Dan Gross: Mumia-Faulkner flick 'Barrel of a Gun' debut set

Posted: September 09, 2010

AS THE PREMIERE nears of Tigre Hill's "The Barrel of a Gun," about the controversy surrounding the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner and his killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, rival filmmakers are seeking funds to complete "Mumia 101."

Hill has said that his movie contains new insights suggesting that Abu-Jamal's murder of Faulkner was premeditated. The Committee to Save Mumia Abu-Jamal calls Hill's film "a slick work of propaganda posing as documentary, thin on facts and thick with emotional manipulation."

The group is hitting up supporters to raise $100,000 to "hire a film editor full-time for two months of final editing" on "Mumia 101," which they had hoped to have completed by the Sept. 21 premiere of "The Barrel of a Gun" at the Merriam Theater. (Tickets are on sale at kimmelcenter.org.)

The fundraiser letter says that "Mumia 101" filmmakers Kouross Esmaeli and Johanna Fernández, neither of whom returned a request for comment yesterday, give both sides time to talk, and says that their film "let facts, not emotionalism point to the police, prosecutorial and judicial misconduct that led to Mumia's 1982 conviction."

Meanwhile, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 endorsed Hill's film yesterday and will provide security for the premiere.

Hill's last film was "Shame of a City," about Sam Katz's failed 2004 mayoral campaign.

Speaking of Katz . . .

Sam Katz, the former and possibly future mayoral candidate, is showing excerpts from his upcoming film, "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment" at 6:30 Sept. 16 at the Franklin Court Underground Museum (316 Market). He'll also speak at the event, which is the 38th annual meeting of the Friends of Independence National Historical Park. The group benefits from $25 tickets for non-members or $15 for members. To reserve a spot, call 215-861-4971.

Marino here opening pizzeria

NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino was in Wayne Tuesday opening Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza (309 E. Lancaster). The former Dolphins QB, broadcaster and "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" co-star is an investor in the chain started by Anthony Bruno, a Florida man, who's a friend of auto dealer Gary Barbera, who attended the opening with son Gary Michael.

Pros eat with troops

Local professional eaters Micah "Wing Kong" Collins and Eric "Steakbellie" Livingston spent Labor Day Weekend in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, taking part in a pro-am Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest with members of the Army, Navy and Coast Guard. Collins, a systems manager for Delta-T Group, in Bryn Mawr, said that it was "a very humbling experience" to be with the military personnel, some of whom have been away from their families for a year. He and Livingston, a graphic designer, both from Drexel Hill, were happy for the opportunity that came about through Major League Eating. MLE, an offshoot of the International Federation of Competitive Eating, was contacted by Morale Welfare and Recreation and Navy Entertainment, and was also glad to dispatch a crew of its best eaters.

This Pixie sweats

With his feet in the air and his head on the ground, there was Pixies front man Black Francis aka Frank Black sweating through a Tuesday morning class at Bikram Yoga (1520 Sansom). Later, the Pixies performed at a sold-out Tower Theatre. Namaste.

Likes a nice rack

Who would stop and straighten out a rack of TastyKakes near the door of a Rite Aid (1426 Walnut) if they didn't work at the store?

Charles Pizzi. The Tasty Baking Co. president and CEO was spotted doing just that yesterday afternoon and smiling to a fellow customer who recognized Pizzi as he took a minute to help his brand.

Women's wrestling returns

Dangerous Women of Wrestling will return at 1:30 a.m. Saturday on WMCN, available in South Jersey, Philadelphia and Bucks County. The 30-minute shows will hopefully inspire more live events, says DWOW spokesman Chad Thomas. The league, which ran from 1999 to 2007, held its first live event since then in May at South Philly's New Alhambra Arena. Footage from that event will be seen, as well as footage from the previous wrestling league, billed as extreme, sexy hard-core women's wrestling.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or e-mail grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit go.philly.com/dangross.

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