History of "The Conclave"
Writer/producer Paul Donovan's plan for The Conclave was for it to play in the cinema as a specialty feature film and also serve as a pilot for a down-the-road Borgias television series. His plan failed miserably.
After its completion, The Conclave was rejected by all the top film festivals. Festival programmers are the gate keepers of the non-Hollywood movie world, so The Conclave's only theatrical release was in ultra-Catholic Poland.
Paul nevertheless pitched his Borgias series around Los Angeles. Showtime, who met with Paul, green-lighted another Borgias project, one that originated with Neil Jordan. A company in Europe, that Paul also pitched to, green-lighted a second Borgias project. This was not illegal as the material is public domain. Paul's only significant international credit--as showrunner of the SyFy series Lexx--proved insufficient to sway the television powers in both L.A. and Europe.
Paul was more surprised by The Conclave's across-the-board film festival rejection than his failure to launch a Borgias series because he naively believed that the festival programmers were not all fenced in by narrow-minded orthodoxies and that some of them would welcome a non-mainstream, authoritative period piece with top drawer performances.
Licking his wounds, Paul sat stubbornly on The Conclave for a decade until he finally uploaded it onto Amazon... for the “few”.
Final score: PD 0, SV 1