Dear friends, fans, colleagues and interested community members,
We are pleased to announce that DVDs of SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS are now available for sale through Filmbaby at: http://www.filmbaby.com/films/5670. While we anticipated a release of the DVD on the heels of a domestic broadcast, we have had to jumpstart the sale of DVDs to fund a lawsuit against the IRS that potentially affects all documentary filmmakers.
We all know the IRS can choose to audit any American business and make a determination regarding the sufficiency of record keeping. But the IRS lawsuit pending in a federal tax court in Phoenix, Arizona against the director of SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS is not about that. The IRS is claiming that the making of SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS is not a business, but merely a hobby.
The question under consideration by the IRS is a broad one: can the making of a documentary be a for-profit business when the primary purpose of documentary filmmaking is to “educate and expose”? Such a pronouncement by the federal tax court would have a devastating impact on the documentary community at large and subject documentary filmmakers to audits of their financial records for their “hobbies” over the past 7 years.
We cannot thank the International Documentary Association, Film Independent, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Women Make Movies, the National Alliance for Media Art and Culture in the Interest of the Documentary Film Industry, the University Film Producers Association and the University Film and Video Association enough for their support in helping us fight the IRS. To support documentary filmmakers everywhere, these organizations filed an Amicus Brief in the federal tax court on June 8. Here is the editorial by the IDA: http://www.documentary.org/news/amicus-brief-filed-support-lee-storey-doc-filmmakers.
Our legal defense on behalf of the documentary filmmaking community is reaching tens of thousands. We can’t do this alone but we are fighting the good fight for the future of documentary filmmaking in the United States.
Please join our effort by contributing to the Legal Defense Fund. Also, by purchasing our award-winning DVD you can help fight the cause.
With sincere appreciation to all our fellow filmmakers,
From all of us at SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS!