Fahrenheit 9/11 will be released theatrically in the US on Jun 25through a coalition of Harvey and Bob Weinstein's fledgling FellowshipAdventure Group, Lions Gate Films and IFC Films.
Pay-TV rights will behandled by Showtime, Lions Gate's pay-TV partner, leaving an announcement stillpending for home entertainment. Focus Features and Columbia TriStar HomeEntertainment are the lead contenders for clinching those rights, which wouldmake the Weinsteins' proposed "coalition of the willing" a reality.
Screen broke the story ofthe coalition plan at Cannes (May 20) whereby the brothers would split up therights of the sale between a number of companies, both to create separaterevenue streams and to assemble a group of other media companies which werewilling, unlike Miramax's corporate parent Disney, to handle a film of suchpolitical content.
So far, the deal sees LionsGate, Cablevision (which owns IFC) and Viacom (which owns Showtime) take partin the deal.
"This is a true coalition,"the Weinsteins said in a statement. "The passion that Lions Gate, IFC Films andShowtime have demonstrated reflects our desire to enable Michael Moore'sextraordinary work to be viewed by as many filmgoers as possible as soon aspossible."
"With Frodo (Harvey) and Sam(Bob) now in charge of the Fellowship, I welcome the addition of Lions Gate andIFC to our quest in bringing good family entertainment to the viewing public,"added Moore. "Jon Feltheimer [nowhead of Lions Gate] produced my series TV Nation and IFC produced my series The Awful Truth. Not only am I in good hands, I am grateful to themnow that everyone who wants to see it will now have the chance to do so -thanks to the record number of screens on which they plan to open it. On behalfof my stellar cast
The move was announcedyesterday evening (Jun 1) and follows weeks of feverish will-they, won't-theyspeculation fuelled by an effective publicity campaign that made MichaelMoore's eventual Palme D'Or winner the talk of Cannes.
The Weinsteins willpersonally finance and control distribution and marketing through theFellowship and have appointed creative advertising and marketing consultantMatthew Cohen as the body's marketing director.
Ken Sunshine Consultants hasbeen hired to handle PR for the Fellowship and will work closely with theWeinsteins and the coalition on the release.
"Michael Moore is abrilliant creative talent, and we are honoured to handle his latest film,"Lions Gate chief executive officer Jon Feltheimer said.
"Everyone at IFC Films isthrilled to be working again with Michael Moore. Michael's is one of the most important voices speakingtoday, and IFC Films is an ideal home for Michael and Fahrenheit 9/11," IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehringadded.