A Harvey Weinstein documentary timed with the Oscars. Hmm… Good or bad thing? According to filmmaker Barry Avrich, it won’t be bad. Expect no scandals or controversies from “The Harvey Weinstein Project” when it’s screened at the end of this week in Toronto. The film then goes to HBO Canada with an airing on February 21st. Avrich tells me that IFC Films plans a late April-early May release here in the States. For the film, Avrich interviewed tons of industry people including Harvey’s original Miramax team including Meryl Poster, Mark Gill, and Eammon Bowles.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are seen in archival footage, but otherwise there are no big actor stars. Martin Scorsese (who had successes with Harvey on “The Aviator” and “Gangs of New York”), Mike Medavoy, novelist John Irving (many Oscar nominations for the excellent version of “The Cider House Rules”), James Ivory (“A Room with a View”) was an early Miramax home run) and the late George Hickenlooper (the ill-fated “Factory Girl”) are the only marquee names. Some journalists who’ve written about Weinstein are there, like The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta and the New York Times’s David Carr.
“I didn’t want to have Gwyneth Paltrow gushing about how great a guy Harvey is,” Avrich told me. Weinstein himself is not interviewed, although Avrich said, “We have a cordial email correspondence.”
Avrich also says the film will have no impact one way or another on Harvey’s Oscar run with “The King’s Speech.” “There’s absolutely nothing that he would take offense to. It’s just the story of the only mogul who became a brand.”
Between Avrich’s film and the Vanity Fair profile that just came out, it looks like February 2011 is going to be a good news month for New York’s most famous movie man.