Kristen Stewart's success in "Twilight" helped free "The Yellow Handkerchief" from limbo.
For years, it has languished without a U.S. distributor, but today "The Yellow Handkerchief" is finally opening in American theaters.
Chalk it up some to the persistence of producer Arthur Cohn. But mostly you have to credit the fact that co-star Kristen Stewart went on to make some wildly successful vampire movies you might have heard of, pulling "Handkerchief" out of distributor limbo.
"There's no doubt the "Twilight" effect played the part," director Udayan Prasad told Popcorn Biz.
Not bad for a girl who couldn't even enjoy the New Orleans nightlife when she made the film because she is still too young to legally go into bars.
Udayan believes strongly in the "Handkerchief" road-trip love story starring acting pedigrees William Hurt and Maria Bello. But he understands that it's the Stewart name that got the attention of the right industry people as her star grew.
"If you don't have a particularly sell-able star, people are very reluctant," says Udayan. "We're going through a period where people are scared of making decisions which could end up costing a lot of money 'They are being very conservative."
So while Stewart might have been making things happen behind the scenes, she was low-key during the film's publicity. Most of her media interviews were with co-star Eddie Redmayne. And Stewart is even one of the smaller images on the movie poster. The main image features Hurt around whom the story revolves.
"I can only talk about the director, not as the marketing guy," says Udayan. "But I am relieved that the character from whose point of view makes up this journey, has not been pushed into the background."