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Updated: Hal Hartley Can’t Offer Distribution Rights as Kickstarter Reward

UPDATED: Hal Hartley, the New York filmmaker known for films such as “Trust,” is turning to Kickstarter for his latest film “Ned Rifle.” It’s the third film in a trilogy that started in 1994 with “Henry Fool” and continued with 2006’s “Fay Grim.”

In addition to the usual rewards for the film’s backers such as DVDs and premiere invites, Hartley originally included distribution rights in a number of territories as a Kickstarter reward. An unnamed entity pledged $9,000 with a reward of U.S. theatrical rights, but Kickstarter notified Hartley that distribution rights would be considered a form of investment and would not be allowed. The pledge will not be processed by Kickstarter and Amazon, and the pledger has been notified, Hartley’s reps said.

The film’s Kickstarter page had explained, “Become the theatrical distributor (only in movie theaters and other public venues) of NED RIFLE in the United States of America for 7 years. Make money with it or not, it’s up to you. All income you receive from theatrical exhibition during that term in your territory will be yours. Other licenses, such as Home Video and Electronic Distribution, can be negotiated after the film is completed and premiered. Once you pledge, I’ll email you the script and deal memo immediately.”

Hartley’s most successful film at the box office in his nearly-30 year career has been “Henry Fool,” which made $1.3 million and starred 7-year old Liam Aiken, who will return in “Ned Rifle.”

Currently at $191,338, the project will need to raise $384,000 by Dec. 4 to complete its goal.

“Exactly two years ago I launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the distribution of my film “Meanwhile,” Hartley writes on the film’s page. “After 25 years of making films I now feel — after using Kickstarter only once — that I have a much better idea of who my audience actually is.”

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