If the documentary world has rock stars, then Alex Gibney certainly qualifies. The Academy Award-winning filmmaker — his 2007 “Taxi To The Dark Side” took home the award for Best Documentary Feature — has made a name for himself producing documentary films with crossover audience appeal. Movies like “Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room” and “Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief” have emerged as minor hits with mainstream crowds, giving people a glimpse at secretive organizations who have amassed extraordinary amounts of power.
Unfortunately, it sounds like people will have to wait for Gibney’s latest. “No Stone Unturned” was set to receive its world premiere at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, but an inability to obtain certain rights has forced Gibney to withdraw it from competition. Here’s the full statement from the Tribeca Film Festival:
We were notified today from the producers of Alex Gibney’s ‘No Stone Unturned’ that there are outstanding legal issues surrounding the film and they will need to withdraw the documentary from the Festival. We are very disappointed that audiences will not be able to see the film at Tribeca and we know Alex is equally disappointed that his film will not have its world premiere at the Festival.
A similar statement was also released by Trevor Birney of Fine Point Films, the production company behind the film:
We are bitterly disappointed that as a result of ongoing legal issues relating to the subject matter of the film, ‘No Stone Unturned’ is not yet ready to be screened at Tribeca 2017. No one will feel this disappointment more than the families at the centre of the film, whose quest for justice has been both inspiring and unstinting these last 23 years. It is our deepest hope that these sensitive issues can be resolved as soon as possible so that we can share this important film with the world.
With filmmakers often working on their projects right up the festival deadlines, there’s no need to read anything nefarious into this decision; rights clearances can be a long and complicated process, and Gibney and his crew have done well to identify the issue in advance and give the festival time to refund tickets and plan around his absence. With the world premiere of “No Stone Unturned” now up for grabs, it will be interesting to see what festival leaps at the opportunity to debut Gibney’s film.
Here’s the full synopsis for the film:
In 1994, six men were gunned down and five wounded in a pub while watching a World Cup soccer match in Loughinisland, Northern Ireland. With a police investigation that was perfunctory at best, the case remained unsolved. In this non-fiction murder mystery, Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney reopens the original case to investigate why no culprit was ever brought to justice.
More updates to come.