Co. reported to be seeking bailout through Achilles Partners

TORONTO — After being clobbered last year by mad cow disease, SARS and the war in Iraq, the Banff Television Festival went to an Alberta Court on Wednesday seeking bankruptcy protection, and Pat Ferns, the festival’s prexy and CEO since 1997, is stepping down.

Banff executives are reportedly seeking some sort of bailout through the law firm Achilles Partners, but they can only proceed if the fest files for bankruptcy protection.

If an arrangement is not reached quickly, this year’s festival could be scuttled.

Festival organizers have selected a new head honcho, but they declined to identify that person until they receive the thumbs-up on bankruptcy protection. No word on when that would come from the court, if at all.

The 25th annual Banff TV Festival is skedded for June 13-17.

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