General News

Nina Simone biopic producers sued by director

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May 15, 2014 | 11:26am EDT

The writer/director of jazz and blues legend Nina Simone's biopic is suing the film's producers for allegedly cutting her out of the decision-making process. Cynthia Mort spent years developing the project, but claims she was ignored when it came to decision making, and she no longer wants to be associated with a project she doesn't like.

She filed suit in Los Angeles on Wednesday (14May14), alleging executives at Ealing Studios Enterprises Limited had breached the terms of her director deal. She claims she was given approval rights over the final shooting script, the cast and crew and other major players behind the film, and consulting rights on advertising and distribution, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In her lawsuit, obtained by the publication, her lawyer Howard Weitzman writes, "She worked tirelessly to prepare the Film for a wide and successful commercial release. Yet, throughout the course of the Film's production and post-production, Defendants consistently acted to frustrate Mort's involvement in the Film, thereby breaching the Director Agreement."

Mort is asking for unspecified monetary damages as well as a declaration that the defendants can't make decisions without her. Nina, which features Zoe Saldana as Simone, is one of the films being offered to potential buyers at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Mort's movie was screened at Cannes on Thursday (15May14).

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