A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Thursday approved a voluntary agreement by Sud Finance and its subsidiary, Ulysse Entertainment, to put both companies into receivership until their debts are paid off.
The move comes after a suit was filed by a number of creditors who claimed that Sud, Ulysse and their principal, Philippe Martinez, had mishandled monies that had been intended to bankroll one of a couple of jointly financed films (Daily Variety, Feb. 25). Ulysse was to be a distributor on the films, in addition to a co-financier.
Martinez was also charged with double-selling rights tofilms, handling unauthorized sales and making death threats to his partners.
The partners who filed suit were Paca Financing and Arthur Pictures.
Attorneys for both sides refused comment Thursday, saying that they were abiding by a court order.
While Martinez had claimed that the charges were scurrilous and that he would fight them when the matter came to court, (Daily Variety, Feb. 28), he instead voluntarily agreed to put both of his companies into the receivership of John Hyde, of Management Co. Entertainment Group (MCEG).
MCEG has been involved in overseeing and resolving claims for a number of financially troubled distribution companies, including NSB (formerly Hemdale), Orion, Quintex, Peregrine, Filmstar, Reeves Television and Avenue Entertainment.
Pic pair in limbo
Two weeks ago, Hyde had taken control of the two films that were at the center of this financial fight, “The Night and the Moment” (starring Willem Dafoe and Lena Olin) and “Student Body” (formerly titled “Getting In”). He took over control of the films at the start of the American Film Market, but was unable to market the films there because the allegations of double-selling had not yet been investigated, according to an MCEG spokesman.
In fact, an earlier suit was filed against Ulysse back in December 1993 by the Samuel Goldwyn Co., charging that Ulysse had breached an oral agreement granting Goldwyn distribution rights to “The Night and the Moment.” In October 1993, it was reported that Miramax Films had purchased the North American distribution rights to the film.
“Night,” based on French playwright Crebillon Fils’ “La Nuit et le Moment,” is the story of an 18th-century baronet who regales a marquise with stories of sexual conquests, only to end up in her bedchamber that night.
Now it appears that both films will not be marketed for several weeks or longer, as Hyde and his company sort through the documents of Ulysse and Sud Finance.