Friday, October 1, 2010

A Strange Place to Go Fishing for CATFISH

Posted By on October 1, 2010, 10:30 AM

It was a word-of-mouth sensation at Sundance earlier this year, an edgy documentary that glides between comedy, suspense and drama. So of course the one theater at which it was booked in Utah is in ... West Jordan? ---

The film in question is Catfish, a brilliantly complex story about a New York photographer whose online interaction with a family in Michigan veers off in unpredictable directions. It would seem like an ideal fit for the Salt Lake Film Society, which operates the Broadway Centre Cinemas and Tower Theatre in Salt Lake City. But according to SLFS executive director Tori Baker, they didn't even get a chance.

"Coming out of Sundance it was a film we’d been keeping our eye on for a very long time," Baker said. "We’d been getting tons of emails and calls about it."

However, Catfish was being distributed not by one of the smaller independent film distributors, but by Universal Pictures. While bigger studios like Universal typically don't have established relationship with smaller-market art-houses, Baker said she was working with a Universal booker who understood that the Broadway was a good venue for Catfish, and tried to get it for the theater. But, according to Baker, "Internally at Universal, there was a mandate to her that it had to be booked in specific theaters, and in Utah, that was at the [Cinemark Jordan Landing] in West Jordan. ...It’s very odd; it doesn’t make a lot of sense."

An attempt to get a comment from the regional publicist for Universal did not result in a response at the time of this posting. Meanwhile, anyone interested in seeing one of the best films of the year will need to learn directions to the Cinemark Jordan Landing.

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