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Hollywood Heavyhitters Announced for Film Finance & Distribution Summit at Hollywood Black Film Festival Summit

Hollywood Black Film Festival's 3rd Annual Summit Features Leading Film Finance & Distribution Executives

Roy Salter of The Salter Group, Maya Entertainment's COO/CFO Jeff Gonzalez, and Peter Graham, Managing Partner, 120dB Films Tax Finance will be among the panellists at the Hollywood Black Film Festival's 3rd Annual Film Finance & Distribution Summit.

The event takes place at the Writers Boot Camp in Santa Monica on Saturday, Oct. 10 and will feature a senior roster of industry professionals addressing key issues relevant to success in securing film finance, sales and distribution for independent filmmakers. Speakers will offer up detailed information on new trends in private financing, strategies to raise money for your film, putting together a film funding package, dissecting distribution deals, new distribution methods, and understanding what film buyers are looking for.

The day-long event includes four
information-filled sessions and a luncheon presentation.

Other speakers include veteran finance executive Douglas Lowell, Business Development Executive Jeff Begum from The Incentives Office, Morgan Stanley's Michael G. Stewart, and Lonnie Ramati, Executive VP Business And Legal Affairs, Nu Image/Millenium Films, Nu Image/Millenium Films.

For more information on the summit, or email:


Following is the complete Summit agenda:

"Informing.  Inspiring.  Empowering."  

Date: Saturday, October 10, 2009
Time: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Writers Boot Camp
Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Ave., Bldg. 1
Santa Monica, CA 90404

8:00 am Check-in and continental breakfast

9:00 am Welcome

9:15 am Session #1 - Who's Financing What, How, Where, When & Why? Where's the money and how can you get it? This panel will discuss who is financing independent films and what type of financing they are offering; and offer creative strategies on how you can raise money for your movie -- from investor financing (private equity capital), institutional investors (hedge funds and wealth funds), and bank financing to co-productions, foreign pre-sales and tax incentives.

Moderator: Tanya Kersey, Founder/Executive Director, Hollywood Black Film Festival
Panelists: Roy Salter, President, The Salter Group; Jeff Gonzalez, COO and CFO of Maya Entertainment; Douglas Lowell, Financial Executive, Gillen Group; Jeff Begum, Business Development Executive, The Incentives Office; Michael G. Stewart II, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney; D. Jeffrey Andrick, Founder/Owner, XL.Ent Media Group

11:15 am Session #2 - Structuring, Packaging & Negotiating the Deal: This panel will discuss the major elements financiers are looking for in a film project including story, budget, talent attached, marketing and foreign sales potential. Discover the way around the constant catch-22 many indie filmmakers face: how do I secure talent without money and how do I get money without talent? What are the deal points and ROI investors are going to ask for. Find out how to structure and negotiate a motion picture finance deal and the benefits of co-financing and co-productions.

Moderator: Writer/director/producer Bobby Mardis
Panelists: Anne Marie Gillen, Independent Producer & Consultant, Gillen Group, LLC; Dama Claire, Production Executive;  Bonnie Berry LaMon, Esq., Vice President, Preston Picture Co.; Louise Levison, Film Finance Consultant, President of Business Strategies; Peter Graham, Managing Partner, 120dB Films Tax Finance

12:45 Luncheon Session: Distribution Deals: 9 Crucial Things to Know When Offered a Deal/Contract

Presented by Jerome Courshon, "The Secrets to Distribution"

2:00 pm Session #3 - Strategies for Selling Your Film and Maximizing Distribution & Revenue: With the advent of new technologies comes a wealth of opportunities for the independent filmmaker. Where once the goal was to land a theatrical distribution deal, these days filmmakers may choose to seek alternative means of distribution. Should you make an overall distribution deal or split up the rights to your film? What's the cost benefit analysis for undertaking your own distribution? The panel will discuss how you can really make money in secondary markets and alternative distribution channels -- from innovative theatrical service deals and direct to DVD models to digital distribution platforms.

Moderator: Mychal Wilson, Esq., Mindfusion Law
Panelists: Mike Williams, Head Filmmaker Relations & Acquisitions, Indieflix; Tanya York, President, York Entertainment; Page Ostrow, Producer's Rep, Ostrow & Company; Valerie Watts Meraz, Vice President, Content Acquisitions, Showtime (waiting for confirmation on Valerie)

4:00 pm Break

4:30 pm Session #4 - You Have to Know How to Pitch Well in Order to Sell your Project. Panelists will offer valuable feedback and advice to filmmakers on how to leverage their project elements into an attractive package for distributors, acquisitions executives, financiers and investors; and useful packaging and financing tips on the effective ways to present projects for cable, television, direct-to-video and theatrical distribution.

Moderator: Writer-producer-manager Richard Willis, Jr.
Panelists: Brian Stevenson, Senior V.P. Film Distribution, All Channel Films; Lonnie Ramati, Executive VP Business And Legal Affairs, Nu Image/Millenium Films; Melvin Butters, Vice President of Acquisitions, North American Motion Pictures, Barnholtz Entertainment; Angela Northington; Production Consultant/Producer's Rep; Stu Pollard, President, Pollard Film

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