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Before the Rain (DVD rights and interest)

Before the Rain (DVD rights and interest)

 
Old 05-14-04, 08:31 PM
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Before the Rain (DVD rights and interest)



Every once in awhile one of my all time favorites would appear here and there in people’s discussions about foreign cinema. Often when the more conventional UNDERGROUND is cited I see fans asking why BEFORE THE RAIN is not on DVD yet. So, recently I decided to do some research and see who owns the rights. Considering the fact that the now defunct Polygram Films and their film catalog are simply a mess to figure it appears that the rights for BEFORE THE RAIN are somewhere between Universal and Lion’s Gate. Does anyone really know for sure?

If Universal truly owns the rights, and seeing how they have set a date for FESTEN, perhaps someone in their marketing department will finally wake up and release BEFORE THE RAIN. In addition, the soundtrack by the Macedonian folk formation ANASTASIA has to be heard to be believed.
So, just a quick probe- how many have actually seen this film and would be interested in a possible release? (if we find out who owns the rights I have to admit that I am really at a point where I wouldn’t mind starting a petition of some sort, ha ha)

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Old 05-14-04, 10:15 PM
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I'd buy this one in a second. Amazing film.
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Old 05-14-04, 10:30 PM
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Pro

You and I seem to be on the same quest, I just may have been at it longer. I LOVE this movie. I have the CD sdtk, the original press kit, and the theatrical poster. Anyhoo, I called Polygram when they had the rights asking for a DVD release. That was loong ago...actually I asked for an LD release it was so long ago. No dice.

Recently, I called someone at Universal but they routed me to their customer service number and the guy told me he didn't see it listed in their database. I said does that database show all films Universal has the rights to and he thought so. Not sure if I believe that or not.

Anyhoo, I had emailed Universal a long time ago and finally got a reply the other day. All it said was there was no scheduled release for the movie. I know I specifically asked in that email if they own the rights, but again I got no definitive answer.

The director Milcho Manchevski does not know who owns the rights. I contacted him over a year ago. He gave me a bunch of people to snail mail overseas and I didn't do it. I am considering writing him again.

Lions Gate may be a possibility. I sent an email about a week ago w/ no reply yet. MGM, I emailed too w/ no reply. Those are I believe the only studios who might have the rights. If you can get in contact w/ any of them, I fully support it.

I found a guy who made a DVD boot of the film. It's a port of the VHS, but he added a menu and he put the soundtrack of the film there as well (already have the CD anyhow). I can put you in contact w/ him if you want something but he charged me $15 shipped. I love the movie so I had too.

Oh yeah, check out "Dust." It's Milco's 2nd movie. Not as good as Rain, but very interesting. Lions Gate released it.
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Old 05-15-04, 12:50 AM
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I'd love to get this too. Is it available in another region?
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Old 05-15-04, 02:00 AM
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I have this on DVD (taken from UK TV I think) somewhere.

There's languages other than English so you'd need to make sure the DVD is released in an English language country.

Not seen this on official DVD. I would guess NBC-Universal own the rights because Gramercy part produced/released this and PolyGram bought them and then Vivendi-Universal bought Canal+ and Canal+ bought PolyGram who bought Gramercy.

I think
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Old 05-15-04, 02:15 AM
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Having a macedonian background, i'd buy this.. luckily since my dad wants it bad he'd probably buy it for me! hehe
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Old 05-15-04, 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by badlieut
Pro

You and I seem to be on the same quest, I just may have been at it longer. I LOVE this movie. I have the CD sdtk, the original press kit, and the theatrical poster. Anyhoo, I called Polygram when they had the rights asking for a DVD release. That was loong ago...actually I asked for an LD release it was so long ago. No dice.

Recently, I called someone at Universal but they routed me to their customer service number and the guy told me he didn't see it listed in their database. I said does that database show all films Universal has the rights to and he thought so. Not sure if I believe that or not.

Anyhoo, I had emailed Universal a long time ago and finally got a reply the other day. All it said was there was no scheduled release for the movie. I know I specifically asked in that email if they own the rights, but again I got no definitive answer.

The director Milcho Manchevski does not know who owns the rights. I contacted him over a year ago. He gave me a bunch of people to snail mail overseas and I didn't do it. I am considering writing him again.

Lions Gate may be a possibility. I sent an email about a week ago w/ no reply yet. MGM, I emailed too w/ no reply. Those are I believe the only studios who might have the rights. If you can get in contact w/ any of them, I fully support it.

I found a guy who made a DVD boot of the film. It's a port of the VHS, but he added a menu and he put the soundtrack of the film there as well (already have the CD anyhow). I can put you in contact w/ him if you want something but he charged me $15 shipped. I love the movie so I had too.
Badlieut:

I had a very similar experience. I called UNIVERSAL and they did not even know what I was talking about. I was directed to the internet web site (!!!!) to see if the film is available. So, I gave up. HOWEVER, I recently spoke with a friend of mine that works at Lion's Gate and was told that they have acquired the rights for quite a few old Polygram titles. So, maybe this one was one of them.

