Park City Film Series confirmed to show ‘The Interview’
December 24, 2014
Editor’s note, 12/24/14: This article has been updated to include screening times and dates for ‘The Interview’ and additional details regarding security.
The Park City Film Series announced the screening schedule of the controversial comedy, "The Interview," a film about a plot to assassinate North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un.
The film will be shown at the Prospector Theater, 2175 Sidewinder Dr.
Two screenings will be on Christmas at 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Additional screenings will be Dec. 26 and 27 at 6 p.m., and Dec. 28 at 8 p.m.
January screenings will be held Jan. 1 at 7 p.m., Jan. 2 and Jan. 3 at 6 p.m. and Jan 4, at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased by visiting http://www.parkcityfilmseries.org.
The Film Series is only screen in Park City that will show the film, according to Katharine Wang, Park City Film Series executive director.
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The news came after Michael Lynton, the CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, reversed his stance about not releasing the film. He was initially concerned about threats of terrorism.
"The Interview" was pulled from distribution after Sony Pictures Entertainment was cyber hacked by a group that calls itself Guardians of Peace.
In the process, the hackers released personal emails from Sony’s top executives as well as personal details about the studio’s 47,000 employees.
In addition, Guardians of Peace said if the film was released that "The world will be full of fear," and included "Remember the 11th of September 2001" in the statement.
President Obama chastised Sony last week.
"We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary that they don’t like, or news reports that they don’t like," he said.
The Department of Homeland Security has said there is "no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States."
Still, the Prospector will beef up security during the screenings, said general manager Avinas Nokhai.
"From our end we will do anything possible to make sure everything runs smoothly," Nokhai said. "We will extra security and I will be on property as well over the weekend to make sure someone from management will be here in case something does happen."
Nokhai was surprised that Sony selected Park City Film Series as one of the screens to show "The Interview."
"I didn’t know until Tuesday when I got a phone call telling me Sony was going to release the film," he said. "For us to be selected to screen it and for the film series to be able to facilitate it is a big deal for Park City.
"I was bummed when I first heard the film was not going to be shown, because I really wanted to see it," Nokhai said. "So I was very happy when Sony decided not to cave in to some of the silly stuff that has happened and is actually going forward and taking a stand to show the film."
"The Interview," which is rated R, doesn’t fall into the category of independent film, Park City Film Series wanted to screen the movie anyway, she said.
"Yes, this is not a film the art-house community would show," she said. "It’s a big-budget, $44 million film, but the point and reason why we’re doing this is freedom of expression.
"The stance we take is that no one should be able to dictate that a certain film should not be seen," Wang said. "We want people to know that we support the artists and their right to show the film, even if other people oppose it. As Americans this is something that we all take pride in."
Sony’s reversal came after a film-activist group called Art House Convergence sent a letter to Lynton and Amy Pascal, co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group, according to Wang.
Art House Convergence is an organization for community-based, mission-driven cinemas that meets once a year before the Sundance Film Festival, Wang said.
"Russ Collins, who owns the Michigan Theater, is the head of Art House Convergence and wrote the letter," she said. "Collins said if the big theaters won’t show the film in the big theater chains, the art house theaters will."
"With this threat, the issue became larger than any film, larger than Sony and larger than the entertainment industry: societal and artistic values are in peril," the letter stated. "We are at an important crossroads with an opportunity to reaffirm clearly our dedication to the value of freedom and the absolute necessity to keep our film industry free of restriction, censorship and violent intimidation."
While art house film theaters are small, they wanted to help, according to Wang.
"Many of us have one screen, like the Park City Film Series," she said. "Others have multiple screens that can show many screenings."
Sony responded to the letter and agreed to do a limited release on approximately 400 independent theater screens.
"We’re lucky to be able to pick it up," Wang said. "I think a lot of people are interested in the film because of the news."