Alfred Lomas, a former Florencia 13 gang member, is at the center of a dispute between rival documentary filmmakers.
Alfred Lomas is a former member of Los Angeles’ Florencia 13 gang who has since devoted his life to making peace between rival gangs.
But his story has proved so compelling that now two rival documentary crews are fighting for the right to tell it on screen.
Lomas makes an appearance in “License to Operate,” a documentary on L.A. gang intervention workers that was set to air in January on the Viceland channel. But shortly before the air date, Vice Media got a cease-and-desist letter from Nikki Hevesy, a documentary producer who claimed to have the exclusive right to Lomas’ life story. Viceland canceled the broadcast, and it’s unclear when or if the doc will air.
Hevesy owns Through the Glass Productions, which states on its website that it is seeking partners and financing for “A Violence Disrupted,” a documentary on L.A. gang intervention.
“License to Operate” was directed by James Lipetzky and produced by Omelet, an L.A.-based creative agency. The doc debuted at the Seattle International Film Festival in 2015, and has since been available for streaming on iTunes and Amazon.
According to a federal lawsuit filed by Omelet on Wednesday, Hevesy has repeatedly contacted media companies, festivals and broadcasters to try to prevent the distribution of “License to Operate.”
“She’s jealous,” said attorney Perry Wander, who filed the suit. “She’s upset she wasn’t the one that did it and she keeps giving the screws to my client.”