Dec 17, 2018
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Front Page, Industry News

Interview with Director Billy Corben on His New Film, Limelight (Part 2)

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

[Read part 1 here]

The Limelight was one of New York’s most famous nightclubs, but beneath its glamour and celebrity was an underworld of drugs, betrayal and murder. In the latest documentary out of Rakontur, we follow Limelight’s creator Peter Gatien through his career and the business of clubbing that led to his downfall and deportation back to Canada.

The film captures the historical role Gatien’s clubs, Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium and Club USA, played in New York’s music and dance scene, becoming a hotbed for drugs and a focal point for the NYPD. With countless raids and drug busts, and the murder conviction of Limelight’s party promoter, Michael Alig, the Limelight’s days were numbered and Gatien became the centre of a federal investigation that unearthed a dramatic string of corruption and lies leading all the way to the police force. This is a continuation of our interview with Billy Corben, Director and Producer of Limelight. Read part one here.

“I’m not saying Peter was not guilty of anything, but he was not guilty of the charges they brought against him, as evidenced by the fact that the jury completely acquitted him of all of them. This wasn’t a bad case, there was no case. And the witnesses that were testifying against Peter Gatien were confessing to crimes on the witness stand as part of their plea bargains with prosecutors – crimes that were far worse than what peter was charged with in the first place! Peter was the first name on an indictment that listed 20 -30 people. People who they all claimed were involved in this intricate MDMA smuggling and distribution operation, none of whom knew Peter gatien nor did Peter Gatien know them other than a few of the club people. It was filled with these names of people were legitimately involved in smuggling MDMA but none of their names would have landed on the front page of the New York Post. So he was the marquee name, he was the guy on the top of the indictment. 

“Here’s an interesting tidbit from the cutting room floor – Ben Brafman, Peter’s criminal defense attorney, told us that following the indictment he started getting calls from the defense attorneys of some of the other defendants in the indictment all of whom told him ‘Listen I want to give you a heads up, our guy (meaning their client) is being told by the drug enforcement administration and by the US attorneys office, that if they cooperate and testify against Peter Gatien, they’ll get a walk. There’s just one problem – they have never heard of Peter Gatien!’ So you can imagine – here you are being name #1 on a list of names of people that you have never heard of and who have never heard of you and the government of the United States of america is claiming, no not claiming but charging you, attempting to deprive you of liberty and freedom, with being involved in a drug conspiracy with these people that you don’t know and have never heard of you. I mean what a compelling nightmare that is!”

Compelling enough for a documentary that is not just a trip down memory lane, but a real account of the type of witch hunt New York politics is becoming well known for. The film will have it’s theatrical release in September.

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Front Page, Industry News

Interview with Director Billy Corben on His New Film, Limelight (Part 2)

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

[Read part 1 here]

The Limelight was one of New York’s most famous nightclubs, but beneath its glamour and celebrity was an underworld of drugs, betrayal and murder. In the latest documentary out of Rakontur, we follow Limelight’s creator Peter Gatien through his career and the business of clubbing that led to his downfall and deportation back to Canada.

The film captures the historical role Gatien’s clubs, Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium and Club USA, played in New York’s music and dance scene, becoming a hotbed for drugs and a focal point for the NYPD. With countless raids and drug busts, and the murder conviction of Limelight’s party promoter, Michael Alig, the Limelight’s days were numbered and Gatien became the centre of a federal investigation that unearthed a dramatic string of corruption and lies leading all the way to the police force. This is a continuation of our interview with Billy Corben, Director and Producer of Limelight. Read part one here.

“I’m not saying Peter was not guilty of anything, but he was not guilty of the charges they brought against him, as evidenced by the fact that the jury completely acquitted him of all of them. This wasn’t a bad case, there was no case. And the witnesses that were testifying against Peter Gatien were confessing to crimes on the witness stand as part of their plea bargains with prosecutors – crimes that were far worse than what peter was charged with in the first place! Peter was the first name on an indictment that listed 20 -30 people. People who they all claimed were involved in this intricate MDMA smuggling and distribution operation, none of whom knew Peter gatien nor did Peter Gatien know them other than a few of the club people. It was filled with these names of people were legitimately involved in smuggling MDMA but none of their names would have landed on the front page of the New York Post. So he was the marquee name, he was the guy on the top of the indictment. 

