Among the feature documentaries to premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival was Brett Morgen‘s Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. Not so fortunate at the same event in 1998 was Nick Broomfield’s similar film Kurt & Courtney.
As Broomfield explained during a Friday interview with HuffPost Live’s Ricky Camilleri, his presence on the festival jury that year was no match for another duo – Pat and Courtney:
“It was great meeting Kurt’s friends and stuff [while making the documentary] but I remember MTV [was] involved and they stopped being involved because Courtney persuaded them to pull the funding. The BBC wanted to pull the plug on the film. Sundance accepted the film and then two days before the festival chucked it out, because Courtney had managed to [derail it]. They shared the same publicist – Robert Redford and Courtney – Pat Kingsley. So it was a ghastly event and I was on the jury [at Sundance] that year.”
Broomfield wound up screening the documentary at midnight with help from Slamdunk, an event organized by a group of filmmakers rejected by the festival. From an LA Times report:
So it was that 150 film executives, reporters and critics assembled just after midnight at the Park City Elks Lodge, Slamdunk’s rented home… “They said it could not be done,” Cassian Elwes, of the William Morris Agency, told the guests. Then Elwes offered his answer to those who would keep Kurt and Courtney under wraps: an obscene gesture.
Broomfield’s latest documentary, Tales of the Grim Sleeper, premieres Monday on HBO.