In yet another kink in the legal tangle involving former companies associated with financier David Bergstein, investor Ronald Tutor and Library Asset Acquisition Co. filed suit today in Los Angeles Superior Court against Aramid Entertainment, Screen Capital International Corp, Aramid Capital Partners Chairman David Molner and others. Tutor — one of a group of investors who bought Miramax from Disney in 2010 — contends that despite the complexity, the issue boils down to “a rather simple case of breach of contract, the contract being a written release agreement.” (You can read the colorfully worded lawsuit here.)
While film financier David Bergstein has been often maligned, he is much appreciated on a slow news day. Because he’s the story that keeps giving. Not long ago, Deadline told you that a bankruptcy judge appointed a trustee to seize temporary control of the assets steered by Bergstein, including the Capitol Films and ThinkFilm labels. This came as a result of creditors seeking protection from the possibility that Bergstein would unload the library. Now, Bergstein is the one seeking protection. His lawyers filed a protective order against trustee Ronald L. Durkin and his motion to require testimony and production of documents by Bergstein and associate Frymi Biedak. The probing trustee wants to see things like computer hard drives. The trustee is one that Bergstein chose, after rejecting two nominated by the creditors.
A lawsuit was filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court by Boston-based Allied Advertising Ltd alleging breach of contract, fraud and deceit, and unfair business practices against David Bergstein and his ThinkFilm movie distribution company. It seeks more than $4.1 million in unpaid bills and contracts, plus damages, interest and a 5% penalty for all sums not paid in full within 30 days of a demand for payment. It is yet the latest twist and turn in what is obviously becoming a financial meltdown in Bergstein’s film production and distribution empire which includes ThinkFilm and Capitol Films. (See my previous, Capitol Films Cash Crunch: SAG Demands Meeting With Owner David Bergstein).
The lawsuit follows Bergstein’s reported yacht trip to the Cannes Film Festival , included in the complaint: ”Between January and May 2008, while most of the ThinkFilm debt to Allied was outstanding, defendants have gone on a lavish film licensing buying spree at various film festivals around the world, including a film about director Roman Polanski scheduled for release on the Home Box Office cable channel later in 2008.”
The facts claimed in the lawsuit point to a business deal gone sour for Allied Advertising, which is in the business of placing advertising and promotion for feature motion pictures owned, licensed or distributed by client production companies or distributors. On June 21st, …