Sep 9, 2007

"Bordertown" movie sabotaged?

Exclusive news about "Bordertown"

By Kelly McKenzie

Los Angeles -- "Bordertown" will premiere Oct. 19 in El Paso, Texas, according to the movie's U.S. film distributor.

The producers said Jennifer Lopez is expected to attend the event, which will be a benefit.

Two weeks ago, a small theater in El Paso, Texas, that specializes in renting and showing foreign films, pulled its "Bordertown" DVD after learning it was an unauthorized version of the real thing.

The actual movie is about half an hour longer than the bootleg version.

"Bordertown" is the 2007 movie about the Juarez women's murders starring Lopez, Antonio Banderas, Maya Zapata and Martin Sheen.

Fellini's began showing the movie after ordering the DVD online from an outlet in Italy.

In what may be attempts to sabotage the film, pirated copies of the movie are circulating freely in Mexico, selling at markets in Mexico City and Juarez.

"It's not our movie," said Barbara Martinez-Jitner, who with Gregory Nava is one of the film's screenwriters.

Martinez-Jitneer also denied a recent news story in a Dallas newspaper alleging the movie does not have a distributor and will not be released in U.S. theaters.

ThinkFilm is the U.S. distributor for the film that had its debut at the Berlin International Film Festival.

The documentary "Border Echoes," based on the investigation by Diana Washington Valdez, is also being shown in U.S. theaters this year.

"It would be a great boost to advocates at the border and elsewhere around the world if Jennifer Lopez attends the premiere," Washington Valdez said. "The documentary is a not a fictional account."

Based on what sources close to the movie said, there are efforts to keep this movie out of Mexico. This should not surprise anyone. A major campaign is underway in Mexico to counteract negative publicity related to the unsolved murders. That campaign has spread also is affecting the European Parliament.

"We can relate to these kind of maneuvers because we encountered sabotage when my investigative book Cosecha de Mujeres came out in 2005. As a result, we have taken extraordinary efforts to ensure the distribution of the book in English, The Killing Fields," is not blocked."

"Border Echoes" was showcased earlier this year at the Amnesty International Human Rights Film Festival in Seattle, and had its theatrical screening in Los Angeles. Viewer comments have been positive.