“Here’s an interesting tidbit from the cutting room floor – Ben Brafman, Peter’s criminal defense attorney, told us that following the indictment he started getting calls from the defense attorneys of some of the other defendants in the indictment all of whom told him ‘Listen I want to give you a heads up, our guy (meaning their client) is being told by the drug enforcement administration and by the US attorneys office, that if they cooperate and testify against Peter Gatien, they’ll get a walk. There’s just one problem – they have never heard of Peter Gatien!’ So you can imagine – here you are being name #1 on a list of names of people that you have never heard of and who have never heard of you and the government of the United States of america is claiming, no not claiming but charging you, attempting to deprive you of liberty and freedom, with being involved in a drug conspiracy with these people that you don’t know and have never heard of you. I mean what a compelling nightmare that is!”

Compelling enough for a documentary that is not just a trip down memory lane, but a real account of the type of witch hunt New York politics is becoming well known for. The film will have it’s theatrical release in September.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

Interview with Director Billy Corben on His New Film, Limelight (Part 2)

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

[Read part 1 here]

The Limelight was one of New York’s most famous nightclubs, but beneath its glamour and celebrity was an underworld of drugs, betrayal and murder. In the latest documentary out of Rakontur, we follow Limelight’s creator Peter Gatien through his career and the business of clubbing that led to his downfall and deportation back to Canada.

The film captures the historical role Gatien’s clubs, Limelight, Tunnel, Palladium and Club USA, played in New York’s music and dance scene, becoming a hotbed for drugs and a focal point for the NYPD. With countless raids and drug busts, and the murder conviction of Limelight’s party promoter, Michael Alig, the Limelight’s days were numbered and Gatien became the centre of a federal investigation that unearthed a dramatic string of corruption and lies leading all the way to the police force. This is a continuation of our interview with Billy Corben, Director and Producer of Limelight. Read part one here.

“I’m not saying Peter was not guilty of anything, but he was not guilty of the charges they brought against him, as evidenced by the fact that the jury completely acquitted him of all of them. This wasn’t a bad case, there was no case. And the witnesses that were testifying against Peter Gatien were confessing to crimes on the witness stand as part of their plea bargains with prosecutors – crimes that were far worse than what peter was charged with in the first place! Peter was the first name on an indictment that listed 20 -30 people. People who they all claimed were involved in this intricate MDMA smuggling and distribution operation, none of whom knew Peter gatien nor did Peter Gatien know them other than a few of the club people. It was filled with these names of people were legitimately involved in smuggling MDMA but none of their names would have landed on the front page of the New York Post. So he was the marquee name, he was the guy on the top of the indictment. 

“Here’s an interesting tidbit from the cutting room floor – Ben Brafman, Peter’s criminal defense attorney, told us that following the indictment he started getting calls from the defense attorneys of some of the other defendants in the indictment all of whom told him ‘Listen I want to give you a heads up, our guy (meaning their client) is being told by the drug enforcement administration and by the US attorneys office, that if they cooperate and testify against Peter Gatien, they’ll get a walk. There’s just one problem – they have never heard of Peter Gatien!’ So you can imagine – here you are being name #1 on a list of names of people that you have never heard of and who have never heard of you and the government of the United States of america is claiming, no not claiming but charging you, attempting to deprive you of liberty and freedom, with being involved in a drug conspiracy with these people that you don’t know and have never heard of you. I mean what a compelling nightmare that is!”

Compelling enough for a documentary that is not just a trip down memory lane, but a real account of the type of witch hunt New York politics is becoming well known for. The film will have it’s theatrical release in September.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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