Phase 4 Films settles Frozen Land lawsuit with Disney

In a California court judgement, the indie distributor agreed to pay Disney $100,000 and change the name of the home entertainment release back to its original title.
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Phase 4 Films has settled its trademark infringement lawsuit in California with Disney.

As part of the agreement, Phase 4 will pay Disney $100,000 and change the name of the home entertainment release of an Inuit-themed movie back to its original title, The Legend of Sarila.

The Canadian indie distributor landed in legal hot water with Disney after it switched the name of the home entertainment release from The Legend of Sarila to Frozen Land to get a halo effect from the Nov. 19, 2013 theatrical release of Frozen by Disney, according to the original legal claim by the major Hollywood studio.

Disney accused Phase 4 Films of redesigning its DVD artwork, packaging, logo and other marketing materials to replicate the Frozen trademark logo of the studio’s Frozen release.

Phase 4 Films has now agreed to cease marketing and promoting The Legend of Sarila using the former Frozen Land logo and packaging, and to remove copies of Frozen Land from retail and online outlets.

“Any further distribution, marketing, and/or promotion of The Legend of Sarila or related products, irrespective of format, shall be under the name The Legend of Sarila or another name not confusingly similar to or intended to create any association with Frozen or any other motion picture marketed, promoted or released by DEI (Disney Enterprises Inc.) or its affiliated companies, including Walt Disney Pictures,” the settlement stated.

The settlement terms are contained in a seven-page judgement from the United States District Court, Central District of California, Western Division.

The Legend of Sarila is produced by CarpeDiem Film & TV and 10th Avenue Productions, and portrays a coming of age story about three young Inuit travelling in search of a promised land that will save their clan from starvation.

The Canadian stereoscopic 3D film features the voices of Christopher Plummer, Dustin Milligan, Rachelle Lefevre, Geneviève Bujold, Tim Rozon, Natar Unqalaq and singer Elispie Isaac.

Directed by 10th Avenue’s Nancy Florence Savard, the film is produced by Savard and CarpeDiem’s Marie-Claude Beauchamp, Normand Thauvette and Paul Risacher.