Speakers

The Film Finance TV and IFFC team would like to express their gratitude to the following distinguished colleagues for their continued support. We thank you for your kind cooperation and collaboration.

Adrian Politowski, U Media

Adrian Politowski is Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of the film studio uMedia that counts 120 staff across Brussels and London. The group is active in production, fundraising, international sales & financing, distribution and VFX. As such he oversees all group and business units’ strategic decisions and evolutions, and being passionate about films, chairs film investment, development and acquisitions committees. To date Adrian has been credited as a (co/exec/associate) producer on over 150 films. Prior to founding uMedia in 2004 with Nadia Khamlichi and Jeremy Burdek, Adrian created a small film production company in London. He holds two Masters degrees from Oxford University (Engineering Sciences and Economics). Adrian was born in Stockholm in 1978.

Arthur F. Stribley, Pacific Mercantile Bank

Art Stribley recently joined Pacific Mercantile Bank as its Executive Vice President of the Entertainment Industries Division in Beverly Hills, California, in 2008.  He provides a wide range of services and loans specifically for the Entertainment business, including all types of credit facilities as well as film and television production financing. For the previous four years, he was the Executive Vice President of the Entertainment Industries Division of Fir

st California Bank where his division comprised about 10% of the Bank’s loans and deposits. For the previous seventeen years, Art was the Executive Vice President of the well-known entertainment lending company, The Lewis Horwitz Organization in Century City (now known as ICB Entertainment Finance).  He has been involved in all types of production lending for numerous feature films, television and cable programs, print and advertising loans and post- production loans. Mr. Stribley has personally financed over 300 films and as Senior Credit Officer overseen the financing of over another 300 productions. Previously, Mr. Stribley spent sixteen years in commercial banking, working for such banks as Wells Fargo Bank, Mitsui Manufacturers Bank and First Los Angeles Bank. For the past thirty one years, he has specialized in entertainment lending, having joined First Los Angeles Bank’s Entertainment Industries Division with Lew Horwitz, in 1977.  Subsequently, he became Regional Vice President and Manager of the Division in 1982.  Thereafter, he was the Senior Lending Officer of an independent bank in West Los Angeles before joining LHO. Mr. Stribley has lectured on motion picture and television production to numerous groups including UCLA Extension, Paul Kagan Seminars, Southwestern Law, and the Practicing Law Institute. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts from Whittier College (1968) and a Masters of Business Administration from Pepperdine University (1976). He served as a Lieutenant jg aboard a Destroyer in the United States Navy from 1968 to 1970.

Barrie Osborne, Producer

Barrie Osborne is an internationally renowned US film-maker who moved to New Zealand while working on major film projects. Along with New Zealand’s Peter Jackson and Fran Walshe, Osborne was part of the Oscar-winning team behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The three film-makers won the 2004 Academy Award ‘Best Picture’ for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.  Barrie Osborne was involved in many Hollywood films, including The Matrix, Apocalypse Now, and The Big Chill, before working with Jackson on the ‘Rings’ trilogy. He was an executive producer on The World’s Fastest Indian (also filmed in New Zealand), and Australian film Little Fish with Cate Blanchett. Later projects included the joint Korean-American action film The Warrior’s Way (2009). Osborne’s latest productions include The Great Gatsby (2012) and Syrup (2012).

Bernd Stephan, Media Finance Group

Bernd Stephan is the CEO of Media Finance Group. He is a finance executive with extensive U.S. and international experience in entertainment, corporate finance, operations, accounting and international tax consulting. Managed  IPO process. Seasoned expert in all aspects of film finance with long track record of securing large volume of independent film finance. His credits include Law Abiding Citizens, starring Gerald Butler and Jamie Foxx, A Little Bit of Heaven, staring Kate Hudson and Gael Garcia Bernal, and The Rebound, starring Katherine Zeta Jones.

Bill Johnson, Lotus Pictures

Bill JOhnson is the co-founder in  Lotus Pictures and Inferno Distribution which was formed with partner Jim Seibel in 2003. Since that time, the partners have grown Inferno into a top tier production, finance and sales company which is producing 4 to 5 feature films per year in addition to handling international sales on other productions. In the past twelve months, the company has closed $265 million in institutional financing and a multi-picture co-financing and distribution deal with Sony Entertainment.

