Angry shareholders suing company

WILMINGTON, Del. — American Film Technologies, which pioneered the colorization of old B&W movies, and its chief exec, Gerald Wetzler, were sued by shareholders who contend that Wetzler has squandered corporate assets and driven the company into the ground.

The suit, filed in Delaware Chancery Court in Wilmington, paints Wetzler — American Film’s only remaining employee — as an inept manager who hasn’t been able to find financing to get the company back on its feet after a 1993 bankruptcy filing.

Shareholders Fred Rudy, A.J. Nassar, Joseph Jillson and J. Michael Nixon allege Wetzler illegally amassed excessive stock options, alienated other members of the board so that they resigned and maneuvered to become American Film’s largest secured creditor.

“Wetzler has spent the last six years depleting the company’s meager resources through his repeated sojourns from New York to Beverly Hills to hobnob with film industry insiders,” the suit says.

The shareholders are asking a judge to remove Wetzler as American Film’s chief executive and award unspecified damages. Wetzler wasn’t available for comment.

American Film shares fell 3¢ Friday to 5.2¢.

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