LOS ANGELES, CA (March 29, 2016) Cinema Libre Studio will be distributing Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, the explosive documentary directed by Andrew Wakefield which was “de-selected” from the Tribeca Film Festival this past weekend. The film investigates the claims of a Senior Scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. William Thompson, who revealed that the CDC had manipulated and destroyed data on an important study about autism and the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. Cinema Libre Studio has been working with the Vaxxed team since fall of 2015, and has acquired worldwide rights from Autism Media Channel. The documentary will premiere Friday, April 1 in an Exclusive Engagement at the Angelika FiIm Center in New York City before being widely released in other cities with future distribution plans to be unveiled.
The film was an Official Selection at the Tribeca Film Festival with the world premiere scheduled for April 24th. However, after the film was announced in the lineup last Monday, online protests erupted. Then festival co-founder Robert De Niro had a one-hour conversation with Representative Bill Posey, who appears in the film and who has vetted all communication related to the CDC whistleblower and asked that he be brought before Congress to testify. After the call, a statement was posted on the Tribeca Facebook page from De Niro:
“This is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening VAXXED. I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue.”
The pressure mounted when the story went viral and the festival made an about-face, when TFF executives called Cinema Libre Studio executives over the holiday weekend to tell them the film was being pulled from the line-up. De Niro then posted a second statement saying:
“My intent in screening this film was to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family. But after reviewing it over the past few days with the Tribeca Film Festival team and others from the scientific community, we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for.”
The media frenzy continued including a Change.org petition to bring back the film to the festival which now has over 28,000 signatures.
Cinema Libre Chairman Philippe Diaz says, “We chose to distribute this film to correct a major issue, which is the suppression of medical data by a governmental agency that may very well be contributing to a significant health crisis. The media storm of last week also revealed another issue; the hyper mediatization by some members of the media and the documentary community who had not even seen the film, as well as Tribeca executives, which condemned it as anti-vaccine. This film is not anti-vaccine and either is Dr. Wakefield. Wakefield’s concern for the last twenty years has been about making sure that vaccines are safe for children. This is why we decided to release the film now rather than as originally planned later in the year.”
Richard Castro, Head of Distribution, explains, “It’s disturbing that an American film festival can succumb so easily to pressure to censor a film that it has already selected an announced. On Friday I received a call from Tribeca executives expressing concerns about showing the film, but no opportunity was afforded our filmmakers to even address those concerns. When I questioned the rationale, it was indicated that sponsors interest was a factor. By Saturday night, the film was simply pulled off the festival’s programming schedule.”
Produced by Del Bigtree, who left his job as producer on the Emmy© award-winning television show The Doctors to make the film, the documentary features Dr. Brian Hooker, to whom Thompson leaked documents as well as autism experts (Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, Mark Blaxill, Polly Tommey), practicing family physicians (Dr. James M. Sears, Dr. Rachel Ross), former Pharmaceutical drug representative Brandy Vaughn, research scientists (Dr. Luc Montagnier, Stephanie Seneff) and Congressman Bill Posey. Says Bigtree, “While making the film, we spoken to so many medical professionals who are afraid to speak out publicly against the pharmaceutical companies, and their influence on the medical industry. When the CDC Whistleblower story broke last year, not one mainstream news outlet ran the story. Either they were asleep at the wheel or were in a coma induced by their pharmaceutical advertisers. “
Wakefield says, “Our aim with this movie was to take this complex, high-level fraud and to give it context, and weave through it the tragic street-level narratives of ordinary families affected by autism. We hope that the film will help, at a minimum, push Congress to subpoena Dr. William Thompson and investigate this fraud at the CDC. ”
The film was produced by Del Bigtree, edited by Brian Burrowes with original music by Franceso Lupica (Knights of Cups, Tree of Life) who has contributed his “Visual Music Design” to several Terrance Malick films. The film was financed through donations of individual families and philanthropists, and was acquired from Autism Media Channel in a deal negotiated by Wakefield for Autism Media Channel and Bigtree with Richard Castro.
Twitter: @vaxxedthemovie # vaxxed #cdcwhistleblower
ABOUT CINEMA LIBRE: Cinema Libre Studio is a full-service mini-studio known for producing and distributing high concept feature films and social impact documentaries. Headquartered in the Los Angeles area, the team has released over 200 films.
1) Direct link to De Niro’s Tribeca Facebook posts: https://www.facebook.com/Tribeca/posts/10154153954489758
2) Change.org petition: https://www.change.org/p/tribeca-bring-vaxxed-back-to-tribeca
FOR MEDIA REQUESTS:
- There will be a press conference on Wednesday, March 30th at 1:00pm PST at the Sportsman Lodge in Studio City. Contact Dawna Shuman at email@example.com, ph: 818-632-3296
- Please note: due to the short lead time to release the film, we are unable to distribute advance screeners and instead encourage the media to attend one of the screenings at the Angelika Film Center
Angelika Film Center (18 W. Houston St., New York, NY 10012)
Show times: Friday (4/1) thru Thursday (4/7): 11:00a, 1:15p, 3:30p, 5:45p, 8:00p, 10:30p
There will be Q&As following the 8:00 pm shows on Friday (4/1) and Saturday (4/2)
For other requests, please contact press (at) vaxxedthemovie (dot) com and ph: 818-588-3033