Bob Fiorella, Cinedigm Entertainment Group

Bob Fiorella is the Executive Vice-President for Cinedigm Entertainment Group, the independent film, event and alternative content distribution division of Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp (NASDAQ: CIDM).  With over 20 years of strategy, finance and operating experience in the media and entertainment industry, Bob has held senior leadership roles at The Walt Disney Studios, Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.  Most recently he was SVP and CFO of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

 Braxton Pope, Sodium Fox Productions

Braxton Pope is feature film and television producer who maintained a production deal with Lionsgate.  Pope is currently in post production on The Canyons written by Bret Easton Ellis, directed by Paul Schrader and starring Lindsay Lohan.  He recently produced the feature film Shrink starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Williams, and  the Independent Spirit Award nominated feature The Take, directed by Brad Furman, starring John Leguizamo, Tyrese Gibson.

Chris McGurk, Cinedigm Entertainmet

Chris McGurk is the CEO of Cinedigm Entertainment Group, a US theatrical Distributor specialized in digital cinema.  Mr. McGurk was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Overture Films from 2006 until 2010 and also the Chief Executive Officer of Anchor Bay Entertainment, which distributed Overture Films’ products to the home entertainment industry. From 1999 to 2005, Mr. McGurk was Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Operating Officer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (MGM), acting as the company’s lead operating executive until MGM was sold for approximately $5 billion to a consortium of investors. Mr. McGurk joined MGM from Universal Pictures, where he served in various executive capacities, including President and Chief Operating Officer, from 1996 to 1999. From 1988 to 1996, Mr. McGurk served in several senior executive roles at The Walt Disney Studios, including Studios Chief Financial Officer and President of The Walt Disney Motion Picture Group.

Christoper Stelly, Lousiana Film Office

Chris Stelly is the Executive Director of the Louisiana Office of Entertainment Industry Development.  He manages incentive programs targeting development of the film production, digital media, sound recording, and live performance industries. In 2010 alone, Stelly oversaw 141 incentive applications, with more than 100 productions underway in the state that year.

 Dama Claire, The Incentives Office at Ease

Dama Claire is a Production Executive at The Incentives Office, and one of the foremost experts in governmental production incentives. She works closely with studios and independent film producers to help identify the best location and production incentive packages to save money. She helped set up location-based financing for  Big Momma’s House 2 in Louisiana, Dear John in South Carolina, The Conspirator in Georgia, Legion in New Mexico  and co-produced Fox Searchlight’s Conviction starring Hilary Swank in  Michigan. She has also helped enhance film tax legislation in various states, including Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Alaska, and has helped structure a variety of international co-productions.

David Claikens,  Fortis Film Fund

Mr. David Claikens is the CEO of the Fortis Film Fund.  He manages the BNP Paribas Fortis Film Fund on behalf of BNP Paribas Fortis. He’s also is active as consultant in, amongst others, corporate finance and strategy. Mr. Claikens obtained a Masters of Business Administration by the HEC School of Management in Paris and by the London Business School. He is Chairman of the Company’s Audit Committee.

Fredrik Malmberg, Paradox Entertainment

Fredrik Malmberg is the  CEO of Paradox Entertainment and directly oversees film development as Producer. Malmberg facilitated the purchase of Conan and the Robert E. Howard library on behalf of Paradox Entertainment and continues to manage the exploitation of the properties through various media and licensing. He is also the President and CEO of the Sweden-based parent company Paradox Entertainment AB (publ). Prior to his positions at Paradox Entertainment, Mr. Malmberg was Founder and CEO of Target Games for 19 years. At Target, he developed many successful international character brands across a broad range of product categories, including Mutant Chronicles, Chronopia and Kult. He also built a successful retail chain of Tradition gaming stores in Sweden. Mr. Malmberg is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America.

