(In order of appearance)
David Steinberg is a business lawyer and Partner at Dentons Canada LLP, specializing in the areas of entertainment, media and intellectual property. David primarily practices in the film, television, music, and book publishing industries. He acts for film and television producers and distributors, broadcasters, Internet service providers, publishers, creators and manufacturers of home entertainment products and merchandise. David advises his clients in both Canada and the United States on matters related to film and television financing, production and distribution, the licensing of intellectual property for integrated media products and the sale and acquisition of rights. David is a dynamic advisor who consistently applies a pragmatic approach to his practice. As a result, he has developed strong, long-lasting relationships with his clients. David is highly service-oriented and committed to assisting his clients in achieving their goals. He combines superior legal skills, industry experience and an adaptable approach to communicating and negotiating in all types of business transactions. David is a frequent speaker and lecturer on various media and entertainment law related topics in both Canada and the United States. He is peer-rated as “most frequently recommended” in the annual Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory and is recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada 2015 as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the area of Entertainment Law (2006-2015).
Lucie L. Guernsey has had over 25 years of credit, financial and commercial banking experience in the global Media and Entertainment Industries. Her 25 years’ experience encompasses the film, television, cable, broadcasting, music, gaming and publishing industries and her broad expertise includes activities such as Structured Loans, Single Purpose Loans, Private Equity, European Capital Markets, Bank Syndications and Private Placements. Ms. Guernsey has had experience in the specialized area of Media and Entertainment in both traditional and investment banking areas. Ms. Guernsey recently resigned as a Board Member (Non-Executive) of First State Holding Co (Jersey) Ltd which is a Fund that owns and manages a large music catalog. She is also a Managing Director, USA, at Woodland Bay Capital Ltd, a Vancouver based company organized to arrange for a variety of production services, including arranging for the monetization of Canadian tax rebates for content copyright owners. Ms. Guernsey was also the Chief Investment Officer for the fully allocated Cedar Lane Entertainment Fund. Ms. Guernsey has also worked at IDB Bank’s Entertainment, Sports and Media team. Prior to IDB, Ms.Guernsey ran a global Media and Entertainment Group at WestLB. Ms. Guernsey has spoken at a number of seminars and panel discussions at Columbia University, The New York Film Forum and New York University’s MBA School.
David Henry is a First Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager Bank Leumi USA Media & Entertainment Group. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and Managing Director, East West Bank’s Entertainment Banking Group in Beverly Hills. Bank Leumi USA provides customized financial services to the entertainment industry, with a focus on film and television clients in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom and Europe. Prior to that he was Senior Vice President & Manager of the Entertainment Banking Group at Bank Leumi USA and the Entertainment Industries Group at U.S. Bank. During his 20 year tenure in the media & entertainment industry, Mr. Henry has been involved with the financing of over 200 motion pictures and television series.
Nicholas Tabarrok is a prolific film and television producer whose company, Darius Films, has offices in Los Angeles and Toronto. Since 1998, he has produced over twenty feature films that have received both commercial and critical success. Many of them have premiered at the world’s top film festivals: The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico (Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW), Hank and Mike (Karlovy Vary 2007), Surviving Crooked Lake (Slamdance 2008), Weirdsville (Toronto International Film Festival and opening night gala of the Slamdance and Raindance Film Festivals), Coopers’ Christmas, starring Samantha Bee, Jason Jones, and Dave Foley (Toronto International Film Festival 2008), and Defendor (Toronto International Film Festival 2009).
The Art of the Steal, starring Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon, Jay Baruchel and Terence Stamp, premiered at TIFF 2013 with a Gala Presentation and was distributed by Radius-TWC and Sony Pictures. The Calling, starring Susan Sarandon, Ellen Burstyn, Donald Sutherland and Topher Grace was released by Sony Pictures in September 2014.
