Court: Pepper Distrib to pay

Oz biz regains pic rights

SYDNEY — The government financier of 20 Australian films has regained the international distribution rights to those pictures following an out-of-court settlement.

The agreement follows legal action in the California Superior Court brought by the New South Wales Film and Television Office (FTO) against Pepper Distribution. Under the settlement, the FTO will receive about $A650,000 ($403,000) as part-payment of revenues owed from the distrib pacts with Pepper.

The New South Wales Film Corp., FTO’s forerunner, was the major investor in the 20 films, which include “My Brilliant Career,” “Newsfront,” “Careful He Might Hear You,” “Goodbye Paradise,” “Stir” and “The Night the Prowler.”

The films were licensed to Pepper between 1983 and 1987, sparking claims from producers that the fees were far too low and the license periods excessively long.

FTO chair Kerry Schott says the FTO board intends to transfer the distrib rights to the producers.

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