James Mullany, Salem Partners

James Mullany, Managing Director at Salem Partners is responsible for Salem Partners’ Filmed Entertainment valuation and advisory business, in addition to his role as a senior media banker. Mr. Mullany’s recent valuation and advisory assignments include Village Roadshow Films, Morgan Creek Productions, Alcon Entertainment, Banc of America Leasing, Hannover Leasing GmbH, City National Bank, Bank of America, and Mike Young Productions. He also provided expert witness testimony in the Stephen Bochco vs. 20th Century Fox litigation. Prior to joining Salem Partners, Mr. Mullany was a SVP in the Entertainment and Media Group of Houlihan Lokey, Century City, CA. While there he was a senior member of the team that focused on the major studios and a large number of independent companies in the filmed entertainment business. Prior to working with Houlihan Lokey, Mr. Mullany was a senior executive for Think Entertainment, a television production company partnership between Shelley Duvall and TeleCommunications, Inc., United Artists Communications Inc. and Newhouse Broadcasting. Previous to Think Entertainment, Mr. Mullany was a VP for the Entertainment Industries Group of Wells Fargo Bank, Beverly Hills, CA, where he headed a team of lenders involved in the independent sector of the television and film industry. Mr. Mullany is a graduate of Regis High School (N.Y.), LeMoyne College, Syracuse, NY, where he received a B.A. in Economics, and the School of Business at the University at Albany (S.U.N.Y.), where he received his M.B.A.

Jay Malla Maldenado, Malla Entertainment Group

Jay Malla Maldenado is the CEO of the Malla Entertainment Group, which was established in 1987 in Los Angeles, California. Malla Entertainment Group is a full service vertically integrated production and content management company with a focus on motion pictures, television, music and brand integration. MEG’s multi-tiered methodology strives to mitigate risk for our clients, partners, projects and strategic alliances.

Jeanette Buerling, Magnet Media Group

Jeanette Buerling is the CEO of Magnet Media Group, a Beverly Hills based film finance and Production Company, with satellite offices in Germany and the UK. To date, she has been involved in over 45 film and television projects, with a total production volume exceeding $250 million. Born and raised in Cologne, Germany, Jeanette Buerling has been in the entertainment industry for over 20 year and her experience spans over three continents. Her production and finance credits include theatrical motion pictures with academy award winning talent in front and behind the camera. Credits include  as Timeshare, a family comedy starring Nastassja Kinski, Timothy Dalton and Kevin Zegers,  the Paramount Vantage thriller, 13, starring Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Sam Riley, Ray Winston, Michael Shannon and 50 Cent; the Sony Pictures thriller, The Experiment, directed by Paul Scheuring (writer, producer of Prison Break), starring Academy Award winning actors Adrien Brody and Forrest Whitaker, as well as Twilight‘s Cam Gigandet; and Dark Tide, starring Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez, directed by John Stockwell, (Blue Crush, Into the Blue). Dark Tide was released by Lionsgate, and others. Being a specialist in international co-production Ms. Buerling handled negotiations with major studios on behalf of German Media Funds, which invested billions in the Hollywood Film industry in the early 2000’s. This work expanded her media finance expertise widely and by 2004 she was hired by Far East National Bank, where she ran the banks’ film equity fund. The fund invested in the production and acquisition of 41 television and theatrical projects for HBO, Showtime, ABC, Disney, USA Network, and Lionsgate, amongst others.

Jeff Most, Jeff Most Films

Jeff Most has been a respected feature film and television producer in Hollywood for over 25 years.  Jeff has a solid reputation for producing award winning and artistically and commercially successful feature films, in virtually every genre, with great casts and production values.  Jeff has produced more than 20 films, which includes three feature films that opened number one and set box office records for their opening weekends. Jeff Most Productions set up his first feature film at Warner Brothers, The Specialist, which he executive produced, starring Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Rod Steiger, James Woods and Eric Roberts. Jeff produced The Crow, and its seminal soundtrack album, which sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.  Based on the comic book series, the film was directed by Alex Proyas and starred Brandon Lee, Michael Wincott, and Ernie Hudson. The success  spawned three feature film sequels, which Jeff produced, The Crow: City of Angels, The Crow: Salvation and The Crow: Wicked Prayer, which Jeff also co-wrote.  The franchise has spawned video games, soundtracks, and a syndicated television series, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, as well as the upcoming re-envisioning of The Crow, which will be financed an

