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Studio to Show Oscar Hopeful

Responding to stricter distribution rules, DreamWorks joins others in planning screenings for insiders.

October 07, 2003|Lorenza Munoz | Times Staff Writer

Responding to the Motion Picture Assn. of America's decision to prohibit studios from sending out copies of DVDs and videocassettes for awards consideration, DreamWorks Pictures will begin screening "House of Sand and Fog" for groups of film industry insiders more than a month before the picture's theatrical release date.

The movie, DreamWorks' main Oscar contender this year, will begin screening at Laemmle's Music Hall on Nov. 14. Its scheduled release is Dec. 26.

There will be two screenings nightly through Dec. 11, but admission is open only to card-holding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and members of various guilds.

Although studios often "four-wall," or rent an auditorium for screening awards-worthy movies, it is unusual for a studio to book a theater for a long block of time before a film's theatrical release. DreamWorks is joining several other studios in screening Oscar hopefuls well before their release dates in hopes of giving people enough time to see movies before they vote.

Fox Searchlight Pictures and Walt Disney Co.'s Touchstone Films already have begun individual screenings for their own respective hopefuls, "In America" and "Veronica Guerin."

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