ThinkFilm today announced its acquisition of theatrical and DVD rights to the documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, which made as many headlines recently for its acclaimed Sundance run as for being dumped in New York and Pasadena for a week by its Oscar-craving original buyers at HBO. The cable network retains the broadcast rights, planning a June 9 premiere ahead of ThinkFilm's July 11 theatrical release. We know what you're thinking — a TV premiere before theatrical? But it's not that unusual, and it can only help in the awards push sure to come.
As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, when HBO has broadcast previous ThinkFilm releases ahead of time, the theatrical runs suffered from a lack of reviews; with Wanted and Desired headed to Cannes, however, and The New York Times already having reviewed its short New York run, ThinkFilm president Mark Urman said he isn't worrying about it. Moreover, with ThinkFilm coming off a Best Documentary Oscar win with Taxi to the Dark Side, look for Wanted and Desired to jump near the top the early '08 Oscar nominee short list overnight — if it hasn't already. Somehow we doubt Ben Stein's Yoko-tweaking right-wing hit Expelled will be in the running come January.