The film industry websites were a-flutter yesterday when the news broke that Paramount/Dreamworks planned to send screeners of Dreamgirls to all members of the Directors Guild of America. The studio wanted to make sure the DGA members knew that Bill Condon, who directed the film, should be considered for the guild's 2006 award. Rival studios were in an uproar, because it was believed that the DGA prohibited the sending of screeners to its members -- but apparently the DGA had never formally adopted such a rule. As long as other studios were notified when a promotional DVD of a movie was to be sent, it was perfectly okay. As soon as this rule was clarified, you could bet that every studio possible was preparing to send screeners to the DGA's 13,400 members.

But before the pre-Christmas mail could be swamped with stacks of prestigious movies on DVD to deliver, the DGA decided to reverse its ruling. Dreamgirls will not be arriving in directors' mailboxes this Christmas -- DGA members will just have to hit a theater like the rest of us (although at least they can attend special guild screenings). The Wednesday announcement acnowledged that the previous rule was vague and misunderstood. Therefore, it was unfair to allow screeners this late in the process, since voting closes Jan. 8, without sufficient notice to all distributors to prepare. Next year, however, screeners will be permitted. Various mailing services and studio mailroom clerks are probably overjoyed. No word on how the Dreamgirls folks might feel about it, but if nothing else, the uproar in the media may have helped bring the film into the public eye.
categories Awards, Cinematical