To answer another question that was posted above, I have searched everywhere for a DVD release of this film. The only info that I've been able to get was from a Greek vendor who claims however that there are no English subs. There is plenty of Macedonian in this film (if I recall correctly) and since I dont speak the language subs are indeed needed. I also would love to have this on an official DVD with a nicely mixed 5.1 soundtrack as the score to the film is simply superb.

I can not comprehend why this film is not released yet as I would assume that with the success of UNDERGROUND, SAVIOR, and perhaps the still-missing-from-the-market- CABARE BALKAN this film should have been given the proper treatment. But then I am also not surprised that much since a giant such as Kusturica is not represented in the US at all either (excluding UNDERGROUND...all of the other festival /Cannes winners are nowehere to be found).

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Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 05-15-04 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 05-15-04, 08:48 PM
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Pro,

I will call Lions Gate on Monday and see if I can get anyone to confirm/deny that they own the rights.

A Greek vendor has a legit DVD? I would be willing to try it if so. I peruse Macedonian discussion boards looking for someone who might have found one.

Perhaps if this film had won the Academy Award (which it should have) instead of Burnt by the Sun then we might have gotten a DVD release. It's still such a timely film with all the trouble still going on there today. Plus, Ms. Cartlidge died not long and all of her films should be out on DVD.
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Old 05-15-04, 11:18 PM
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Originally posted by badlieut

Perhaps if this film had won the Academy Award (which it should have) instead of Burnt by the Sun then we might have gotten a DVD release. It's still such a timely film with all the trouble still going on there today. Plus, Ms. Cartlidge died not long and all of her films should be out on DVD.
Absolutely agree. Had this film won some awards that the folks this side of the Atlantic could've recognized then we might've had a release. However, this is not an isolated case. Films that dealt with the Balkans and their past history are virtually non-existent on dvd (other than Savior, UNDERGROUND, Welcome to Sarajevo). We could have had at least Before the Rain, Cabare Balkan, VUKOVAR...etc.

If you could get a word whether or not Lions Gate hasthe rights that would be great. This will limit the possible companies....

Last year, if I could recall correctly Rade Serbedzjia was quoestioned by the Guardian in London about the release of this film and he did not know anything as well...

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Old 05-17-04, 11:39 AM
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Pro,

I called Lions Gate. I guess I sound like a interested licensee when I make my calls. Anyhoo, Emily, who I was transferred to, could not find the film in her list. So, I think we can eliminate LG. I guess it has to be Universal. Disappointing since they seem the least respective of customer request, but they do release art/foreign films.
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Old 05-17-04, 12:03 PM
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This is a mixed bag of news!! Of course she would not have been able to find the film, the acquisition that I mentioned occurred rather soon. But if we assume that this is indeed the case then you are correct, I would have preferred to have Lions Gate as opposed to Universal.
The only beam of light that I see is that if they happened to realize that Festen is good enough for a release then perhaps they will see that Before the Rain is also worthy of a DVD treatment.

Thank you for putting ALL the extra effort into this issue. I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!!

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Old 05-17-04, 01:56 PM
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I saw this when it first played in the U.S. (1994?) and remember liking it at the time, although to be honest I can't remember a lot about it. I do remember the unique story structure, which I can't describe without spoilers:

Spoiler:

The story has a Moebius strip like structure, I believe there were three episodes to the movie, the ending of the last one led into the beginning of the first one, yet this was paradoxical in that it seemed to invalidate the "real" time structure of the stories.

Am I completely imagining that an episode of ER used the same type of story structure a year or so later, perhaps in hommage to this movie (also a Balkan link with actor Goran Visnjic)? Did anyone else notice this or am I imagining it? Or did I completely misunderstand the treatment of time in the original film?

(none of this may not be completely on topic but one doesn't see too many Before the Rain threads )

I hope the rights issues get resolved, I would like to see this again (on DVD, not too excited about VHS).
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Old 05-17-04, 03:34 PM
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I was looking around on other boards and someone said there was a DVD release in Macedonia and a Region 5 DVD (Russia?) release. I'm trying to find someplace on the internet that has this but I've had no luck thus far.
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Old 05-18-04, 10:55 AM
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I absolutely love this movie and also have the soundtrack. You guys are doing great work on tracking down the research necessary to get the right people in motion on this. keep it up! :thumbup:
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Old 05-19-04, 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by badlieut
I was looking around on other boards and someone said there was a DVD release in Macedonia and a Region 5 DVD (Russia?) release. I'm trying to find someplace on the internet that has this but I've had no luck thus far.
Upon further research I think that such claim is untrue. Are you sure that the Macedonian dvd is not the Greek one I mentioned. If the company behind is Elata (or Elada, not sure what the Greek spelling is) then this is the Greek version...which I have not been able to track myself either, hence, I highly doubt its existence.

