Feigen acquires rights to script ‘Witch-Hunt’

Brenda Feigen, who produced Orion’s gung-ho military movie “Navy SEALs,” is now planning to take on the military establishment with “Witch-Hunt,” a spec script detailing the military’s ban on gays and lesbians.

Written by Joanne Parrent, the project will deal specifically with the events that took place at the Marine Corps recruit Training Depot at Parris Island, S.C., from 1986 to 1988.

Feigen has obtained the life story rights to two of the women depicted in the film: Barbara Baum, who was court-martialed in 1988 because of a lesbian affair, and Laura Hinkley, a captain before her discharge for “fraternizing” with an enlisted woman.

Baum was the first sentenced and received a year in prison. By the end of 1988, 65 of the 246 women on the Parris Island Marine Base had been forced to leave.

Feigen, who said the script is going out to actors today, said that the film will have to be a feature, due to its subject matter.

“This is absolutely a feature,” Feigen said. “Networks worry about advertisers. This is about love affairs and does have sex in it. I wouldn’t be able to do it on TV.”

Baum will appear on ABC’s “Prime Time Live” Thursday and is scheduled to testify soon at the Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearings on the issue of gays and lesbians in the military.

“If President Clinton needs ammunition for what I hope is still his position, against the ban,” Feigen said, “then this movie provides it. It’s important in the political climate right now.”

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