A French distributor who provided financing for the 2016 indie film “The Infiltrator” alleges it was defrauded by the film’s producer out of $1.5 million.
ARP filed a lawsuit in L.A. Superior Court on Tuesday accusing Miriam Segal, the founder of Good Films, of reneging on an agreement to pay back the money if the financing for a second film, “Postcard Killings,” did not come together.
Good Films and its representatives did not return calls seeking comment.
According to the lawsuit, the story began at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival. Michele Halberstadt, head of acquisitions for ARP, met with Segal and expressed an interest in distributing “Postcard Killings.” Segal told her that the film was not ready to go into production, but the company needed $2 million right away to begin production on “The Infiltrator,” according to the suit.
ARP agreed to a deal to distribute both pictures — paying $500,000 for “The Infiltrator” and $1.5 million for “Postcard Killings” — the suit alleges. Under the arrangement, Segal’s company would use the $2 million to finance “The Infiltrator,” but would reimburse $1.5 million to ARP if full financing for “Postcard Killings” did not close by Aug. 29, 2016, according to the suit.
“The Infiltrator” — a drug world thriller starring Bryan Cranston — was released last summer, grossing $15 million. However, the financing for “Postcard Killings” still has not materialized, according to ARP. The distributor alleges it has not been paid, and that when asked for reimbursement, Good Films stated that the obligation to pay rested with another entity, Northern Highway Films, which did not have adequate funds.
The lawsuit also quotes a series of email exchanges in which Segal and her representative vow that the money is coming. In one email in December, Segal is quoted stating that she will “turn my focus to ‘Postcard'” now that production on another film, “Labyrinth,” was underway. “As soon as I have a timeline I… will let you know and we can work out how we can manage repayment and transfer of rights,” Segal wrote, according to the suit.
The suit also accuses Segal of arranging the structure of the companies involved in order to defraud ARP.