'Gates' golden for Alive Mind

Docu about Central Park art set for spring release

NEW YORK -- Alive Mind has acquired the rights to "The Gates," Antonio Ferrera and Albert Maysles' documentary about the colorful art that graced New York's Central Park in 2006.

Alive Mind, founded by Richard Lorber about a year ago, will be released in New York theatrically in the spring and then available to educational institutions as well as other runs theatrically. Lorber said Tuesday afternoon that "Gates" would be released in a "prestigious venue" in New York but couldn't announce it right away.

The film documents the Gates, Christo and Jeanne-Claude's dressing of Central Park, from its inception to its $21 million execution that became a tourist attraction seen by an estimated 4 million people. What's remarkable about "Gates" is that Albert Maysles and his brother, David Maysles, began filming it in 1979 when the artists first pitched the idea to New York officials. David Maysles died in 1987, long before The Gates came to fruition.

"It's a roughly two-year-old film that is celebrating its 30th anniversary," Lorber said. "Gates" was the closing film of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

Lorber said that he was "mesmerized and inspired" by the Gates. He found out by talking to Ferrera that the doc hadn't yet been released and wanted to do it. He said that it fit in well with Alive Mind's mission to release "transformative documentaries."

"This is a film and art event that instilled a new sense of hope and optimism that is really infused into the film itself," he said.

The deal was negotiated by Ferrera and Patricia Jones for Maysles Films, CVJ Corp. and Ferrera Films and Lorber and Elizabeth Sheldon for Lorber HT Digital.