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Ryan Kavanaugh loses appeal with Academy for producer credit on 'The Fighter'

January 12, 2011 |  3:30 pm


Financier/producer Ryan Kavanaugh has lost his final appeal with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences for producing credit on "The Fighter." Two people with knowledge of the situation said that Kavanaugh presented his case to the Academy on Tuesday and was denied. Kavanaugh declined to comment, as did the Academy.

His loss culminates a two-month process that began when he was denied producing credit by the Producers Guild of America for his work on the David O. Russell-directed film, a prospective best picture nominee. (He financed the $23-million production.) The 36-year-old Relativity Media chief then appealed his case with the guild and was again denied the credit.

His plight serves a stark contrast to the appeals that teams behind "The Social Network" and "Black Swan" initiated with the PGA. In the case of " Social Network," Michael De Luca was left off the producing credits but was reinstated after his fellow producers, Sony Pictures, director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin all wrote letters further explaining his role in the movie.

"I fully understand why the rules are there," said Scott Rudin, a producer on the "Social Network." "But it's a menchy thing that they make exceptions to it. There are exceptions, and sometimes a form doesn't tell the whole story."

As for "Black Swan," Mike Medavoy and Brian Oliver were given producer credit on appeal, after originally being left off the PGA's initial decision. Letters from fellow producer Scott Franklin helped overturn the original ruling.

"Brian Oliver was on the set all the time and he put up the money to get the movie made, so he deserves the credit," Medavoy said. "I was on the set only once. But there was no need. I'm not going to tell the director where to put the camera. And there wasn't enough money to keep me in New York, spending the per diem. The movie would have suffered from it. But this movie wouldn't have existed had I not bought the script 12 years ago."

Oscar nominations will be announced on Jan. 25. The nomination ballots are due on Friday.

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Ryan Kavanaugh shares a laugh with actress Kate Bosworth at a charity event last year. 
Credit: Charley Gallay /