Dutch producer Kees Kasander has angrily dismissed reports from Italy that his latest production, Jan Terlouw adaptation To Be King (Koning van Katoren), has been impounded by an Amsterdam court because of unpaid bills in Italy.

The film, by director Ben Sombogaart, is a family adventure. It is due to be released on over 100 screens in the Netherlands by Benelux Film Distributors on Dec 5. A representative from BFD has confirmed the release will go ahead as planned.

Recent reports from Italy have claimed that an organisation called ‘Pay Kasander Pay’ had been founded by the unpaid cast and crew on the film.

“The truth of the matter is that the people behind the service producing company Cornelius Cinema hide financial information,” Kasander said. “They have failed to raise the guaranteed financing and have according to an audit report not used all the cash flow Kasander sent to pay the creditors of the film.” 

The producer suggested the campaigning group should really be called Pay Cornelius Cinema Pay.’

“(The) fact is that this is part of a smear campaign set up from Italy. This has been going on now for a week.  We have now our lawyer working to stop this smear campaign.”

Kasander insisted his company had “honoured” their obligations toward Cornelius Cinema.

The Kasander Company wasn’t able to provide contact details for Cornelius Cinema but a company representative said Cornelius was based in Rome. The representative also denied the allegation that Cornelius was owned by Kasander.

There was no comment on the controversy from The Netherlands Film Fund, which has backed the film, or from the London office of the completion bonds company EFB (European Film Bonds).

Kasander said that he had been trying to reach the Cornelius Cinema creditors.

“We have been waiting for four months for that creditor’s list. Up till today we don’t know who has been paid and who has not been paid. And this group of people are still anonymous. We, EFB and Kasander, want to help, but we need to talk to a person,” the producer said.

He has published as statement online at www.kasanderfilm.nl.