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Jesus Camp Distributors Adverse to Screening at Traverse: Michael Moore Ignores Request to Remove Documentary from Festival
Contact: Kristin U. Cole, 972-267-1111, kristin@alarryross.com 

DALLAS, Aug. 8, /Christian Newswire/ -- Magnolia Pictures formally requested Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival pull its showing of the documentary Jesus Camp.

Jesus Camp, for which Magnolia recently acquired the North American distribution rights, highlights the experience of three young children attending Rev. Becky Fischer’s charismatic Christian summer camp in Devil’s Lake, N.D. The film, co-directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, has already won the Special Documentary Jury Prize at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival and the SilverDocs Sterling Award at SilverDocs last month.

“Due to the subject of the documentary, we want to guard it from being associated with any group or agenda that may influence viewers one way or another," said Magnolia Pictures President Eamonn Bowles. "One of the great strengths of the film is that it doesn't come with any prepackaged point of view. It shows an honest and impartial depiction of one faction of the evangelical Christian community, something I believe that both Christians and non-Christians alike can appreciate.”

The film's producers originally gave the festival permission to screen the film several weeks ago prior to Magnolia acquiring the distribution rights. However, despite requests from Magnolia and representatives of the filmmakers weeks before the festival to pull the film from the program, the festival went ahead and played the film for two screenings, one Friday and one Saturday, both of which were sold out.

“We know Moore’s association with this film may turn potential viewers away, and we are deeply disappointed in his choice to not comply with our request,” Bowles said. “Magnolia’s desire is to present this film in the same manner it was filmed and edited – objectively. While the individuals profiled in the documentary feel it's a fair presentation, we understand audiences are going to have wildly differing opinions about it. They should have the opportunity to make up their own minds.”

Jesus Camp is set to debut in select markets on Sept. 15 with an opening in New York City on Sept. 22 and an L.A. opening to follow Sept. 29. Additional cities will open in October. For more information about the documentary, visit www.magpictures.com.