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July 5, 2012

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Film director sued in contract dispute

HONG Kong film director Frankie Chan is being sued for allegedly violating a contract he signed with a local investment management company to find investors for his film "Legendary Amazons."

Plaintiff Shanghai Guoqin Investment Management Co Ltd also sued Shanghai Film Studio, the film's co-investor, claiming the studio had found new investors and kicked it out.

Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court heard the appeal yesterday after Xuhui District People's Court rejected Guoqin's lawsuit demanding 3.43 million yuan (US$540,280) in compensation.

Guoqin said yesterday that Chan signed a one-year mandatory contract with it on February 23, 2010, to look for potential investors who could provide 9 million yuan, or 20 percent of the film's total estimated budget of 45 million yuan.

Guoqin found an investor surnamed Wu, who agreed to invest 11 million yuan in "Legendary Amazons."

But Wu failed to sign a contract with the film crew for profit distribution before the mandatory contract expired, the court heard.

Guoqin paid 1.33 million yuan to Wu for her losses and filed a lawsuit against Chan and Shanghai Film Studio, claiming the film crew had found other investors and intentionally postponed signing a contract with Wu until the mandatory contract expired.

"The director came to us when he was anxious to raise funds for the film. We helped him, but Chan just kicked us away as soon as he no longer needed us," said Guoqin's lawyer at yesterday's hearing.

Chan didn't appear in court yesterday.

Chen Luning, Chan's lawyer, said the contract between Guoqin and the director was actually a brokerage contract and the lower court had confirmed this fact.

Chen also said Guoqin fabricated a story that his client had agreed to let Wu's daughter choose a role in the film.

Both Chan and Shanghai Film Studio refused to enter settlement negotiations with Guoqin.


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