In 2015, Sony Pictures released The Intruders, starring Miranda Cosgrove, Donal Logue, Austin Butler, and Tom Sizemore. In addition, Man Vs., starring Chris Diamantopoulos, premiered at the Sci-Fi-London Film Festival in May 2015.
Most recently, Nicholas has produced three highly anticipated feature films: The Padre, starring Tim Roth, Nick Nolte, and Luis Guzmán. Stockholm, starring Ethan Hawke, Noomi Rapace, and Mark Strong. Benjamin; directed by and starring Bob Saget, as well as Rob Corddry, Kevin Pollak, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Dave Foley, and Cheri Oteri.
Nicholas also produces television; the adult animated series, Fugget About It, has completed three seasons and is entering a fourth. Nicholas has several other television projects currently in development with networks and studios including the historical drama The Lords of Opium with Oscar-winner Paul Haggis as Executive Producer for HBO Canada and the BBC.
He is a proud member of the Producer’s Guild of America, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Nicholas was honored by Variety Magazine as one the “Top Ten Producers to Watch” in 2008.
Karyn Edwards Is Senior Counsel, Global Film at Netflix Inc. Karyn provides corporate and production legal and business affairs for all of the company’s business and entertainment endeavors. Prior to joining Netflix, she was at Thunderbird Films with more than eleven years of experience in entertainment law, a decade of which was spent at Brightlight Pictures, a Vancouver-based film and television start-up company where she served as Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, was on their board of directors and rose to the level of Executive Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs. While at Brightlight, Edwards had a dual role in legal affairs and as a producer on several feature film and TV projects as she structured a host of international and inter-provincial co-productions. She also closed around $300 million in financing on film and TV shows, and worked with a host of foreign partners, including Mandate Pictures, Voltage Pictures, Fox 21, Red Granite Pictures, Mandalay Pictures and The Weinstein Company. Edwards’ executive producer credits at Brightlight included the theatrical feature 50 Dead Men Walking and the TV mini-series Delete. Prior to joining Brightlight Pictures, Edwards launched her own production outfit, Pictopia Pictures, were she was responsible for all aspects of production including develop, finance, and produce her own TV series and theatrical features.
Russell Schwartz is currently President of Pandemic Marketing, which provides marketing solutions to boutique and independent producers and distributors. Among the companies he has worked with are Anonymous Content, Liddell Entertainment, National Geographic, Cinetic Media and Constantin Films. He is currently leading the marketing team on the Entertainment Studios release of CHAPPAQUIDDICK, scheduled for April 6th.
Russell is also the lead Marketing professor in the Creative Producing Department of The Dodge College of Film and New Media at Chapman University where he teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. He also teaches marketing in the Producing Fellows program at the American Film Institute.
Peter Graham is a Managing Partner of 120db films and has been actively involved in financing entertainment companies and film production for over 20 years. He has recently partnered with Cabinet Finance to help them with the television production and did a location scout to the Republic of Georgia, were we are planning to shoot our series the Syndicate. He has been actively involved in financing entertainment companies and film production for over twentry years. He was formerly a Managing Director of the Lewis Horwitz Organization (LHO), one of the premiere companies specializing in financing independent film and television production. Prior to LHO (1997 to 2005), he was a Vice President with Union Bank of California’s Entertainment Department (1992 to 1997) lending to independent film productions. Mr. Graham began his entertainment financing skills with First Interstate Bank from (1990 to 1992). He graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy in 1980 and earned an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management in 1990.Mr. Graham has expertise in complex international film financing and distribution. His specialty is developing creative deal structures encompassing both debt and equity.
He has been involved in financing over 250 independent movies including “Kingdom of Twilight”, “Spartan”, “Monster”, “Alex and Emma”, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, “Virgin Suicides”, “Cookies’ Fortune”, and “The English Patient”. Mr. Graham is currently on the I.F.T.A Board of Directors and has served on the Advisory Board of Directors for the American Film Institute Festival. He is a frequent speaker on industry panels and a guest lecturer for university courses. Peter graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy in 1980 and earned an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management in 1990.
