February 26, 2004
In this newsletter:
RGH/LIONS SHARE LIABLE FOR WRONGDOING, CLAIMANT AWARDED $75,000
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.
BRANDON COLE WINS PANASONIC FILMMAKERS’ GRANT
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.
“SCREEN DOOR JESUS” TO SCREEN IN L.A.
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: ticketweb.com/user/?region=socal&query=detail&event=493919