What is Mark Urman doing in Cannes when the company has no money to pay anyone?
That was the rhetorical question raised to me by one person who is owed tens of thousands of dollars by THINKFilm, debts that date back to last fall. This contradicts an earlier Variety report that suggested THINK was recently caught off guard by a money shortage related to reported difficulties at sister company Capitol Films.
This person is set to serve THINKFilm with papers in the coming days, one of many expected lawsuits that will attempt to force the indie distributor to pay off some of its creditors, who range from filmmakers to vendors to consultants. Another indie film insider told me that they knew of at least three films that are owed money by THINK and that two of those films are preparing for legal action while the third is in arbitration.
This confirms what I was told last month by a filmmaker, who said that their lawyer was preparing to force THINK into bankruptcy in an attempt to collect monies that were owed.
One indie film veteran told me this morning that they were given a shifting series of excuses for months, somewhat recently told that the decision to shift operations from Toronto was to blame for the lack of payments. These excuses came to a halt recently when they were told by Mark Urman that they should not expect to see any payments.
When I asked if, in the face of a flood of pending lawsuits, they could see any way out of the situation for THINKFilm, the indie vet flatly told me, "No."
Update: Variety has posted a new story that backs up this post and quotes CapCo head David Bergstein.