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NEW LINE CINEMA WITHDRAWS FROM 'FRIDA & DIEGO' PROJECT

- ENTERTAINET - TO BUSINESS AND ENTERTAINMENT EDITORS:
 NEW LINE CINEMA WITHDRAWS FROM 'FRIDA & DIEGO' PROJECT
 LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- New Line Cinema (AMEX: NLN) will not produce the feature "Frida and Diego," which was set to begin production this fall, it was announced today by Sara Risher, president of New Line Productions.
 "Frida and Diego" is based on the life of renowned Mexican artist Friday Kahlo and her tempestuous 26-year marriage to Diego Rivera, also a noted artist. Kahlo, who produced more than 200 paintings, many of which were self-portraits, died in 1954. Her work began to receive worldwide recognition following her death at age 47.
 The $10 million production, set to star Laura San Giacomo and Raul Julia as Frida and Diego, respectively, was to be co-financed by New Line Cinema and the Mexican government. The inability of the outside producers to provide substantial financing for the project forced the studio to withdraw, Risher said.
 "Outside financing on this project was key," said Risher, "so, from a business standpoint, the project was not a financially viable one for us. With the majority of the production taking place in Mexico City, New Line alone could not contain 'Frida and Diego's' budget within the parameters we could be comfortable with."
 "Frida and Diego" is based on Martha Zamora's 1990 biography "Frida Kahol: The Brush of Anguish." The screenplay was written by Luis Valdez ("Zoot Suit," "La Bamba") and his wife, Lupe Trujillo Valdez. Luis Valdez was to direct the project for New Line. Donald Zuckerman and Eduardo Rossoff are producing the project, with Kevin Benson as executive producer.
 The studio's decision to withdraw does not reflect on the project's commercial viability, Risher said. The producers plan to proceed with "Frida and Diego" as a fall shoot and are actively seeking alternative financing and distribution sources, she added.
 "There has been tremendous interest in Frida Kahlo's life by New Line and competing studios for quite some time," Risher said. "The script traces Frida's life from age 18 to 47 and very much captures the drama and tragedy of her artistic and personal life."
 Risher added: "This development is in no way related to the protest by the Hispanic acting community. It is strictly a matter of financial prudence on the part of New Line."
 This year marks New Line Cinema's 25th anniversary as the leading independent producer and distributor of theatrical motion pictures, with more than 20 releases due in 1992. New Line licenses its films to ancillary markets including cable and broadcast television, as well as to all international markets. The company is traded on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol AMEX/NLN.
 -0- 8/5/92
 /CONTACT: Christina Kounelias or Mark Cheatham of New Line Cinema Publicity/LA, 310-854-5811, or Mary Donovan of New Line Cinema Publicity/NY, 212-649-4900/
 (NLN) CO: New Line Cinema ST: California IN: ENT SU:


AL -- LA030 -- 7273 08/05/92 16:46 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 5, 1992
Words:489
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The two Fridas. (Asides).
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