Trudie Styler faces a battle with Walt Disney to secure a release for The Sweatbox, the critically acclaimed documentary on the making of a Walt Disney feature animation which she co-directed and co-produced with John-Paul Davidson.
Styler was expecting a release through BVI but parent Disney has yet to commit to airing the warts and all documentary, filmed while husband Sting was composing songs for The Emperor's New Groove.
"I can't understand why they are not releasing it," Styler told Screen International. "If anything comes out [of the documentary], it is that they are people in search of excellence and perfection."
Styler and Davidson, whose documentary credits include Galahad Of Everest and Boys From Brazil, spent three years working on Sweatbox, the nickname for the screening room where Disney animators look at work in progress. The film, which played at Toronto, documents an apparently exceptionally tortuous incubation process, with director Roger Allers exiting and six of Sting's songs ending up on the cutting room floor as the film gets a radical makeover.
"It tells the truth in a clear, entertaining way," Styler said.
Styler was at Cannes to unveil A Guide To Recognising Your Saints, the story of a boy growing up in 80s New York as his friends end up either dead, as junkies or in prison. Robert Downey Jr will star in the film, which will be Styler's next production through Xingu Films, the company through which she recently produced David Thewlis' Cheeky as a co-production with Luc Besson's EuropaCorp.
Styler, who executive produced Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, used her salary on Sweatbox on another documentary, A Kind Of Childhood, about child labour in Bangladesh. The film tells the story of a boy who has to give up his education to drive a motorised taxi-bike. At the age of 16 he looks like an old man, his lungs ravaged by pollution.
"We invested the money in A Kind Of Childhood," Styler said, "so that only exists because of the Disney corporation, so thanks very much."