The Curse Continues?
♦ Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote seemed to have broken its curse at Cannes last month, showing as the closing gala. However, the news coming out this week is anything but good. It opened in France last month but it doesn’t have a UK or US distributor and now the French producer who contested who owns the rights to the film has just won his court case. Our friends over at the Playlist with contributions from Screen Daily have some of the details…
Yesterday, the Paris Court of Appeal ruled that ex-producer Paulo Branco is indeed the owner of the rights, and Terry Gilliam’s film actually belongs to him. What does this mean for the future of the film? It’s still up in the air. Of course, the film has been released in France, and was looking for US and international distribution, but now that all seems to be put on hold, while Gilliam and Branco continue their war.
“The ruling means that the rights to the film belong to Alfama. Any exploitation of the film up until now has been completely illegal and without the authorization of Alfama,” said Branco, in an interview with Screen Daily. “We will be seeking damages with interest from all the people involved in this illegal production and above all, all those who were complicit in its illegal exploitation. We’re holding everyone responsible.”
As mentioned in that statement, Branco now is going to seek damages from Gilliam, Kinology (the Paris-based sales company and producer of the film), Ocean Films, and even the Cannes Film Festival.
“The film belongs in its entirety to Alfama. The film was made illegally. It’s the first time, I’ve ever seen so many people embark on a mission to produce and exploit a film, without holding the rights. It’s a unique case,” continued Branco.
Branco’s son and lawyer, Juan Branco, specifically called out Thierry Frémaux, the Cannes boss, saying, “For me, this is very important because I spoke out publicly about this case with determination and also given the cynicism with which the establishment, Thierry Frémaux and [Minister of Culture] Francoise Nyssen – in a shameful conflict of interests for the latter, responded.”
So the future of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote is up in the air and we don’t know when or if it will be shown outside of France at the moment. Here’s our review of the film from our contributor James Mottram from a few weeks ago
And here’s The Playlist article