d distributed by Relativity. Amongst his many accolades, in 2009 Jeff received an Emmy Nomination for “Best Television film” as executive producer, of The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, which starred Oscar winners Anna Paquin and Marcia Gay Harden, as well as Goran Visnijic.  The CBS film won a Cammy Award, a Christopher Award, and received numerous nominations including Golden Globe, Director’s Guild and Writers Guild noms.  Recently, Jeff produced Maladies starring James Franco, Catherine Keener and David Strathairn, Officer Down starring Stephen Dorff, James Woods and Stephen Lang; Pawn starring Forest Whitaker, Ray Liotta, and Michael Chiklis and Soldiers of Fortune starring Sean Bean, Christian Slater and James Cromwell.  Jeff also recently executive produced “The Broken Tower” starring James Franco and Michael Shannon. Some of Jeff’s other films include the award winning coming of age romantic comedy, Girl; the Gothic Horror story The Tomb; the suspense thriller Ghost Image, detective thriller Venice Underground and the dark drama, On the Doll.

Jim Milio, MHP Entertainment

Jim Milio is co-charir of the award winning production company MHP Entertainment, most known for the successful TV series The Dog Whisprer. Jim  has been a writer, producer and director of television and films for more than thirty years. His producing credits the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Jonathan Vanger, Transfilm

Jonathan Vanger founded Transgulm in 1983. It is one of the largest independent production companies in Canada with more than $250 million in revenues. With a wealth of financial engineering expertise in international coproductions and an excellent team, Transfilm has developed solid business ties in North America and Europe as well as in the rest of the world.  Mr. Vanger is a producer with more than twenty five Feature films and Television series to his credit in South

Africa, Australia, Europe and the US.

Jonathan Reiss, Author “Think Outside The Box Office”

Named one of “10 Digital Directors to Watch” by Daily Variety, Jon Reiss is a critically acclaimed filmmaker whose experie

nce releasing his documentary feature Bomb It with a hybrid strategy was the inspiration for writing Think Outside the Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution in the Digital Era, the first step-by-step guide for filmmakers to distribute and market their films. He recently co-wrote Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul with The Film Collaborative and Sheri Candler.

 Jordan K. Yosepe, Eisner, Kahan & Gorry

Jordan K. Yospe is Of Counsel in the Firm’s Entertainment, Media & The Arts Department. Jordan is recognized as one of the country’s leading brand integration experts and an authority in sourcing, negotiating, and managing brand integration deals for feature films, television, new media, music, and video games.

Judith Chan, Coutts Bank

Judith Chan is the Director of Coutts’ Media division, which is involved in all sectors of the media and creative industries including film, television, music, theatre, arts, advertising, marketing services and publishing. She is responsible for originating new business and developing new products for the Bank and specialises in structuring film and television transactions. Prior to Coutts, Judith was a Business Development Director at Ingenious Media plc (2002-2007), advisers and investors in the media and entertainment sectors. At Ingenious, Judith was responsible for managing three equity funds, principally investing in the television sector. The role involved sourcing, structuring and managing the investments of the funds and reporting to investors. From 1994 to 2002, Judith was a Relationship Manager at Coutts where she managed a portfolio of clients and headed up the Bank’s involvement in the film and television sectors. Prior to this, Judith was an Analyst at NatWest Markets, the corporate and investment banking arm of NatWest, in Los Angeles (1991-1994), working with the mini and major studios, and spearheaded the Bank’s involvement with the independents.

Mark Borde, Freestyle Releasing

Mark Borde has been in the Motion Picture Distribution Business for over thirty years. In August of 2004, Mark Borde and Susan Jackson formed Freestyle Releasing and Freestyle Home Entertainment. As the number one independent theatrical distribution company in the country, Freestyle Releasing continues to work on a “service deal” basis, distributing films on over 2000 screens nationwide. In 2006, Freestyle distributed “An American Haunting” in wide release, as well as “The Illusionist”, among oth

ers. He produced 9 successful feature films, including the cult classic “Hollywood Hot Tubs”, and Dan O’Bannon’s “The Resurrected”. He is also the executive producer of “Love Stinks” and the co-producer of “Trois 2”, and the executive producer of “Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour”.

