CATEGORIES Independent, Awards, Deals, Sundance, Cannes, ThinkFilm, Celebrities and Controversy, Distribution, Exhibition, Home Entertainment, Politics, Features, Movies, Awards, Sundance Film Festival, CinematicalIt's been clear for several weeks now that the independent distribution company THINKfilm has been suffering from some money troubles. Around the time the Cannes Film Festival kicked off this month, blogger AJ Schnack assembled reports from various sources that the company owed a lot of money to many different places. Now, Nikkie Finke reports that Allied Advertising Ltd. filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court today against THINKfilm owner David Bergstein, claiming that THINKfilm failed to pay for Allied's advertising services in a timely manner, while the distributor pretended that wasn't the case. A serious problem indeed.
It's a little unfair, however, for Allied to complain about THINKfilm's decision to continue doing what they do best -- buying films. The lawsuit says that the company embarked on a "lavish film licensing buying spree at various film festivals around the world," rather than exclusively focusing on paying off debt. It's worth noting that THINKfilm remained fairly withdrawn at Cannes this year, and while they did pick up theatrical rights for Marina Zenovich's Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired at Sundance, the film already had a television deal in place with HBO. Meanwhile, the company has dropped Battle in Seattle, which it originally purchased at the Toronto Film Festival. The "buying spree" sounds like needless exaggeration on Allied's part. Whatever the case, given THINKfilm's track record (they did guide Ryan Gosling to his Half Nelson Oscar nod), one hopes they'll survive this nasty legal snafu.