Sort-of-indie bemoth Miramax was built on the savvy marketing of small aquisitions, and for years the very presence of Bob and Harvey Weinstein has dominated the discourse of the Sundance Film Festival. But with the 2005 festival beginning this weekend, questions are floating regarding how much of a role Miramax will realistically be able to play on this year's festival stage. The never-ending divorce talks still percolating between the Weinstein brothers and Disney, their corporate parent of twelve years, are beginning to pose problems for films already associated with the indie giant. Mark Caro reports that the future of Miramax is so uncertain that Reel Paradise, the new film by Hoop Dreams director Steve James, financed through Miramax's deal with Kevin Smith's production company View Askew, will be at the festival looking for new distribution:

"Given Miramax's present state, it's not at all surprising that we find ourselves in this position," James said. "We are a little documentary. There's no big star power attached to this [...]It's a strange situation because they've been extremely supportive in many ways, but they're not going to be distributing it."

Though industry speculation suggests that Disney will retain ownership of the Miramax name and back catalog, whilst the Weinsteins will be allowed to start a new company and maintain relationships with their star talent (including directors Smith and Quentin Tarrantino), the future of films already in the Miramax pipeline is unclear.

Read the rest of Caro's article here, and keep your eyes peeled for the emminent official announcement of the Disney/Miramax split.

categories Cinematical