Art House Theaters Petition to Screen ‘The Interview’

The poster for The Interview starring James Franco and Seth Rogen (detail).


If you pay attention to popular culture (and perhaps even if you don’t), you’re likely familiar with the recent troubles that have plagued Sony. In summation, the film studio fell victim to a group of North Korean hacktivists angered by the plot of The Interview, a James Franco and Seth Rogen vehicle in which the bumbling duo is engaged in a fictional plot to assassinate Kim Jung-un.

After threats of attacks on any movie theater that deigned to show the film, which was scheduled to be released on Christmas Day, the studio shut it down completely. In the days following the decision, there’s been an understandable amount of backlash from creatives types who are concerned about the message sent by backing down so easily.

First George Clooney attempted to get his famous friends to sign a petition to release the film despite threats. Now, according to a report in the Boston Herald, the Art House Convergence, which represents over 250 independent theaters nationwide, has penned an open letter to Sony executives Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal, urging them to allow smaller theaters to screen the film.

The group also launched a petition urging other theaters and individuals to join their cause.

“Circumstance has propelled The Interview into a spotlight on values, both societal and artistic, and in honor of our support, we want to offer our help in a way that honors our long tradition of defending creative expression,” the open letter reads.

“With this threat, the issue became larger than any film, larger than Sony and larger than the entertainment industry: societal and artistic values are in peril. We are at an important crossroads with an opportunity to reaffirm clearly our dedication to the value of freedom and the absolute necessity to keep our film industry free of restriction, censorship and violent intimidation.”

Sony still maintains that they will forgo any kind of theatrical release, but sources close to the company have stated that there are still hopes to release the film before the end of the year via the Internet or video-on-demand platforms.

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