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Cuban telecast won't hurt '9/11' Oscar hopes

Film won't be disqualified because broadcast copy was pirated
/ Source: The Associated Press

Unauthorized Cuban television broadcasts of “Fahrenheit 9/11” will not keep the movie out of the Academy Awards race for best documentary.

The broadcasts in Cuba originated from pirated copies of Michael Moore’s film, according to Lions Gate Films, one of the distributors of “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

John Pavlik, spokesman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said Wednesday that would not disqualify “Fahrenheit 9/11” for the best-documentary Oscar, which Moore won for his last film, 2002’s “Bowling for Columbine.”

Oscar rules prohibit television or Internet broadcast of documentary contenders anywhere in the world within nine months of their theatrical release. But “Fahrenheit 9/11” would not be affected by the Cuba broadcasts since they were not sanctioned by the distributors, Pavlik said.

“The rule was never intended to punish people for something like this,” Pavlik said.

“Fahrenheit 9/11,” Moore’s scathing assault on President Bush’s actions regarding the Sept. 11 attacks, has grossed $109.4 million domestically, the first documentary ever to top $100 million.

Along with best documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11” is eligible to compete in other Oscar categories.