Use of Robert Redford's photo causes breach of contract lawsuit

January 30, 2013

The Sundance Film Festival may be getting some unwanted attention over a drama playing out between two companies involved with the film festival. The Hype Creative Agency has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Sundance Partners and a picture of Robert Redford may be to blame for the dispute.

The Hype Creative Agency said that it had an agreement with Sundance Partners to use the Zoom Restaurant as an event space at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012, with the option of using it again in 2013 and 2014.

They said that as part of their agreement, they were able to use marketing materials to promote the event space, including the phrase, "Zoom Restaurant, A Sundance Restaurant owned by Robert Redford."

The Hype Creative Agency said that after they used a photo of Robert Redford in their marketing materials, Sundance Partners terminated their contract. The Hype Creative Agency filed a breach of contract lawsuit, alleging that the breach significantly harmed their marketing business.

The lawsuit alleges that it had an agreement with Sundance Partners to use Zoom Restaurant during the Sundance Film Festival and that Robert Redford's name helped them promote their events. The lawsuit claims that their marketing efforts would have helped them make an estimated $500,000 in profits.

Hype alleges that after they used a small image of Robert Redford, Sundance Partners used it as an "attempt to renegotiation the agreement" and wanted to only allow Hype to use Zoom in 2012 as well as limit their branding and signage.

After Sundance Partners terminated their contract, they did not have any other space to hold their events during the Sundance Film Festival. The lawsuit alleges that it also lead to lost opportunities to present events at other film festivals.

The lawsuit includes breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and interference with contractual relations. They are seeking $1.5 million in lost profits.

This lawsuit is an example of the how companies can be sued for terminating a contractual agreement. While most breach of contract lawsuits won't involve the use of Robert Redford or the Sundance Film Festival, they can still have a significant impact on your business and future profits.

Source: Hollywood Reporter, "Robert Redford's Sundance Partners Sued for Breach of Contract," Eriq Gardner, Jan. 16, 2013