Will the ultraliberal, gay-friendly Sundance Film Festival be hurt by the passage of California's antigay Prop 8?
It's a possibility.
Earlier this week, John Aravosis, editor of liberal political blog Americablog, posted a story suggesting the state of Utah be boycotted in order to punish the Mormon Church for its rabid support of Prop 8, the ballot initiative that has now banned same-sex marriages in California.
The Robert Redford-founded not-for-profit Sundance is located in Park City, Utah, and relies on the yearly festival as its major fundraiser to support its programs and services. Next year's run in January is expected to draw at least 50,000 people, according to festival rep Brooks Addicott.
"Unfortunately, Sundance is located in a really bad state," Aravosis said.
And things got even sticker earlier today...
Turns out that Alan Stock, CEO of movie chain Cinemark, donated almost $10,000 to Yes on 8.
Sundance uses the local Cinemark-owned Holiday Village Cinema as one of its biggest screening venues.
"Our friends," Aravosis said referring to the festival, "are giving money to the enemy."
Even so, a Sundance rep said there are no plans to pull out of its deal with Cinemark because, quite simply, there's nowhere else to go.
"There's nothing we can do," Addicott said. "We have a commitment to our filmmakers to show their films."
Cinemark is trying to distance itself from Stock's contribution, insisting in a statement that the company has no opinion on Prop 8. "Any individual act or contribution is just that, individual acts of personal expression and do not reflect company positions or policy," the statement reads in part.
Aravosis predicts protesters will target the theater come festival time.
"Are filmmakers—even apolitical ones—going to want to walk into and use a theater that's being protested?" Aravosis asked. "I just don't know how you can defend using that theater."
Sundance has a long-running history of supporting gay and lesbian filmmaking, including being the launching pad for the Oscar-winning Boys Don't Cry, among many other projects.