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Court compels Yari Film Group's releasing unit into Chapter 11

December 12, 2008 |  6:43 pm

Yari Film Group, the producer behind such films as “Crash” and “The Illusionist,” said four creditors had forced its releasing division into Chapter 11 reorganization.

"A legal procedure prompted by the actions of four creditors with disputed debts was successful in forcing YFG into involuntary bankruptcy," the company said in a statement late Friday afternoon.

Bob_yari_iva6evkn_250 The company, headed by Hollywood financier Bob Yari, said in a statement that the action left the company "with no other option but to commence substantial layoffs and to suspend its releasing activities." It is unclear how many people will be let go at Yari’s Westwood-based company.

Yari said the company's production operations are "distinct entities with separate financing which remain unaffected by the legal proceedings."

YFG said it planned to “continue without interruption” its plans to produce two movies in the first quarter of next year, “Killing Pablo,” starring Javier Bardem as narcotics kingpin Pablo Escobar, and “The Governess,” a romantic comedy with Jennifer Lopez.

The company also has at least two unreleased movies in the can, “The Maiden Heist,” a comedy starring Morgan Freeman and Christopher Walken, and “The Assassination of a High School President,” a comedy with Bruce Willis. Those films will presumably have to find new distributors.

YFG said it was moving forward with limited release of two other films for awards qualification, “What Doesn’t Kill You,” which debuted today in New York and Los Angeles, and “Nothing but the Truth,” which stars Kate Beckinsale as a journalist who is imprisoned for not giving up a news source. It will open next week.

“Our goal is to aggressively work towards reorganizing our debt so that we can become a stronger company,” Yari said in a statement.

-- Claudia Eller

Photo: Bob Yari. Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images