Bergstein Misses Filing, Capitol Films Shuffles Toward Bankruptcy

Financier opts not to submit a motion and now a Los Angeles federal judge can force his film company into Chapter 11

David Bergstein slipped quietly into what appears to be imminent bankruptcy, with the film financier missing a key deadline Tuesday to oppose a motion for a summary judgment.

A Los Angeles federal judge now can decide to send Bergstein’s Capital Films into bankruptcy.

Attorneys for Bergstein’s creditors say they expect Judge Barry Russell to decide just that. They want the judge to have Ronald Durkin, the court-appointed temporary trustee for Capital, to reorganize the company’s assets.

Bergstein is being sued for tens of millions of dollars by nearly 30 creditors – including advertisers, publicists and the Writers Guild West.

“We submitted a brief to the court saying the court shouldn’t wait for a hearing date,” said a representative for one of Bergstein’s creditors. “They should go ahead and enter the order for relief.”

Judge Russell has previously chastised Bergstein and his business partner, the billionaire Ron Tutor, for failing to cooperate with Durkin's investigations into their finances.

Seperate from the ongoing legal troubles, Bergstein served as a key advisor to Tutor in his successful bidding war for Miramax last July.

Bergstein did not respond to requests for comment.

(Photograph by the Los Angeles Times)