Fox Searchlight has cancelled a planned screening of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” at this year’s Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. The decision follows revelations that festival host Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has been quietly continuing to employ former Birth.Movies.Death editor-in-chief Devin Faraci.
“In light of recent events, the makers of ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,’ have decided not to participate in Fantastic Fest,” a Fox spokesperson told TheWrap.
Faraci stepped down from his post at the Alamo Drafthouse-owned site in October after being accused of sexual assault, but he had resumed working for the company this year as a copywriter. A second round of backlash was sparked by news of Faraci’s relatively quick return to the company, and made worse by the the revelation that a second complaint about Faraci was presented to Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League, who then asked the accuser to keep it private.
League announced in a Wednesday Facebook post that “it is the right decision for [Faraci] to leave the company permanently.” However, that was not enough for the makers of “Three Billboards,” who opted to pull their film from the festival.
“Three Billboards,” written and directed by Martin McDonagh, stars Frances McDormand as a small town woman out for justice for her daughter, who was raped and murdered without any arrest made. The film played at this year’s Venice and Toronto Film Festivals.
Fantastic Fest is scheduled to include screenings of notable films including A24’s “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” Paramount’s “Downsizing,” and Magnolia’s “The Square,” which won the Palme D’Or.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” has screened at the Venice and Toronto film festivals so far. It tells the story of a small town woman, played by Frances McDormand, seeking justice for her raped and murdered daughter after months go by without an arrest.