Yesterday I wondered aloud why a screening of Peter Weir‘s The Way Back had happened in Los Angeles on Tuesday, 10.216, but no options to see it in NYC had been offered by the film’s p.r. reps. Well, it turns out that the screening was arranged independently by Deadline‘s Pete Hammond for his KCET Cinema Series.

“It wasn’t set up by 42 West as an official screening but directly with the producers by me,” Hammond explains. “In fact the publicists wanted it to be shown much later [in the season] but it was the only date I had available as my series is way overbooked and the producers were terrific in letting me make it happen so early since the film doesn’t even open for Oscar consideration until Dec. 29th.

“In fact when I initially set it up that opening date wasn’t even set and it was still expected to open wide Jan. 21st. It played extremely well for my group, and we had exec producer and writer Keith Clarke, producer Joni Levin, exec producer John Ptak and star Ed Harris for the q & a.”

So how’s the film?

“It was second time I’d seen it,” Hammond replies. “I think it’s a great epic in the David Lean tradition, the kind they don’t make anymore. Weir did a remarkable job considering it was made on an indie budget ($29 million) which is amazing for a film of this scope and ambition. Stunning and challenging. fine Russell Boyd cinematography and a great, spare score too.”