Hollywood feels Libya ripples
Things have gotten chilly for Natural Selection, the film production company backed by Col Muammar Gaddafi's son Saadi. On its office line, a recorded message has been the only answer for much of the last week.
Outside its suite on Sunset Boulevard, a parking spot identified as Natural Selection's is blocked by a battered white van with four flat tires.
And Mathew Beckerman, the producer who made a splash in Variety last year with word that he had rounded up $100 million in financing for the company from Qaddafi and others, is suddenly getting a cold shoulder.
Over the weekend, Beckerman's name was deleted from the producer credits of a documentary, Live at Preservation Hall: Louisiana Fairytale, on the official website of the Southwest festival, which begins this week in Austin.
In an e-mail on Saturday, Theresa Vibberts, who works with the movie's director, Danny Clinch, said simply, "Natural Selection is not involved in the film." Neither Vibberts nor Clinch responded further to queries about the sudden disappearance of Beckerman's credit.
Speaking through an intermediary on Monday, Beckerman declined to discuss his company or the Gaddafi investment.
However, several people who have been involved with Beckerman's list of films described a scramble by Hollywood players and institutions to distance themselves from projects in which Gaddafi might be involved.
In recent days, pop stars have said they were giving away money they had received for entertaining at Gaddafi events.
Two people who have dealt closely with Beckerman said they were introduced to Saadi Gaddafi at film festivals abroad.