Ban on Oscar previews grows dissent

Oct. 6, 2003 at 1:12 PM

HOLLYWOOD, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- The firestorm of opposition to the ban on Oscar movie previews continued to grow over the weekend, Daily Variety reported Monday.

British independent distributors including Pathe, Momentum and Optimum decried the ban and vowed to ignore it.

An increasing number of independent executives now say they believe rather than the MPAA's stated goal of curbing piracy, the ban is motivated as much by a desire to give studio pictures a better shot at winning Oscars.

A number of comments on Variety.com's discussion boards suggest a backlash could be brewing. Several Academy members said they would factor the ban into their choices, and be inclined to vote against studio pictures if the ban remains.

Canadian director Norman Jewison wrote a letter to MPAA chief Jack Valenti stating his opposition. Jewison heads a coalition of filmmakers with illustrious Oscar histories, including Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola, Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, who are mobilizing against the ban and are expected to issue a formal statement this week.

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