When Kiefer Sutherland and the producers of Forsaken pulled up stakes in Alberta, Canada two summers ago, they allegedly left town owing a lot of money to local vendors and crew members. And now the Alberta Labour Relations Board has ruled that the producers won’t get access to some $1.7 million in Alberta film grants until the workers and suppliers are paid.
The troubled Western, which has yet to be released, stars Sutherland as a quick-draw killer who returns to his hometown to repair his relationship with his estranged father, played by his real-life dad, Donald Sutherland.
When the production company left town, the Directors Guild of Canada and Alberta IATSE Local 212 brought the matter to the attention of the Labour Board, which has now ruled that four of the Canadian companies involved in the film’s production, including Kiefer Sutherland’s Camel Entertainment, will not be allowed to take receipt of the film credits until the Labour Board completes its investigation or orders otherwise.
“A number of proceedings have been brought at the Alberta Labour Relations Board after the producers of the film went into major default while undertaking principal photography in Alberta in the summer of 2013,” the IATSE said in a statement. “Large amounts of money remain owing in respect of cast and crew benefits, and many local vendors remain unpaid. Post-production work on the film continued in other jurisdictions, despite the large debts left behind.”
The Board, which found that there was a danger of the film grant funds being removed from Alberta “with the stroke of a pen,” agreed with the unions’ argument that they would be harmed should that happen.
Sutherland’s spokesperson declined comment.