10-year-old filmmaker sues to call the shots

Times Staff Writer

Most 10-year-olds are happy with an allowance and some video games.

Budding filmmaker Dominic Scott Kay wants creative control, along with a shot at the Sundance Film Festival. And, as often happens in the entertainment business, to get what he wants he’s headed to court with one of Hollywood’s top litigators in tow.

The child actor, whose credits include Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report” and voicing Wilbur the pig in Paramount Pictures’ recent “Charlotte’s Web,” is in a creative battle with Conroy Kanter, the financier of the short film Kay directed. The two met when Kay played with Kanter’s son on a soccer team.

“She wanted to make all the decisions and stuff,” Kay said. “She wanted final cut and everything.”


Kay alleges in a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court that Kanter, his Malibu neighbor, is trying to wrestle away control of “Saving Angelo,” starring actor Kevin Bacon, which she helped bankroll with $11,000.

Kanter’s attorney, Michael Stoller, alleged that Kay’s mother was behind the lawsuit and was seeking financial gain, adding that his client considered financing the film a “charitable contribution” to animal rights. “This is another example that no good deed goes unpunished,” he said.

Kanter was seeking to use Kay to become a Hollywood “player,” said Dylan Ruga, who is representing Kay along with prominent Hollywood lawyer Stanton L. (Larry) Stein.

Kay based his film on an incident from his own life. It tells the story of a boy who rescues a dog left for dead on the side of the road, finding a home for it in a local firehouse.

The lawsuit describes Bacon as a friend of Kay’s, who worked with the actor before when he starred in the Bacon-directed film “Loverboy.”

Kay alleged that he had shelved the film because Kanter had threatened to sue him since September 2005 if he completed the editing or screened the finished product without her consent. The lawsuit said profit would go toward animal rescue charities.


The movie was invited to the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, and it could have been entered in the 2006 and 2007 editions of the Sundance Film Festival, Kay alleges.

“One of the most frustrating things was that Ms. Kanter stopped me from showing the film at Sundance for two years in a row,” Kay said. “I don’t think that’s fair.”