Alex Gibney, the director of this year's Oscar-winning documentary "Taxi to the Dark Side," has filed for arbitration, asserting that its box office prospects were undermined by the financial troubles of the film's distributor, ThinkFilm.
The demand for binding arbitration is the latest hurdle for ThinkFilm, and its owner, David Bergstein, who also owns Capitol Films. But it also comes at a critical time for an independent-film world buffeted by an overabundance of movies and financial challenges.
In a June 19 filing with the Independent Film & Television Alliance, an industry organization, Mr. Gibney's company, X-Ray Productions, asserts that ThinkFilm defrauded him by not having the financing to distribute and promote "Taxi" properly and seeks to reclaim the film's distribution rights. The complaint says ThinkFilm's failure to pay vendors caused the film's Web site to shut down, and that the company did not advertise the post-Oscar run in major magazines. Since its release in January, the movie has made less than $250,000 in theaters.