Gotham Ent. going to school with ‘Kings’

PARK CITY, Utah – Gotham Entertainment Group has acquired the college theatrical rights to Leon Gast and Taylor Hackford’s documentary “When We Were Kings” as part of its continuing commitment to bring independent film to college campuses. Since last year’s Sundance fest, Gotham founders Joel Roodman and Patrick McDarrah have brought titles like “Girls Town,” “Paradise Lost,” “Hype!” and “Stonewall” to more than 200 colleges as part of the Guess Independent Film Tour.

Gotham usually has between 15 and 20 prints circulating of each of its releases.

“Kings” depicts 1974’s legendary “Rumble in the Jungle,” and it played in Park City last year before Polygram purchased it for a multi-million-dollar sum. Gramercy put the documentary into theaters for an Oscar-qualifying run last fall, and the wide release of the Muhammad Ali/George Foreman docu is scheduled for February.

Gotham plans on taking the film to college campuses in March – several months before the video window. The film won kudos here in 1996 and features the music of James Brown and B.B. King.

” ‘When We Were Kings’ is in keeping with the issue-oriented films that we have been bringing to towns and campuses where independent film seldom goes,” McDarrah said of the acquisition. “We have distributed films that deal with female empowerment, gay rights, and now we have a jewel of a film that deals with the black experience in America.”

“Having enjoyed working with theatrical distributors like October and CFP, we are excited about what being in business with a company like Polygram represents for us,” Roodman added. Both Gotham principals are in Park City screening titles for acquisition for the college market. Founded in 1995, Gotham is also in the theatrical and TV production business.

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