Controversial documentary “Vaxxed” is poised to get a release in China, a territory which has recently undergone a massive public health scandal relating to vaccinations.
Cinema Libre Studio has entered into a partnership with China’s Gaia Studio for a significant expansion of the film’s U.S. theatrical release. “Gaia Studio also expects to distribute the film in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan as soon as possible,”
Cinema Libre said. No import license, distributor or release date have yet been firmed up for China.
The film is currently playing at some 20 theaters in the U.S., an accelerated release which Cinema Libre says was a reaction to being selected and then deselected from playing at the Tribeca Film Festival, and an effort “to dispel misconceptions that the film was anti-vaccine.”
Tribeca co-founder Robert De Niro later went on NBC to state his regret for the film being pulled from the festival. He urged the public to “go see the film.”
The subtleties of the North American festival scene may be lost on Chinese audiences. But there is plenty of reasons for them to relate to the movie.
Chinese authorities arrested or demoted some 350 officials and made over 200 arrests in connection with a vaccine scandal in Shandong Province. A 47-year old woman was revealed to have traded over $100 million vaccines through an unlicensed company which had a network of 300 sub-dealers across the country. While the vaccines were produced by licensed companies, many were at or close to expiry, and many had not been stored or transported under the correct conditions, likely rendering them useless. While the scandal was known to the authorities in early 2015, officials had covered it up until February this year.
“This is a topic in the news, and we feel this movie gives a moving account and record of actual events and trends occurring. This is knowledge and information that can help people,” said A.L Yang, chairman and founder of Gaia Studio.
The film will also be screened at the Cannes Film Market.