×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’ Can Screen at Cannes, French Court Says

A French court Wednesday threw out a request by producer Paulo Branco to stop the Cannes Film Festival from screening Terry Gilliam’s “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” clearing the way for the festival to press ahead with its closing-night plans.

However, the court in Paris said the May 19 showing of the film must be preceded by a statement saying that the exceptional screening does not prejudice Branco’s claim to the rights to “Don Quixote” or the ongoing legal proceedings surrounding the film. In addition, the court ruled that Gilliam, Star Invest Films France, and sales agent Kinology must each pay Branco €1,500 ($1,800) to help defray his legal expenses.

Granting Branco’s request for an injunction against the screening in Cannes would have forced the festival to pick another title for its prestigious closing-night slot just 10 days before the event.

Branco and his Alfama Films allege that he was wrongly cut out as a producer on “Don Quixote,” in breach of an agreement he and Gilliam signed in 2016 that awarded Branco rights to the film. Branco called Wednesday’s ruling “a wise decision,” adding: “I am not angry…. Commercial exploitation [of the film] cannot go ahead until the dispute is settled.”

However, the judge in Wednesday’s decision said he had no power to rule on the question of the film’s distribution in France.

Cannes’ organizers had said last month that they were aware of the legal proceedings, but that they decided to go ahead with “Don Quixote” anyway, defending Gilliam and dismissing Branco as a self-important troublemaker.

“The Festival de Cannes will respect the legal decision, whatever it may be, but we strongly affirm that we stand squarely on the side of filmmakers and in particular on the side of Terry Gilliam,” the festival said April 30. “We know how important this project, which has gone through so many trials and tribulations, is to him. The trouble [was] caused on this last occasion by the actions of a producer who has shown his true colors once and for all during this episode and who has threatened us, via his lawyer, with a ‘humiliating defeat.’”

But Branco shot back, declaring that “the Cannes Film Festival is not above the law, and the virulence and aggressiveness of [its] tone will not change anything.” On Wednesday, he said it was now up to Cannes whether to proceed with the closing-night screening in compliance with the court decision.

After Branco and Gilliam signed their agreement in 2016, funding for the film failed to come through, which sent Gilliam in search of new backers. That was just one of a litany of problems that have bedeviled “Don Quixote” since Gilliam conceived of the project 20 years ago. He has had to halt or abandon production several times because of on-set accidents and financial woes.

Bringing the completed film to Cannes at last and landing the closing-night position is Gilliam’s long-awaited reward. But the difficulties have kept coming: Gilliam reportedly suffered a mini-stroke over the weekend, potentially putting his appearance on the Croisette in doubt, and Amazon has just pulled out of distributing the film in the U.S.

Henry Chu contributed to this report.

More Film

  • Actress Shirley MacLaine poses at the

    Shirley MacLaine Selected for AARP Career Achievement Award

    Shirley MacLaine has been selected as the recipient of the AARP’s 2018 Movies for Grownups Career Achievement Award. MacLaine will be honored at the 18th annual Movies for Grownups Awards ceremony on Feb. 4 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. MacLaine has credits on more than 50 feature films, won a best [...]

  • 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette' Trailer: Cate

    Cate Blanchett Disappears in 'Where’d You Go, Bernadette' First Trailer

    Cate Blanchett goes missing in the first trailer for Richard Linklater’s latest film, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.” Based on Maria Semple’s 2012 novel, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” follows agoraphobic architect Bernadette Fox (Blanchett), who disappears just before a family trip to Antarctica. “Something unexpected has come up,” Blanchett’s character says on the phone. “It has much [...]

  • Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in

    'The Favourite' Leads London Critics' Circle Nominations

    Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark historical comedy “The Favourite” lived up to its title with the London Film Critics’ Circle on Tuesday, nabbing 10 awards nominations from the group – twice as many as its nearest rivals. Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma,” Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here,” Rupert Everett’s “The Happy Prince” and Pawel Pawlikowski’s European Film [...]

  • Picture Tree Intl. Rolls Out Pre-Sales

    Berlin: Picture Tree Intl. Rolls Out Pre-Sales on B.O. Hit ‘100 Things’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID — In the long run-up to February’s Berlin Festival, Picture Tree Intl. has rolled out multiple pre-sales on “100 Things,” which Warner Bros. Pictures bowed in Germany on Dec. 6 to a robust first eight-day €2.7 million ($3.07 million). “100 Things” will receive a market screening at the Berlinale’s European Film Market. The third [...]

  • Mid 90s

    Jonah Hill's 'mid90s,' Pauline Kael Documentary to Screen in Berlin's Panorama Section

    Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “mid90s,” about a 13-year-old skateboarder’s coming of age, and a documentary on influential film critic Pauline Kael are among the works that will screen in the Panorama section of the upcoming Berlin Film Festival. Films starring Tilda Swinton and Jamie Bell and titles from countries including Israel, Brazil and Japan were [...]

  • 'Your Name' Director Makoto Shinkai Readies

    ‘Your Name' Director Makoto Shinkai Readies 'Weathering'

    Three years after the animation “Your Name” began its long triumphant reign over the Japanese and international box office, its director Makoto Shinkai has announced his next animated feature. Titled “Weathering With You,” the film will arrive in theaters in Japan on July 19 of next year, with Toho distributing. Set in a world where [...]

  • Berlin: The Match Factory Boards New

    Berlin: The Match Factory Boards Competition Titles From Fatih Akin, Emin Alper (EXCLUSIVE)

    German indie powerhouse The Match Factory will handle world sales on two Berlin Film Festival competition titles: German director Fatih Akin’s serial-killer chiller “The Golden Glove” and Turkish director Emin Alper’s family drama “A Tale of Three Sisters.”  Akin, a Hamburg native whose “Head-On” won the Golden Bear in 2004, is returning to the Berlinale [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content