The rights to Ben Stein's "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," a documentary that explores the academic discrimination against supporters of intelligent design, will be auctioned off in an online bidding that starts June 21.
Bidders can register online through Maxanet.com. The bidding begins June 21 and goes through June 28, 10 AM CDT.
Film producer Premise Media Distribution LP filed for a motion to sell the rights of the documentary last month. The motion comes after the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in December 2009.
The winner of the bid will earn the rights to the motion picture "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," and all collateral, allied, ancillary, subsidiary and merchandising rights. The sale will be "as is," where there is no warranty on the product except for the transfer of the title through a trustee.
The film debuted at the 10th spot at the box office during opening weekend in 2008, grossing an estimated $2.9 million. It became the 5th highest-grossing political documentary, earning $7.7 million in domestic markets.
To help with the opening weekend results, Christian schools were offered cash "donations" for every child that went to the showings in the hopes that schools would organize school trips to go see the film.
Stein, best known for his role as Ferris "Bueller’s Day Off," is the main host in "Expelled." Throughout the documentary, he interviews professors and teachers to show that anyone who questions Darwinian Evolution, including academics who support Intelligent Design, are bound to face discrimination on the job. In the documentary, several teachers claim they were fired and denied tenure for their interest in intelligent design.
Several reputable atheists and Darwin evolution supporters like Richard Dawkins also appeared in the film although they claim they were misled on the topic of the documentary.
The film received recognition from Biola University, an evangelical Christian university in La Mirada, Calif., which awarded "Expelled" with the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth, named after a leading proponent of intelligent design.
Stein was applauded by the intelligent design community for his work the dominance of Darwinian thought in academic circles. Darwinism suggests the universe was created by chance and Intelligent Design argues that the creation of life and the universe are results of an intelligent “designer.”
However, the film failed to win over movie critics. The New York Times called it "one of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time…a conspiracy-theory rant masquerading as investigative inquiry," while Time magazine said Stein “makes all the usual mistakes nonscientists make whenever they try to take down evolution."
The film also gained a stamp from The Anti-Defamation League, organization fighting anti-Semitism, for misusing the Holocaust "in order to tarnish those who promote the theory of evolution."
On the Web: "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" auction