Amy Berg and Peter Jackson‘s West of Memphis has its first Sundance press screening tomorrow morning at 8:30 am. There’s been friction and contention, of course, between Berg-Jackson and Joe Berlinger-Bruce Sinofsky, makers of three docs about the Memphis 3 including the short-listed Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. And it’s worth recalling a fact contained in Jason Guerrasio‘s 1.19 Indiewire article, which is that Berg-Jackson drew first blood.

“In 2009, Jackson called on Berg to begin work on a documentary that would reveal…new findings and hopefully exonerate the WM3 (Jackson is a producer on the film). Friction between Berg and Berlinger/Sinofsky built after Pam Hobbs, ex-wife of murder suspect Terry Hobbs, signed an agreement with Berg making her unable to be interviewed for any other film.

“Unable to work out an agreement with Jackson and Berg, Berlinger/Sinofsky felt they had to protect their film and decided to make a similar agreement with some of their subjects, blocking Berg from talking to them.

“Documentary filmmaker AJ Schnack points out this is hardly the first time two documentaries have been made on the same subject, but understands the mixed feelings to why West of Memphis was made.

“‘It’s certainly fair for filmmakers to tackle subjects that have been covered before,’ Schnack says. ‘As far as I can tell, Nick Broomfield holds no grudge that I made a film about Kurt Cobain,” referring to his film Kurt Cobain: About A Son and Broomfield’s Kurt & Courtney. ‘I’m pretty sure that both of us assume that other films will be made about him in the future.’

“‘What makes this case so unusual is that the West Memphis Three story is intrinsically linked to Joe and Bruce’s films. Damien may have been put to death if not for the light that HBO shined on the case and Peter Jackson is on record as saying that he became interested in the case because he saw the first Paradise Lost.'”