Sudzall Does It All! (1980)

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This film was completed in 1979 and shelved for nearly a year before it had a public showing in 1980. I don't want to change the current release info, which is good ("28 March 1980 at LAICA"), but change the page's title to "Sudzall Does It All! (1979)". The IMDb guidelines say it's possible if the completion date is proven to be different from the first showing.

The copyright holders (EZTV) retain 1979 as completion date, as do magazine articles about the film. See : http://arthistory.berkeley.edu/pdfs/faculty%20publications/Bryan-Wilson/jbwouttoseevideo.pdf
Or Variety obit for John Dorr : https://variety.com/1993/scene/people-news/john-dorr-102609/
Or this timeline by Nina Rota, who made a documentary on ETZV : http://ninarota.com/eztv_timeline/sudzalldoesitall.html
Here is also a flyer for the 1980 showing which uses the date "1979" for Sudzall : https://www.pinterest.com.mx/pin/16255248632423332

I can't find any place to properly ask for this change on the title's page.
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Plafond

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Posted 4 months ago

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gromit82, Champion

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Plafond: A one-year gap (1979 to 1980) doesn't seem to me like the kind of situation where the completion date should be used by IMDb in place of the release date. See https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/titles/title-formatting/G56U5ERK7YY47CQB#:
If there is a long gap between the completion of a film and its first public release it can be more representative to list the year the film was completed so as to more accurately reflect the title on the associated cast and crew name pages. Please see Something's Got to Give (1962) where we use those criteria to list the title under its completion year as there was no additional work completed on the original film in the interim that would warrant the later release date being used as the main title year.
In the case of Something's Got to Give, the later release date would have placed the film in 2001. However, Sudzall Does It All has only a gap from completion in 1979 to first release in 1980. In such a case, I think a year of (1980) after the title seems more appropriate.
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Plafond

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Thank you. But maybe the guideline is too vague, then ?

I understand that in most cases the completion year and the release year will be the same, but it seems to me that whenever the completion year differs for a particular reason, irregular and of interest (i.e. a film being shelved, or being shown in amateur circles first) and that reason can be documented and sourced, it should be preferred.

In Sudzall's case, the fact that it got its first public showing in March of 1980 is circumstantial to LAICA programming, but the film had been finished and untouched for a while (the director was making his second feature from the Summer of 1979 up until the showing). At first, the film was an amateur effort shown in small circles and presented to various art galeries during 1979, as the director was looking for a larger screening option - it's likely that more people saw it in amateur screenings through 1979 than on that one night at LAICA in 1980. Plus, it is also a matter of history : the makers of Sudzall present it (rightly or wrongly) as the first narrative feature shot on video - whether it was actually completed in 1979 or in 1980 changes that as well. I think the date is important, which is why it is easily backed up by sources (I linked to four online sources, but I have many printed articles telling the same thing).
(Edited)
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gromit82, Champion

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Plafond: If indeed Sudzall was publicly screened in art galleries in 1979, then that would count as a first public showing and the movie could be listed on IMDb as being from 1979. But private screenings (such as to the cast members or at the director's home to his friends) would not count toward the release date on IMDb and would not affect the year listed.

As stated in the first article you linked above, "Dorr’s first video, Sudzall Does It All, from 1979, premiered at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art (LAICA) ..." So if LAICA is where the video premiered, then the year of that premiere is what counts for IMDb purposes.

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Michelle, Official Rep

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Hi Plafond -

As gromit82 mentioned, we will only list a title under the completion year when there has been a long gap between the completion of the film and its first public release.  In this case, a year difference doesn't meet this criteria, so the title will need to remain listed with the  "1980"  release year.