This dvd release remains "persona-non-grata" as far as the North American market is concerned!!

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Old 05-19-04, 01:43 PM
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Pro,

The one person who said a Region 5 DVD exists was thinking of an LD. So immediately he has no credibility. There was one laserdisc that I know of and it was from Hong Kong. I also have the legit VCD from Hong Kong.

Apparently, there is a DVD available in Macedonia. I don't know if it is the same as the Greek version you spoke of. One person said it was only available from the Ministry of Culture for promotional purposes. Another person said it was actually released to the general public in a limited run and they saw it in the Jugoton Music Store in the Gradski Trgovski Centar in December. So, if you know any Macedonians or are planning on going to Skopje then get them to get us copies.

I have a phone number 239-860...I think the country code is 389 but I'm not sure of exactly how to dial there even if they would understand me.
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Old 05-19-04, 01:57 PM
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I have a few contacts in the Greek community here in Chicago. I will do some research.

Dialing Europe (or any other country for that matter is easy):

011-(country code)-(city code)-(local number)

To get the country and city codes do a search. When adding the city numbers in Europe however avoid the "0" many of them carry. Example: if you call Paris...and the city code is 044, then you only dial 44 and proceed with the local number.

Cheers,
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Old 05-19-04, 02:01 PM
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Thanks Pro...


I've emailed some places inside Macedonia to see if they can help. Hopefully I'll hear something soon. Some of the emails bounce back...

Last edited by badlieut; 05-19-04 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 05-20-04, 06:14 AM
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Small update...

I heard back from the Ministry. The DVDs of Before the Rain and Dust were released in 2003 by SVRSA in Skopje. The person said they would try and find out more and send me the info. I looked up SVRSA and emailed them to see about availability. I'll let you know what, if anything, I find out.
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Old 05-20-04, 06:51 AM
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keep up the good work - i'm another person dying to get a copy of this film.
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Old 05-20-04, 07:48 AM
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Thanks...One other small amount of info I found copied from a website

Milcho Manchevski's "Before the Rain" and "Dust" on DVD
Minister of Culture Blagoj Stefanovski presented the first Macedonian films released on DVD, "Before the Rain" and "Dust," both directed by Milcho Manchevski and distributed by SVRSA and Vardar Film. The DVD has been released in 1,000 copies under the brand mark "100 Years Ilinden".
"The edition cost US $22,000 and that is the least that the Culture Ministry could do for Ilinden's 100th anniversary," Stefanovski said.
The DVD copies will be given to the guests of the Macedonian Prime Minister, President and Parliament's Speaker, as well as to the members of the Board, which organized Ilinden celebrations.
Conveying his gratitude to SVRSA and "Vardar Film" Mancevski reminded that Macedonia was the last country where "Before the Rain" was screened, but the first one where the movie was released on DVD.
Stefanovski informed that "Dust" would be shown on the Macedonian National Television during Ilinden holidays.


1,000 copies...this might be tough. Of course, it might not even have English subtitles. One person, who I thought was joking, said Tarantino begged the Ministry for a DVD and got one.

Last edited by badlieut; 05-20-04 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 05-20-04, 08:00 AM
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One last update:

I called SVRSA and found someone that spoke English. I told him I was interested in acquiring the DVD. He said he thought it had English subtitles. I told him I would want to get a multiple copies so some of you guys might get some. He said he would find out about the DVD, get all the details, and call me back tomorrow.

So, I hope this ends up working out.
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Old 05-20-04, 08:46 AM
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I might have something... ironically it ties into all of these posts...



A good friend of mine is heading to Macedonia for the whole summer mainly, for the Illinden picnic (a huge celebration across Macedonia, and for macedonians across Canada & USA). Luckily enough his uncle has a parliament job down there and i'll request that he tries to get a copy. Now i don't know if "copy's" are allowed on this forum, but i'm sure with it's rare availabilty exceptions could be made. who knows? but *knock on wood* i don't jinx it, this could be great!
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Old 05-20-04, 11:36 AM
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I called the Jugoton Music Shop. They confirmed that this DVD was a promotional item and I would not find it for sale. That was disappointing.

Kris...if your friends uncle has a parliament job, perhaps he can get a hold of some legit DVDs.
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Old 05-20-04, 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by Kris81
I might have something... ironically it ties into all of these posts...



A good friend of mine is heading to Macedonia for the whole summer mainly, for the Illinden picnic (a huge celebration across Macedonia, and for macedonians across Canada & USA). Luckily enough his uncle has a parliament job down there and i'll request that he tries to get a copy. Now i don't know if "copy's" are allowed on this forum, but i'm sure with it's rare availabilty exceptions could be made. who knows? but *knock on wood* i don't jinx it, this could be great!
...yes, please negotiate COPIES...not a COPY .

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