moore, speaking at the 2003 Academy Awards

Michael Moore, speaking with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!

homepage: homepage: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/05/24/148218

Good For Him! 24.May.2004 15:01

Seatac Reader

He still won't get any of my money, But I'll congratulate him just the same.

why is everyone so OBSESSED with Moore "getting money"?!? 24.May.2004 15:28

*

from ReichWingNut Trolls to Libertarians to self-styled Limousine Liberals to Anarchists,

everyone -

even if the person - as with "Seatac Reader" above - does happen to agree with or endorse Moore -

has this anal fixation on Moore making money?

yeah, at this point Moore is a successful independent filmmaker, but it's been 15 years since "Roger & Me" debuted (I was there with 3 other people in theater that day) and the guy has worked hard and been through a lot of censorship and intimidation to get where he's at in the media grid. this isn't a b.s. ploy to "justify his hard work" - but it's also not as though Moore magically "appeared" on the independent film scene last year - he has a proven track record.

face it:

"Fahrenheit 9/11" is far more than (and in my opinion not even) a 'Bush-bashing' film - it raises serious questions about September 11 and the administration's role in allowing it to happen, and power elites are afraid that wider mainstream exposure to such questions and thinking will expose them.

Moore is not - and will never be - Eisner or Murdoch. save your "money" beefs for them (and for multimillionaire Skull & Bones blood brothers Bush & Kerry, of course).

as far as the movie itself, or any of Moore's other ones / TV shows - the Multnomah County Library will loan home videos of them to you for free.

Moore Film Is Held Up by Questions About Rights 24.May.2004 22:31

By SHARON WAXMAN

Published: May 25, 2004

LOS ANGELES, May 24 Tense relations between Disney and Miramax are complicating a deal to find a distributor for Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary movie "Fahrenheit 9/11," which is still without American representation two days after winning the Palme d'Or at the Cannes International Film Festival.

Lions Gate, Focus Features and Newmarket have all expressed strong interest in releasing the film, which criticizes the president's launching of the war in Iraq and details ties between the Bush family and Saudi Arabia's upper class, including the bin Laden family.

But executives at those companies, many of whom signed confidentiality agreements over the film, acknowledged privately that negotiations had been stalled because it is unclear who has the rights to it.

"The deal hasn't been struck, with us or anyone else," said one leading executive at a distributor. "I think it's because of all the complications with Disney. Miramax is more consumed with dotting the i's and crossing the t's on the Disney equation."

A Disney spokeswoman, Zenia Mucha, said there was no delay in transferring the film rights to the Miramax co-chairmen, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who will make a deal with another distributor as private individuals.

"We have been working diligently to do anything humanly possible to transfer the interests to Harvey and Bob," Ms. Mucha, said adding that the transfer might be imminent. Still, executives at Miramax confirmed that Disney had not yet worked out a deal for the Weinstein brothers to acquire the film privately, though they refused to discuss the issue in more detail.

The controversy over the film and the maneuvering over the transfer of the rights is just the latest problem between Michael Eisner, the Walt Disney chairman, and the Weinsteins, who are in rancorous negotiations with him to renew their contract to run Miramax, an art-house division of Disney. The Weinsteins have hired prominent Hollywood lawyers, which is unusual for such negotiations.

Mr. Eisner was said to be furious over news reports just before the Cannes festival that Disney had prohibited Miramax to distribute the film for political reasons. The news stoked a controversy that ultimately drew more attention to the movie, embarrassing Mr. Eisner and possibly raising the price for the film.

Last week in New York Mr. Eisner told friends that Harvey Weinstein had made the movie despite his objections a year ago and had hidden the $6 million budget in loan financing documentation.

That was why, Mr. Eisner told friends, that when Harvey Weinstein asked in recent weeks to see the film to consider its distribution by Miramax, the Disney chairman was angry to learn that the film had been made.

A Miramax executive did not dispute that Disney opposed the film's distribution by Miramax, but the executive pointed out that Disney was fully aware that Miramax had provided a bridge loan to Mr. Moore to make the film, because distribution of the money required Disney's approval. The Miramax executive denied that anything had been hidden from Disney.

Meanwhile, despite Mr. Moore's prediction over the weekend that the film would find a distributor within 24 hours, "Fahrenheit 9/11" now has distribution in every major international territory except the United States, and the frustration within Miramax at being unable to make a deal is palpable, with one executive there calling the current standoff ridiculous.

In the past when Miramax has been forced to relinquish a film because of Disney's objections, such as with the Roman Catholic satire "Dogma" or the sexually disturbing "Kids," the Weinsteins have been permitted to buy the movie rights themselves and find independent distribution.

In this case Mr. Moore and the Weinsteins have been making complex demands on competing bidders. Mr. Moore insists that whoever distributes the movie do so in July, presumably when it can still have an impact on the November election. A DVD release before November would double that impact.

The Weinsteins, meanwhile, are looking for separate distributors for theatrical and DVD release and will certainly sell the DVD rights for more than the theatrical release, say those close to the negotiations, if the film rights are transferred as expected.

Distributors say any delay will make it harder for them to promote the film properly, with just over a month to create a marketing campaign and materials.

Meanwhile Mr. Eisner looks out of step in rejecting a film that has been embraced by the Cannes audiences and the festival jury and that seems certain to be a moneymaker. He was skewered in a column in Variety on Monday in which Peter Bart wrote: "Now that `Fahrenheit 9/11' is becoming arguably the season's hottest item, Michael Eisner and his cohorts will be asked gain why they dumped what will surely be a very profitable film and why they did so in a manner designed to maximize Michael Moore's exalted profile as the artist as victim?"