Nancy Rae Stone’s experience as a producer provides an invaluable background to her work with the California Film & Television tax credit program – both old and new. Ms. Stone was extensively involved in structuring the original tax credit program and now oversees the expanded program which enables California to provide competitive incentives to productions that, in turn create employment and increase economic development throughout California. Ms. Stone’s production expertise has been instrumental in the development and successful implementation of the film and television tax credit program in California.
Ms. Stone has worked as a producer, line producer, executive and consultant in the motion picture industry for over 20 years. She most recently executive produced Words & Pictures, starring Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche, which was released by Roadside Attractions in 2014. Ms. Stone worked for nearly a decade as the Executive Vice President of Production at Beacon Pictures, where she supervised physical production of notable theatrical films ranging from $4 million to $90 million dollars, including Air Force One (post-production), Spy Game, Bring It On, Family Man, and 13 Days. Ms. Stone’s independent producer credits include The Last Seduction with Linda Fiorentino, Femme Fatale with Colin Firth, Playing God with Angelina Jolie, and American Heart, starring Jeff Bridges.
Christine Van Sant heads the advisory team at Three Point Capital, a privately held investment company specializing in advisory, brokerage, and lending services predominantly in the film and television arena. Her group provides comprehensive administrative and operational production services for tax credit recipients. Christine has over ten years of experience in the entertainment industry, with the past five years dedicated to production incentive estimating and compliance. She gained solid skills from her time in the Production Incentives team at Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, where she was instrumental in the preparation of their biannual The Incentives Program guidebook, as well as her years at Twentieth Century Fox, in their Post Estimating & Accounting and Production Incentive groups. Among the 90+ projects she has worked on are Mudbound, The Leisure Seeker, Den of Thieves, Suburbicon, Avatar, Chronicle, The Wolverine and X-Men: First Class. She is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado.
David Acosta – With over a decade of experience in the entertainment and media finance business, David is a senior vice president at City National Bank and runs the Film, TV and Sports Team in Los Angeles. This entails sourcing and structuring of single and multiple picture film financings, financing for television productions, financings for sports teams and other media businesses. Prior to CNB, David worked for Israel Discount Bank of New York, where he was a senior vice president and head of the entertainment, sports and syndicated finance group and head of mid-corporate banking. There, he led a team of bankers who managed relationships with sports and entertainment companies. Earlier in his career, David worked with Lazard Freres & Co., in New York. David earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Columbia University in New York.
David C. Friedman is currently Executive Vice President and General Counsel of New Regency Productions in Los Angeles, where he oversees all legal affairs for the Company. Prior to joining New Regency, Mr. Friedman established his own legal and consulting firm, Chapter 2 Media Advisors, Inc., where he advised entertainment clients. Previously, Mr. Friedman was Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Lions Gate Entertainment and General Counsel for Summit Entertainment in Santa Monica, California. At Lions Gate, Mr. Friedman worked on a variety of matters, including financing, corporate and international transactions, licensing and merchandising, and management of the Company’s trademark portfolio and litigation. In that position, Mr. Friedman concluded a ground-breaking slate financing and distribution transaction with a large Chinese film and television company. Having joined Summit in 2007, Mr. Friedman had primary responsibility for all legal matters, where the areas of focus of his legal department included film development and production, acquisitions, marketing, distribution and international licensing, financing, corporate transactions and litigation supervision. Prior to joining Summit, Mr. Friedman served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Transactions and Deputy General Counsel for Paramount Pictures, where his chief areas of responsibility included individual and slate motion picture financing and co-financing transactions, and significant business transactions. Prior to joining Paramount in 1995, he was a partner in private practice representing production companies, individual producers and other talent. Mr. Friedman received his B.A. in Economics from UCLA and his J.D. degree from UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall).
