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Tribeca Film Festival Cancels Red Carpet for Film With Shot Deer

By Serena Solomon | April 18, 2012 11:22am

MANHATTAN — The Tribeca Film Festival has pulled the rug out from under "First Winter," cancelling the movie's red carpet premiere hours after DNAinfo revealed a real deer was shot, skinned and eaten for the film.

Brooklyn filmmaker Ben Dickinson, whose post-apocalyptic hipster survival flick will now debut Thursday without a lavish red carpet, could be in hot water with state authorities after an actor shot a pair of live deer without a license as part of the movie.

The a spokesman for the festival and the film's publicist said the cancellation was due to logistics, noting that the festival, which kicks off Wednesday, utilizes multiple venues around the city for hundreds of screenings.

Characters Paul (r.) and Thomas (l.), played by Paul Manza and director Ben Dickinson, prepare to shoot a deer in the film
Characters Paul (r.) and Thomas (l.), played by Paul Manza and director Ben Dickinson, prepare to shoot a deer in the film "First Winter."
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Adam Newport-Berra

“We notified the film publicists last week that we were planning on cancelling the red carpet for this event," said Robert Lawson, spokesman for the festival. "The festival has multiple premieres each night and arranges red carpet arrivals for events based on where media interest is the strongest.”

The film's publicists Jenny Lawhorn said the cancellation was part of how the Tribeca Film Festival works.

"The festival cancels many red carpets," she said.

Currently, four out of the five showings for the film at the festival have been listed as "rush tickets" only, meaning advance sales have reached capacity. Rush tickets go on sale at the venue approximately 45 minutes prior to the scheduled screening of a movie.

Festival spokesman Robert Lawson did not immediately return a call for comment.

In "First Winter," the deer kill — done on a private farm in the Hudson Valley — was part of a 23-day film shoot for Dickinson's feature about naive Brooklyn hipsters learning to survive in the wild after an apocalyptic event.

Dickinson admitted the rifle used was unlicensed, and the deer — one was killed and another wounded — were shot out of season.