Faculty In Order of Appearence
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 Managing Director at Alvarium in Los Angeles. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Bank Leumi as well as 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.
David Dinerstein is and award-wining producer and one of the most accomplished industry executives. Dinerstein has distributed and released over 200 movies and helped launch the careers of numerous iconic filmmakers including Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderberg, Paul Greengrass, Justin Lin, Sofia Coppola, Baz Luhrman, Jane Campion and Kevin Smith. His films have garnered over 96 Academy Award Nominations and 15 Academy Awards. Dinerstein co-founded Paramount Vantage and was one the original architects of Fox Searchlight. He was involved in the marketing and distribution of a wide range of films including “American Hustle,” “Her,” “Pulp Fiction,” “The Illusionist,” “The Full Monty,” “Hustle & Flow,” “The Virgin Suicides,” “You Can Count On Me,” “The Brothers McMullen,” “The Ice Storm,” “The Piano,” “The Crow,” “sex, lies and videotape,” “The Crying Game,” “My Left Foot,” “Reservoir Dogs,” and “Clerks.” In addition to his slate of narrative feature films, Dinerstein specializes in documentaries. He produced “Winter On Fire,” an Original Netflix documentary which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary, and for which Dinerstein was nominated for an Emmy Award. He also produced “Cries From Syria” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by HBO. Dinerstein distributed the pre-eminent documentaries “Mad Hot Ballroom,” “Madonna: Truth Or Dare,” “Paris Is Burning,” and “Jay-Z: Fade To Black.” Dinerstein is a graduate of Boston University and is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
John Evershed is the founder and former CEO of Mondo Media, the leading digital distributor of animation for young adults. He continues to serve on the board of Mondo and is advising two new digital entertainment start-ups. Evershed led Mondo’s evolution from a YouTube channel with over 4 billion video views for its short format series into a standalone branded channel on AT&T Time Warner’s VRV SVOD platform, home to multiple original, long form, Mondo-owned series. Evershed oversaw the growth of Happy Tree Friends from a humble web-series into an Annie award-winning multimedia franchise that included a TV series that aired in over 30 markets and a ground-breaking global merchandise program.
Marco Cordova is Director of West Coast Tax Credit Investments for Monarch Private Capital. Marco’s production incentives and tax expertise has benefited countless film and TV projects for the past 20 years. Marco is one of the nation’s leading tax credit brokers, primarily representing Major Studios and Fortune 500 companies in placing film and TV tax credits throughout the U.S. Marco also specializes in federal and state investment tax credit opportunities, including renewable energy, historic rehabilitation, and low income housing, for corporate taxpayers and high net worth individuals.
Prior to joining Monarch, Marco was a VP of Entertainment Partners, where he worked on over $1 billion in film tax credit placement and production procurement transactions. Marco was also the creator and co-editor of EP’s widely distributed domestic and international production incentives publications. Prior to working with EP, Marco worked for Sony Pictures Entertainment, where he managed the company’s tax credit projects and represented the studio in the MPAA’s domestic and international production incentives committees. Marco started his career in public accounting working for Arthur Andersen and Deloitte, specializing in entertainment tax outsourcing and consulting engagements.
Marco is a California CPA and registered securities representative with FINRA. He graduated with honors from Loyola Marymount University and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Taxation from the University of Southern California. Marco currently serves on LMU’s Accounting Advisory Board and is an active member of the Institute of Professionals in Taxation, which awarded him the 2017 Tax Article of the Year for his write-up on production incentives.
Antonio J. Sifre is a business, transactional and entertainment attorney with more than 25 years of experience in commercial lending, mergers and acquisitions, securities, intellectual property, licensing, private equity, tax incentives, music, and film and television production and financing. Mr. Sifre handles the placement of tax credits and related compliance filings for his clients.
Mr. Sifre has extensive experience in the music, film and television industries, and is internationally recognized as one of Puerto Rico’s leading entertainment attorneys. He advises studios and film producers in the financing and corporate structures necessary to benefit from the incentives and tax credits available in Puerto Rico. Mr. Sifre frequently participates as a speaker and panelist in international film and television production, financing and incentives seminars. Some of his clients have been: 20th Century Fox, ABC Studios, Disney, CBS, HBO, NBC, New Regency, Relativity Media, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Turner, Warner Bros., and Universal Pictures, among others.
Mr. Sifre is a Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA), as designated by the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors (AM&AA), a National Business Incubation Association Certified Business Incubator Manager, and a graduate of the UC Berkeley Venture Capital Executive Education Program.
He volunteers as Vice-Chairman of Incubadora de Empresas Creativas de Mayagüez, Puerto Rico’s first incubator and accelerator specialized in the creative and cultural industries. Mr. Sifre is an instructor of the Guayacán Venture Accelerator Exit Planning and M&A yearly workshop. Mr. Sifre has been executive producer of feature films, a music producer, and is a drummer.
Mr. Sifre holds a Bachelor in Arts in Economics from Boston College (1989) and a Juris Doctor (Cum Laude) from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law (1992).
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 in 1981 and his J.D. degree from UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 1984.
Ali Jazayeri, Executive Vice President, has been with Three Point Capital since 2012, heading up the Film and Television Division. Prior to Three Point, Ali served as a financial consultant to several leading entertainment companies. Before that, he served as Senior Vice President of Finance at After Dark Films for four years, where he was responsible for financial planning and overseeing the company’s banking, investor and studio relationships. While at After Dark, he arranged and funded in excess of $100 million of loan facilities for the company’s in-house productions and also sourced and funded the Prints & Advertising facilities for the company’s US theatrical releases. Prior to his tenure at After Dark Films, Ali was an Assistant Vice President at Comerica Bank’s Entertainment Group. During his nine years at Comerica, he funded over $250 million of facilities for various industry-leading clients, ranging from single picture loans, syndicated television series and film slates to print and advertising facilities and lines of credit. Ali attended the University of London and the University of La Verne, where he obtained his degree in Economics.
Adrian Ward is a Senior Director Market Executive, Entertainment at Barc of California inLos Angeles. Adrian joined the pioneering entertainment lender The Lewis Horwitz Organization (LHO) in 1991, where he was involved in the development and structuring of some of the first ever bank-financed production loans based on international sales contracts. In the following years he was instrumental in the risk analysis that led to gap finance transactions and rapidly became one of the leading lenders within the division. In 1998 Adrian returned to his hometown of London, England, as LHO’s European Representative where he specialized in packaging multi-party co-production transactions involving many of the available European tax incentives. Returning to Los Angeles in 2005 as the Portfolio Manager for ICB Entertainment Finance (ICBEF), he was responsible for oversight of production loans with an aggregate value of approx. $200,000,000. Titles funded at LHO/ICBEF included Big Fat Greek Wedding, Monster, and The Tudors. In April 2008, he became Senior Vice President of National Bank of California’s Entertainment, Sports & Media Department and provided financing for over 60 films, representing over $175,000,000 in production budgets, including The Tempest, Red Dog and The Ward.
In January, 2013, Adrian joined Pacific Mercantile Bank (PMB) and in the ensuing years built a dynamic lending group known for its innovation and customer service. Under his guidance, PMB was at the forefront of independent film and TV financing. As of April, 2018, that experience and leadership is being put to work at Banc of California (BoC) as the new Head of Entertainment Banking. BoC, a bank with assets of approx. $10 billion, is known for its unrivalled service and product range and is set to become one of the leading lights in the entertainment business.
Adrian’s breadth of knowledge, amassed over approximately 700 film and TV transactions, gives BoC the ideal platform to become an industry-leading institution for many years to come.