Anita Hill Documentary is Already SRO at Sundance

Along with being the editor of Southland Publishing’s Arroyo Monthly magazine, Irene Lacher continues to contribute provocative weekly celebrity “Sunday Conversations” Q&As as a freelancer to the LA Times. She was once a staffer for the paper. We covered the one she famously did some time ago with actor Thomas Jane and want to also highlight her intriguing January 13 discussion with Anita Hill.

All four premiere screenings in Park City of Anita, the documentary about Hill’s landmark sexual harassment battle, are already sold out. The only downside of Lacher’s interview is that at the time of the discussion, Clarence Thomas‘ former accuser had not yet seen the film. Hill explained how Anita came about:

“I had been approached by two or three filmmakers about doing a documentary, and for two or three years I simply said no, and Freida Mock had come back a couple of times. I wanted to work to make sure that if the story was told that at least I had some positive input. So after talking with Freida, I just felt that she was the right person to tell the story. She persuaded me in this very calm, clear way that I and the story would be in good hands. And that’s all she promised me.”

Mock has received three Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary Short and also won the Documentary Feature Oscar in 1994 for her profile of artist Maya Lin. Expect a lot of explosive coverage of Anita out of Sundance and a renewed debate about the credit Hill deserves for pushing the topic of workplace sexual harassment to the fore.

The film’s lead publicist, Sylvia Desrochers (Big Time PR), tells FishbowlLA that Hill will be at Sundance for only a short time and thus doing select press. She also says the documentary has some deep personal resonance. “I am so honored to be working on this film,” Desrochers explains. “I was in high school when the infamous hearings took place and I know that I’m indebted to Anita Hill for helping to forge an environment in which I feel quite confident I can work without harassment. I am rarely star-struck but I get a little thrill whenever I talk to her! She’s an icon for women.”

[Image courtesy Sundance Film Festival]