A New York-based producer is seeking injunctions in the US and Europe to block the release of a contested $3m animated feature that he claims a business associate made behind his back.
Harris Salomon of Atlantic Overseas Pictures (AOP) attempted to shut down the Hungarian shoot of Magic Boys last summer and claims the co-production between Hungary’s Euroco Productions/Filmsziget and Sirokh Fenn Ltd was part of a slate that the film’s producer Gabor Koltai was supposed to make with AOP.
Salomon alleges that he was not aware that Koltai’s Euroco/Filmsziget had signed a separate production deal with Abi Sirokh, who remains a 50% co-owner of AOP and according to Salomon acted improperly by partnering with Koltai.
Sirokh is listed on the website of Koltai’s Wyvern Images as that company’s London-based representative and was unreachable. Neither the contact telephone number nor email address listed on the site appeared to work.
However Koltai, who is managing director of Wyvern Images, returned a call to Screen International this week and disputed Salomon’s claims. He stressed that he had signed no agreement with AOP to make a slate of films. “My business relationship with Mr Salomon was very limited and nothing has materialised from it,” Koltai said.
“Mr Salomon would like to force his services on us so that he is part of our projects… I have never made any kind of statement to Mr Salomon that by introducing Mr Sirokh to me he would be compensated for Magic Boys.”
Koltai further added that Wyvern Images and not Euroco Productions/Filmsziget was the production company on Magic Boys and that Sirokh’s credit had not yet been determined.
Salomon said he would additionally seek damages from both Sirokh and Koltai, their companies and the companies that co-produced Magic Boy with them.
Separately, AOP is moving forward on a revised $20m holocaust love story project based on the life of survivor Herman Rosenblat, who was discredited after his biography was found to contain factual inaccuracies.
The new version, called The Apple, is based on a screenplay by Ivo Marloh and chronicles Rosenblat’s relationship with his producer and explores why he lied.