Mark Horowitz, H2O Motion Pictures

Mark Horowitz is a founding partner of  H2O Pictures, a production and international sales company. Mr. Horowitz was president of Alliance Pictures International, the feature film sales and marketing division. H2O Motion Pictures is the natural continuation of the working relationship that established the international feature film profile of the Canadian media giant Alliance Atlantis Entertainment. His more than two decades’ experience in international distribution has enabled him to successfully match films with the proper distributor in each territory. Films distributed by Mr. Horowitz have consistently been placed with top international distributors, ensuring the widest audience possible and optimizing the chances for significant financial recoupment.

 Markus Vogelbacher, Bavaria Film Partners

Markus R. Vogelbacher is the founding Managing Director of Bavaria Film Partners GmbH, located in Munich. His was involved in films such as The Perfume, directed by Tom Tykwer and the Academy Award nominated film  The Baader Meinhof Complex.

Matthew Rhodes, Mandalay Vision

Matthew Rhodes is the President of Mandalay Vision, a division of Mandalay Entertainment that finances and produces motion picture feature films. Prior to that, Rhodes was CEO of his own production company, Persistent Entertainment, where he produced over 20 pictures in 12 years working with top tier directors such as David O’ Russell, Lasse Hallstrom, Richard Kelly, and Rodrigo Garcia, to name a few.  Rhodes has also worked with such notable stars as Bruce Willis, Robert Redford, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, Sharon Stone, and John Goodman to name a few. Rhodes’ pictures have world premiered in Competition at the most prestigious of film festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, and AFI, amongst dozens of others around the world, earning terrific reviews and award-winning recognition. Currently in post-production is the action thriller Fire with Fire  (Lionsgate/Voltage Pictures) starring Bruce Willis, Josh Duhamel and Rosario Dawson.  Also in post-production an awaiting release is the romantic comedy Nailed  (Miramax) starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jessica Biel, James Marsden, Catherine Keener, & Tracy Morgan, written and directed by David O. Russell.  In 2010, Rhodes produced the comedy, Deep in the Valley  (Vivendi/IM Global) with Scott Caan and Tracy Morgan. In 2009, Rhodes produced the supernatural thriller Passengers  (Sony/Mandate), starring Anne Hathaway and Patrick Wilson.  Rhodes has produced another dozen films already in worldwide release including: the sci-fi thriller, Southland Tales  (Sony/Universal) starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott, Justin Timberlake, and Mandy Moore amongst many othersm which had its world premiere In Competition at the Cannes Film Festival; The high school drama/comedy, Remember the Daze   (First Look Studios) starring Amber Heard, Leighton Meester, Chris Marquette, Alexa Vega, and John Robinson which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival; the family drama, Walker Payne  starring Jason Patric, Sam Shepard, Bruce Dern, Drea de Matteo and KaDee Strickland that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival; the drama, The Sisters   (Arclight Films) starring Maria Bello, Erika Christensen, Mary Stuary Masterson, Tony Goldwyn, Eric McCormack, Alessandro Nivola, Elizabeth Banks, Rip Torn and Chris O’Donnell that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival; and the Sundance premiere action/thriller, September Tapes (Think Film), and the Sundance premiere college comedy, Freshman Orientation (Fox) starring John Goodman.

Michael Cowan, Stealth Media Group

Michael Cowan is the Co-CEO of Stealth Media Group, an international sales company based in London and Los Angeles. He is furthermore the founder of Spice Factory a UK based finance and production company most known for films such Merchant of Venice, starring al Pacino, Head in the Clouds, starring Charlize Theron and Lord of War, starring Nicolas Cage.

