Writer-director Vera Drew won’t let an angry letter stop her from showing her film to the world.
If you haven’t heard the news, Vera Drew’s The People’s Prankster was removed from future TIFF screenings after Warner Bros. served a cease and desist order against the film. This means the film will likely struggle to see the light of day again despite the content and story being a one-off piece that parodies well-known DC characters.
On Wednesday evening, Drew released a statement about what happened between TIFF, the legal status of The People’s Prankster, and where the filmmaker will go from here. In the letter, Drew notes that the production was not hit with a cease-and-desist from “a media conglomerate that will go unnamed,” but instead received an “angry letter” that forced it to not not screen the film.
“Any other film festival would have appealed to us immediately, but after being fully transparent with TIFF, we have agreed to premiere as planned while reducing subsequent screenings to mitigate potential backfire,” Drew wrote in his note app. “It was disappointing (especially since I went to great lengths with legal counsel to make it a parody/fair use) but I made this choice to protect the future of our film and to protect our new friends at TIFF who have been certain of [The People’s Joker‘s] greatest defenders.”
Drew ends the note by saying that the film will be shown again at several other festivals around the world despite this, in the hopes that the film will find a distributor who believes in the project and will protect them and their rights as creators.
Although the film is not slated for any screenings at Fantastic Fest next week, Drew remains optimistic about the film’s future and is working hard to get The People’s Prankster out for the world to see.
Drew concluded her message with a rallying cry to fans of the film, which she described like a “queer coming-of-age story about being trans and working in comedy,” featuring: “FREE THE PEOPLE’S JOKER.”
Let us know what you think about it in the comments below!