Thursday, February 26, 2004


February 26, 2004

In this newsletter:


In an AFMA arbitration proceeding, RGH/Lions Share Pictures was found liable for multiple counts of wrongdoing. RGH/Lions Share failed to provide accurate and timely accountings, wrongfully refused to accept cancellation of its distribution agreement for the motion picture “Oliver Twisted,” and tortuously interfered with the producer’s attempt to re-license the picture to a new distributor. The arbitrator also found that RGH/Lions Share, a company controlled by Eric Louzil, wrongfully attempted to enter into a license agreement with Singa Home Entertainment, another company controlled by Eric Louzil. The arbitrator found that the Singa distribution agreement was invalid, and awarded Claimant $75,000 in damages.

Mark Litwak, attorney for Claimant Florida Film Investment Company, stated, “we are very pleased that the arbitrator agreed with all our claims against RGH/Lion’s Share, and dismissed all of RGH/Lions Share’s purported defenses.” Litwak added, “The sworn testimony of Eric Louzil during the proceedings was incredibly shocking, as he admitted that his producer reports were full of errors and improper deductions, and that he had freely transferred assets among his affiliated companies, including Singa Home Entertainment, Echelon Entertainment, and Newmark/Echelon, as well as transferred assets offshore.”

According to Gersh Morningstar, CEO of the Florida Film Investment Company, RGH/Lions Share attempted to continue licensing its film, “Oliver Twisted,” even after RGH/Lions Share’s rights were terminated. After Morningstar gave formal notice that the distribution agreement was terminated to Eric Louzil, the President of RGH/Lions Share, in February 2003 , RGH/Lions Share concluded deals for which revenue had never been reported to the producer. Louzil and his company also continued to market “Oliver Twisted,” months after the termination.

Morningstar states that RGH/Lions Share attempted to sell DVD rights for “Oliver Twisted” to Pathfinder Pictures, which in turn advertised on their website that they would be releasing a DVD on Oct. 28, 2003. When attorney Litwak contacted Pathfinder in June at Morningstar’s behest, the company disclosed that RGH/Lions Share had entered into a contract with them in April 2003; more than a month and a half after the agreement with RGH/Lions Share was canceled. Pathfinder, embarrassed by this revelation, had to withdraw the picture from its slate.


Congratulations to our client, Brandon Cole! Cole was awarded a Panasonic Digital Filmmakers’ Grant based on the merits of his film “Bristol Boys.” “Bristol Boys” is a coming-of-age crime-comedy about the rise and fall of a trio of suburban drug dealers and is based on a true story.


Congratulations to our clients, producers Sam Adelman and David Stuart, and writer/director Kirk Davis, whose film, “Screen Door Jesus” won the 2003 Hamptons International Film Festival (Best Feature, Best Cinematography, Best Score), 2003 Deep Ellum Film Festival (Best Texas Film), 2003 New York International Film & Video Festival (Best Drama), and 2003 St. Louis International Film Festival (Best Emerging Talent, Eugene Williams).

The film tells the story of that summer in Bethlehem, TX (pop. 2,378) when people thought they saw none other than the images of Jesus on Mother Harper’s screen door.

At 8PM on March 5, “Screen Door Jesus” will roll on Screen 1 at Laemmle’s Fairfax 3 Cinemas, 7907 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025.

Tickets are available online and at the box office. Purchase tickets online:

Monday, February 02, 2004

Unauthorized Movie Recording Gets Tougher Punishment in California

February 2, 2004

In this newsletter:

Congratulations to “Mango Kiss”

Client Sascha Rice’s film “Mango Kiss” has been bestowed a bevy of praise and awards in recent weeks. The film won the gold award at the Park City Film Festival, was the Opening Night Film at Seattle’s Sex on Screen Film Festival and Park City Film Music Festival, and is slated to be the closing night film for the Durango Film Festival, which will be held March 6-14, 2004.
Congratulations Sascha!

Unauthorized Movie Recording Gets Tougher Punishment in California

This new California law is designed to stop illegal recording of movies. It was necessary to enact this new law because it’s become increasingly easy to record movies in theaters illegally. With the shrinking size of video and digital recorders, anyone can smuggle them into theaters without being noticed.

California has already had a law that made it a misdemeanor to refuse to stop operating a recording device in a movie theater “upon the request of the theaterowner.” However, the legislature had to take tougher measures in order to protect the movie industry and curb piracy. The new statute supplements the existing law by adding a section to the California Penal Code, Section 653z. This section makes it a “public offense” to operate a recording device in a movie theater while a movie is being shown. Unless the person recording the movie has a written authorization from the movie theater’s owner, the act is punishable by imprisonment for as long as one year in county jail and a fine of as much as $2,500.

This tougher law will make it more difficult and risky for anyone to record movies illegally and will help decrease movie piracy.

Mark in Moviemaker, FFT, Will Speak at Miami Film Festival Feb. 7 Mark’s article, “Soft Money in Hard Times,” has been published in the current issue of Moviemaker magazine. Moviemaker can be found online at

Mark was also mentioned as one of “The Top 25 Indie Players” in Film Festival Today. FFT was distributed during the Sundance Film Festival and can be found online at

On Feb. 7, Mark will deliver his “Self-defense for Writers and Filmmakers” seminar at the Miami Film Festival. He’ll cover typical compensation and terms of studio contracts, merchandising deals, creative approvals, and negotiating tactics and strategies. To register, call 305.237.1696. Visit the Miami International Film Festival website at