Michele Ohayon,  Magnet Media Group

Michele is an Academy Award nominated  nominated director, writer (WGA), and producer (PGA). She matriculated from Tel Aviv University, studying Film & Television, and shortly thereafter received the Israeli Best Film Award for her debut film Pressure (1984). Her next film, It Was a Wonderful Life (1987), aired nationally on PBS and OXYGEN, winning awards at the Houston Film Festival and an International Documentary Association (IDA) nomination. Her next film, Colors Straight Up (1997), aired all over the world and earned Michele a slew of prestigious accolades, most notably an Academy Award and Directors Guild of America (DGA) and IFP nominations as well 12 other national awards. Michele’s follow-up features have included Cowboy Del Amor (2005) SXSW winner of both Jury and audience award, and Aired on ShowTime, Steal a Pencil for Me (2007), which premiered at the United Nations and aired on PBS, picking up major awards at the Jerusalem Film Festival, Sonoma Festival Audience Award, the Spirit of Anne Frank and the IDA ABC/Video Source recognitions. Michele’s recent film (2011), S.O.S/State of Security (2011), opened at the MOMA in NYC and at the Berlinale. Her films have screened at noteworthy festivals such as Berlin, Sarajevo, Bergen, Hawaii, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Amsterdam, and Seattle. Michele served on various international festival’s juries, and also lectured at UCLA, AFI, UVA, Stanford, Berkley, Wesleyan, Chapman University and more. Michele’s documentary features have been developed into fiction scripts in major film studios such as MGM, Focus features and Starz. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences® , the Writers Guild and Producers Guild of America, and brings to MMG all her long-time experience as writer, director and producer.

Mimi Steinbauer, Radiant Films International

Mimi Steinbauer, CEO Radiant Films International, launched the company  to bring quality commercial films to the worldwide marketplace. With well over 20 years experience in the film industry, Steinbauer brings knowledge and passion to the films that Radiant Films finances and/or sells. Prior to launching Radiant, Steinbauer ran Hyde Park International where she was instrumental in acquiring, financing and selling such films as Academy Award nominated Blue Valentine  starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete  starring Robert De Niro and Jessica Alba, and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance  starring Nicolas Cage. Steinbauer was previously Vice President of Distribution at New Line Cinema, Sales and Distribution Consultant for Voltage Pictures, President of International Sales and Distribution at Franchise Pictures, and Head of International Television at Trimark Pictures. Over the course of her career Steinbauer has been instrumental in securing financing and/or selling over 500 films including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hurt Locker, The Matrix, Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, The Notebook and Three Kings.

Nils Duenker, Lailaps Pictures

Nils Dünker is the co-founder of Lailaps Pictures GmbH together with Anatole Taubman and a Swiss-based capitalizing partner. Lilaps is a financing and production company with head-offices in Munich, and units in Berlin and Los Angeles. The company has, at its disposal, substantial capital to fund its operation and development requirements, as well as various sources of private equity to finance English-language feature films and TV-series with global appeal either as full producer or as co-producing partner with budgets of up to $20 million.

Noel Lohr  LHR Enterprises

Laywer & film finance executive. Noel Lohr is the founder of LHR Enterprises LLC. She is a laywer & film finance specialist for independent films. Provide advice relating to the financing, production and distribution of independent film projects, including project analysis, and structuring single picture, slate and working capital facilities, and co-financing arrangements. at Incentives

Patrick Russo, The Salter Group

Mr. Russo is a Founding Principal  of The Salter Group. Mr. Russo has overseen numerous domestic and international client relationships including The Walt Disney Company, Village Roadshow, Sony/ATV, The Shine Group, Wild Bunch, Discovery Communications, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Ltd, Goldman Sachs and many others. Mr. Russo has extensive experience across a broad range of financial advisory roles including mergers and acquisitions, fairness opinions, intangible asset valuations, litigation support and strategic planning. Mr. Russo was previously a Vice President in the Entertainment & Media Group of Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin. In this capacity, he focused on investment banking and financial advisory projects. Prior to joining Houlihan Lokey, Mr. Russo was a Vice President in the Media and Entertainment Industries Group at SG Cowen Securities Corporation (and its predecessor companies Societe General Bannon, LLC and Bannon & Co.), specializing in mergers and acquisitions and capital raising. Prior to SG Cowen, Mr. Russo was an Assistant Vice President at ABN AMRO Bank, where he was responsible for all film financing transactions in North America and was a member of the bank’s Global Media and Communications Finance Group.

