Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Suit Brought against WGA

Writer-director William Richert has sued the Writers Guild of America West in Los Angeles Superior Court over its practice of collecting foreign levies for writers who aren't WGA members. Richert claims that the WGA has been accepting foreign collections in 1991 on monies due copyright holders such as taxes on video rentals and purchases of blank videocassettes.

The suit alleges that the WGA has no authority to collect the funds for non-members, hasn't communicated that information to the affected writers and hasn't paid them.

Richert is seeking class-action status for the suit. WGA West president Daniel Petrie Jr. told Daily Variety that the guild's authority to collect the funds for non-members stems from the initial agreements it struck in the late 1980s with the collection agencies.

According to Daily Variety, the WGA currently has $19 million in foreign levies in its accounts and another $4 million of undeliverable funds from the levies.

Hampton’s Film Festival Award Winner

Congratulations to our clients’ producers Jon Stern and Ben Odell and writer/director Stefan C. Shafer whose film, Confess, premiered at the Hampton’s Film Festival in New York October 21. Confess won the Zicherman Family Foundation Award for Best Screenplay.

Risky Business Seminar at UCLA Oct. 29-30

Mark will present his "Risky Business: Financing & Distributing Independent Films" seminar at at UCLA on Oct. 29-30. Those who attend this comprehensive two-day seminar will learn how independent films are financed and distributed. Topics include organizing your company, raising financing via pre-sales, debt and limited partnerships, negotiating tactics, principal terms of the acquisition/distribution agreement, cross-collateralization and creative accounting. Particular attention is paid to how producers and filmmakers can protect their interests by watering down warranties, getting added to the E& O policy, using lab access letter to retain possession of the negative, and utilizing termination and arbitration clauses.

Women in Film Summit October 29- November 1.

Women in Film & Television International Summit October 29 to November 1, 2005.
Mark will speak at the 9 AM panel on Intellectual Property and Copyright issues at WIF Summit. Women In Film Los Angeles will host the 2005 The Summit provides a forum for filmmakers from all over the world to network, greet old friends and forge new relationships. There will be four days of panels, lunches, cocktail parties, screenings and special events with all activities being held at the Park Hyatt Hotel on Avenue of the Stars in Century City.

Women In Film & Television International (WIFTI) is a global network comprised of some 36 Women In Film Chapters worldwide and over 10,000 members dedicated to advancing professional development and achievement for women working in all areas of film, video, and other screen based media.

Additional info at: