Last month a French court fined TF1 €32 million over its failure to honour agreement to commercialise World War II drama at home and abroad in 2009.
TF1 Droit Audiovisual has announced it has reached an agreement with director Spike Lee over its failure to commercialise his World War II drama Miracle at St. Anna ending its long-running dispute with the director and Italian production house On My Own.
“Spike Lee and TF1 are happy that mediation has enabled them to arrive at a mutually satisfactory agreement bringing to an end their dispute,” the company, formerly known as TF1 International, said in a statement on Monday
Last month, France’s Court of First Instance ordered TF1 to pay €32 million to Spike Lee, his producers at Italian production house On My Own and financial backers French bank BNP-Paribas for its failure to properly distribute Miracle at St. Anna at home and internationally.
The company originally acquired world sales rights, excluding North America, Canada and Italy, for the film from Roberto Cicutto and Luigi Musini’s On My Own in 2007 for some €11 million.
But in 2009, TF1 suspended plans to theatrically release the film, saying the delivered picture did not comply with that stipulated in the contract. It took the case to France’s Commercial Court in a bid to dissolve its contractual obligations. On My Own responded by lodging a complaint in France’s Court of First Instance.
Monday’s statement gave no financial details of the new accord and TF1 refused to comment further. It was unclear whether the €32 million damages award still stood.
TF1 previously announced it would be challenging the €32 million claim, saying it was disproportionate to the performance of the film, which grossed some €5.5 million at the US box office.
Based on James McBride’s eponymous novel, Miracle at St. Anna follows four African-American soldiers in World War Two. The cast features Derek Luke, Laz Alonzo, Michael Ealy, Omar Benson Miller, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Valentina Cervi and John Turturro.
In Monday’s statement, TF1 said it “had never intended to put in doubt the artistic integrity” of the film, adding “it is a high quality work, conveying universal humanist values and paying tribute to the African-American soldiers who fought in World War Two for freedom and the whole of Humanity.”