September 01, 2011 11:36
Comedian-turned-director Shim Hyung-rae, who began his entertainment career decades ago in slapstick comedy and later produced a comedy that went on limited release in the to the U.S., is broke after his latest films failed to make money. His production company Younggu Art faces closure eight years after he founded it.
Last month a court seized the company's building in Ogok-dong on the western outskirts of Seoul after 43 former employees of the firm submitted a petition to the Ministry of Employment and Labor on Aug. 1 demanding their unpaid wages. Shim's last movie, "The Last Godfather," attracted only 2.56 million viewers, far short of the 4.5-5 million needed to break even.
Shim is also being sued by a savings bank for failing to repay a W2 billion loan he took out to produce his 2007 sci-fi movie "D-War." He won at first instance but lost on appeal in May and is awaiting a decision by the Supreme Court.
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