A documentary filmmaker in Los Angeles has won a court date to lay out her case that comedian Chris Rock ripped off her documentary in producing his new film, "Good Hair," and that Rock's film should not be released until a copyright complaint on the issue is settled by a jury.
That's despite erroneous reports originating at TMZ.com that the case was dismissed last Thursday.
On Thursday, Federal District Court Judge Dale S. Fischer ordered a hearing for Oct. 19 on whether defendants should be blocked from releasing Chris Rock's "Good Hair," which is slated for nationwide release on Oct. 23.
The move signals a major victory for emerging filmmaker Regina Kimball, who has already laid out her $5 million copyright infringement complaint in detail for the public since first filing it Oct. 5.
Kimbell's documentary is called "My Nappy Roots," and, as Rock claims his documentary was inspired by his daughter, Kimbell says hers was first inspired in 2002 by her teenaged daughter Brighton.
In a press release this week, Kimbell reports that Rock did not tell her that he had a deal with HBO to produce a film about Black hair when he asked to see her film, and in court documents submitted last week, Rock claimed that he could not recall whether he told Kimbell before or after the screening about his deal with HBO.
"However, in an interview with www.ifc.com on Friday, he changed his tune and now claims that he told Kimbell of his HBO deal before the screening," Kimbell's statement says.
Also according to the statement, Kimbell's attorney Reginald K. Brown, says, "This just doesn't make sense. Why would Mrs. Kimbell knowingly screen her unreleased film for another filmmaker with distribution for a similar film?"
Kimbell says that she can document the evolution of the documentary as a multi-part project that grew over the past seven years from an essay by her daughter, to a five-minute film produced by both mother and daughter, and then to the still-unreleased film of today.
"As a result, over the years the award-winning film evolved from an essay, to a short film, and now a feature-length film," she says.
According to Kimbell's public statement: "The feature-length is a definitive, feature-length documentary film that examines the legacy of black hair care through cultural, societal, and political issues in the African American community over time.
"It covers a diverse array of hairstyles from dreads to braids, twists, perms, jeri curls, weaves, and the afro that bridge hundreds of years of African American culture."
Further, Kimball systematically lists the simularities between her film and Rock's documentary, which covers: "good hair versus bad hair" and the role media plays as influencer; emerging industry trends and hair artistry from top hair shows throughout the United States; celebrities including Vivica A. Fox, Patti LaBelle, Niecy Nash, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, "to name a few;" historians, authors, journalists, comedians, hair stylists, barbers, and Black hair care industry business icons.