Despite a reported decision by Paramount to screen Martin Scorsese‘s Silence for members of the National Board of Review on 11.19 (i.e., yesterday) and members of the New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association on 11.30, the studio is declining to screen it for the Broadcast Film Critics Association prior to the org’s initial nomination deadline of 11.29.

A Paramount rep informed me a week ago that BFCA honcho John De Simio was told in early November that the studio “would not be able to screen for BFCA consideration due to the fact that its 350 members are located in over 40 cities in 2 countries.” This was apparently due to Scorsese still working on the film as of 11.14 (per Scorsese’s 42West rep), the lateness of which apparently made screenings for BFCA hinterland critics a logistical impossibility.

If I were running the BFCA I would have asked Paramount to at least screen Silence for the 130 BFCA critics who live in New York and Los Angeles. This would have allowed those 130 members (i.e., a little less than half of the total BFCA membership, but better 130 viewers than none at all) to vote yea or nay on whether to nominate Scorsese’s film for general balloting by December 9th.  

It hasn’t been made clear to me that the BFCA in fact sought such an arrangement, but they certainly should have. It’s just not cool to be silent on Silence when other players are seeing it and voting within the vicinity of 12.1.

Right now, to repeat, three major orgs — NBR, NYFCC and LAFCA — will see and vote on Silence within their respective deadlines, but the BFCA has been left out in the cold.

Remember also that 11.8 Deadline report about Paramount screening Silence for 400 Jesuit priests in Rome before the end of this month.