Jeff Geoffray, is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at VX119 Media Capital, where he helped raise a fund of $100 million to finance movies and television with Wall Street firm, Crayhill Capital Management. The company’s first films will be released in the US starting in the Summer of 2018 and include A24’s Under the Silver Lake, starring Andrew Garfield; and, Open Road’s City of Lies, starring Johnny Depp.
Jeff Geoffray, is a challenge-driven professional with an established record of success in film production, distribution and financing. In any given month, a dozen or more films produced or financed by Jeff and his related companies, are showing at theaters, or across the cable, and television spectrum. Jeff is a graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Studies where upon graduating he produced his first feature film, Witchboard, which went on to be a commercial and critical success. After forming Blue Rider Pictures in 1991 with Walter Josten – and in an effort to give them a competitive financial advantage — Jeff and Walter became some of the first producers to take advantage of international tax credits in Canada, the UK, the Isle of Man, the Netherlands and Germany. During that time, Jeff produced or executive produced many successful pictures, including family films such as Call of the Wild and installments of the Leprechaun, Children of The Corn and Wishmaster series. So well known was Jeff’s depth of knowledge in production and international tax credit financing that Walden Media made Jeff one of its first hires to help them decide where in the world it was most advantageous – from a creative and financial standpoint – to make their films. Jeff worked on all of Walden’s films up to The Chronicles of Narnia. As such, he was part of the team that oversaw the pre-production of Jim Cameron’s groundbreaking 3D HD IMAX film, Ghosts of the Abyss, and he was an executive on Holes, Around the World in 80 Days and other Walden titles. Because of Jeff’s background in both production and financing, he was able to help create a new financial product for the film industry called bridge financing. A bridge loan helps producers finance their pre-production and production prior to having their permanent production loan in place. Since 1999, Jeff has been a driving force behind over 70 successful bridge loan transactions with his companies, Blue Rider Pictures and Blue Rider Finance. In the process, Jeff qualified for his own California Commercial Lender’s License for transactions that represented over $600 million in film production. These projects included high-profile theatrical releases such as Werner Herzog’s Rescue Dawn, as well as Then She Found Me, Helen Hunt’s first directorial effort. Known by most of his colleagues as someone others can depend on, Jeff’s track record has led investors and investment firms to put hundreds of millions of dollars in his control and to administer the safe return of fees and interests.
Karen Robson is a Partner and heads Pryor Cashman’s Los Angeles office and is a member of the firm’s Media + Entertainment, Banking + Finance, Intellectual Property, Corporate and Digital Media Groups.
A native of Australia, Karen is a self-described “multicultural aficionado” who closely follows the entertainment industry’s emerging markets around the globe and the business, financial and technical innovations that are shaping its future. Before embarking on a legal career, she had a brief career as an actress in Australia, including a major role in the Peter Weir cult favorite “Picnic at Hanging Rock.” She also worked as a producer and in direct distribution of feature films and documentaries. Karen’s insider perspective and entrepreneurial outlook enhance her ability to negotiate cutting-edge joint venture, production and distribution agreements, film financings and acquisitions.
A seasoned professional, Karen has represented domestic and foreign motion picture and television financiers, banks, equity investors, hedge funds, studios, broadcast and cable TV networks, and production and distribution companies for many years. She also advises individual content creators, including writers, directors and producers, particularly women creators.
Clients rely on Karen to effectively negotiate and close financial arrangements and distribution deals. She helps lenders and producers structure film financings, including senior and mezzanine debt and equity, as well as crowdfunding transactions.
Karen is sought after by well-known film and television production companies, including those involved in visual effects, animation and reality television. She helps them take advantage of audience expansion opportunities in alternative channels, including Internet and digital media platforms. Karen advises on intellectual property transactions, including new ways to optimize and monetize audio-visual content through licensing and merchandising arrangements and collaborations with video game and publishing ventures, especially in the family/children’s arena.