Gay rights campaigners are asking Hollywood stars and film fans to boycott next year's Sundance Film Festival in Utah, accusing one of the event's backers of supporting California's gay marriage ban.
According to political activist John Aravosis, Cinemark Theaters boss Alan Stock - a Mormon who owns a number of Sundance venues - made a personal $9,900 (GBP6,600) donation to support Proposition 8, which was passed last month (Nov08), outlawing same-sex unions in the Golden State.
A representative for the Sundance Institute has defended the festival - which was founded by Robert Redford - insisting all the movies screened at Cinemark Theaters are available at other cinemas.
But AmericaBlog.com editor Aravosis is dissatisfied, telling the New York Daily News, "If you go to Utah, you're funding hate.
"Just moving movies around is not enough. Money from this festival is funneled directly to the Mormon Church and to a supporter of Proposition 8. Sunshine should simply say they won't screen films in a hate theatre."
A Sundance Institute spokesperson says, "(The festival) has a long history and in fact was founded on the idea of championing diversity. It is our hope that people will embrace the festival for its commitment to diversity, not avoid it."
Sundance will take place between 15 and 25 January 2009 in Park City, Utah.