Peter Iacono. Lionsgate

Peter Iacono is the  Managing Director of Lionsgate International Television. He is responsible for oversight of all international distribution, sales and marketing, and third party acquisitions for the company, as well as international format sales and production. Among Lionsgate’s better known television propertiesare Mad Men, Weeds, and Blue Mountain State, which is about to debut on Spike TV.  Prior to joining Lionsgate, Iacono served as president and managing director of ITV Global Entertainment, where he was responsible for the company’s representation of a portfolio from ITV Studios and independent producers that included such programs as Hell’s Kitchen, Prime Suspect, and The Prisoner. Prior to his ITV post, Mr. Iacono spent 12 years overseeing Sony Pictures Television International’s global distribution and most recently served as head of production for Sony Pictures Features International.

Rena Ronson, United Talent Agency

Rena Ronson is Co-head of UTA’s Independent Film Group.  A pre-eminent packaging and finance executive, Ronson develops global finance, distribution and marketing strategies for independent and co-financed studio features and oversees a team known for packaging and/or representing many of the highest-profile films.

 Richard Kiratsoulis, Boies/Schiller Film Group

Richard Kiratsoulis serves as COO to The Boies/Schiller Film Group, co-financiers of Summit’s 2013 release The Tomb starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Mr. Kiratsoulis specializes in representing high net-worth individuals and private equity funds in significant independent film financing transactions. Recent financing transactions structured by Mr. Kiratsoulis for clients include Joe Carnahan’s The Grey starring Liam Neeson, Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly starring Brad Pitt, and Marc Forster’s Machine Gun Preacher starring Gerard Butler.

Roeg Sutherland, CAA

Together with Micah Green, Roeg Sutherland co-heads Creative Artists Agency’s (CAA) Film Finance and Sales Group. CAA is the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency and represents many of the most successful professionals working in film, television, music, theater, video games, sports, fashion and the Internet; it also provides a range of strategic marketing and consulting services to corporate clients. CAA’s Film Finance and Sales Group packages, arranges financing for and sells more than 60 films per year, and represents a select group of financiers, producers and sales companies worldwide. Roeg Sutherland comes from a family that is well-known in the film business: his brother is Kiefer Sutherland and his father is Donald Sutherland, both of whom are very famous actors.

Shebnem Askin Schreger , Twentieth Century Fox

Shebnem Askin-Schreger is the Senior VP of sales and production finance for Twentieth Century Fox Intl. Most recently, Askin-Schreger was head of Cinetic International, the global sales, consulting and financial unit of the New York-based Cinetic Media, managing international sales for independently produced films such as Exit Through the Gift Shop, directed by Banksy, and Abel, directed by Diego Luna.

Paul Colichman, Here Media

Mr. Colichman serves as Chief Executive Officer of Here Media, the world’s leading multimedia company targeting the LGBT consumer. He is a well-regarded motion picture executive and producer with over 20 years of experience. Mr. Colichman and his longtime business partner, Stephen P. Jarchow, have produced and/or distributed over 150 motion pictures and television series episodes. His credits include the Academy Award winning picture Gods and Monsters.

Warren Goz, DBW

Warren Goz is the founder of DBW LLC. Based in New York, his company can lend against tax credits or rebates. Warren has extensive Sec. 181 background, and co-founded Grand Army Entertainment.

Will French, Film Production Capital

Will French is the co-founder and President of Film Production Capital, L.L.C. Film Production Capital provides tax incentive-based financing and financial services to the domestic motion picture industry. The company has provided more than $300,000,000 in financing to over 100 motion picture productions with aggregate production budgets far exceeding $1 billion. Such films include: Ray, The Expendables, Runaway Jury, Premonition, Pride, Mr. Brooks, Cogan’s Trade, Bullet to the Head, The Host, Killer Joe, Olympus Has Fallen, The Starving Games and Old Boy.

William Chartoff, Chartoff Productions

William Chartoff is an established producer of major studio-level feature films including the successful Rocky Balboa franchise, starring Sylvester Stallone and The Mechanic, starring Jason Statham.