David Steinberg is a business lawyer specializing in the areas of entertainment, media and intellectual property and a partner at Dentons LLP in Toronto, Canada. 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 as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the area of entertainment law in the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada (Woodward/White). David is also listed as one of the top 500 leading lawyers in Canada in entertainment law in the Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada. He has been recognized in the 2013 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in entertainment law. He is 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, Mergers and Acquisitions, 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. Currently Ms. Guernsey is 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 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 in Philosophy from Columbia University in New York.independent films among many others. In addition, Friedman has executive produced a varied mix of TV and films including Travel Channel’s “36 Hours”, Showtime’s “Spring Broke” documentary with Alex Gibney, Grey Gooses “Iconoclasts”, “We the People The Market Basket Effect” documentary, Amazon’s 30 Minute Comedy series “Highston”, OWN’S “Master Class” with Oprah Winfrey, and Paul Simon’s “Under African Skies” among many others. Currently, Friedman serves on the boards of AccuWeather, Mount Sinai Health System, Columbia Graduate School of Business, NATPE, The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and is a trustee emeritus of Vassar College.
Dama Claire is a Production Executive at Incentives Office, and Special Incentives Consultant at Entertainment Partners. Dama is 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 Dear John in South Carolina, American Ultra and Looper in Louisiana, Nightcrawler and Drive in California, Red Dawn in Michigan and Term Life in Georgia and co-produced Conviction in Michigan and Lone Survivor in New Mexico. She has also helped draft film tax legislation in various states including; Alaska, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Dama Claire began her entertainment career at Warner Bros. working with Malpaso Productions (Clint Eastwood), and has served as West Region Director of Entertainment Tax for Price Waterhouse, Vice President of Tax at Carolco Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox, and served with the Domestic Taxation committee of the MPAA. She is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA), Producers Guild of America (PGA) and Women in Film. Ms. Claire co-authors the “Guide to US Production Incentives” and holds a Masters of Business Taxation (MBT) from the University of Southern California.
David Dinerstein is one of the most accomplished industry executives and has been responsible for distributing many of the most significant independent films in the past 20 years. Dinerstein has a broad range of experience in entertainment marketing, distribution, production, programming, acquisitions, finance, and international sales. He has built and managed several independent companies from their inception. Dinerstein has 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. Some of Dinerstein’s films include Pulp Fiction, The Illusionist, The Full Monty, Hustle & Flow, Mad Hot Ballroom, 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. More recently he worked on the release of American Hustle and Her. This past year, Dinerstein Executive Produced Winter On Fire, an Original Netflix documentary which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary. Dinerstein built and managed several independent companies from their inception. He co-founded Paramount Classics and was one the original architects of Fox Searchlight. He served as the President of Lakeshore Entertainment. Dinerstein started his career at Miramax Films where he served as the Head of Marketing. Dinerstein is a graduate of Boston University and is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Ortwin Freyermuth is an internationally recognized and experienced entertainment and video game lawyer as well as a veteran production executive with 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry. Presently, Freyermuth has a law practice focusing on financing and production of US-European co-ventures and co-productions in film, television, and video games as well as on intellectual property and corporate issues. Over the past 8 years alone, he has worked on, and assisted with the financing and production of feature films and video games with a total production volume in excess of US$ 1 billion. In 2012, Freyermuth co-founded with veteran game developer Chris Roberts the video game venture Cloud Imperium Games, for which he currently serves as General Counsel and Co-Chairman. Previously, from 1990-1994, he founded and managed as President and CEO Capella Films Inc. (and Affiliates), a German-owned group of production and distribution companies. During his tenure, he expanded the company to more than 30 employees, and managed the development, production (incl. financing) and foreign distribution of major feature films and co-ventures with a volume of $75-$100 Mill. annually. His responsibilities included the supervision of Capella’s production and sales activity, marketing and publicity campaigns, and its participation in international film markets and festivals as well as the US studios’ domestic distribution activity for the pictures. In 1995, Freyermuth produced “Das Boot – The Director’s Cut” under his production banner Twin Bros Productions. Freyermuth began his legal career in the entertainment industry as Director, Legal Affairs of Vestron International Inc. (1986-1988) where he handled, amongst other projects, the film “Dirty Dancing.” Freyermuth’s film credits include “The Ledge” (executive producer, 2011), Das Boot – Director’s Cut (producer, 1997), Carlito’s Way (executive producer, 1993), and Shattered (co-producer, 1990).
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.
David Henry is Finance Vice President and Managing Director at Bank Leumi USA Entertainment Industries 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., China, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. 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.
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.
Lee Kim‘s producing and film financing career began with the feature film “This Beautiful City”, nominated for four Genies at the 29th Genie Awards in 2009. His credits include: “Small Town Murder Songs”, starring Peter Stormare and Martha Plimpton, a film that catapulted director Ed Gass-Donnelly into Hollywood’s up-and-coming list, following his inclusion in Variety’s Top 10 Directors-to-Watch list; “The Conspiracy ”, released by eOne Films Canada in July, 2013, “I’ll Follow You Down”, starring Haley Joel Osment, Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell, released in June 2014; “Operation Avalanche”, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically in the US by Lionsgate in September 2016. The film has been nominated for 6 Canadian Screen Awards (Canada’s Oscars) including Best Motion Picture. His current slate of projects includes “Our House”, a feature film in post-production starring Thomas Mann and “The Conspiracy” TV series, in development with Warner Studios and Bad Robot and a number of film / TV projects in development. Originally from Toronto, Lee now spends the majority of his time in Los Angeles.
Karen Robson heads the Los Angeles office of the US law firm Pryor Cashman LLP, where she works primarily within the Media and Entertainment Finance and Film/TV Production practices of the firm. She started her Pryor Cashman career in New York City, and practiced for many years before moving to open the firm’s Los Angeles office in 2002. In her current role, Karen represents both a variety of financiers, banks, equity investors, independent producers and production companies and also individual writers, directors and producers, with a particular focus in the motion picture, television and new media areas. In recent years, Karen has represented a significant portion of producers, lenders, equity investors and distributors in a wide range of financings, including senior and mezzanine debt and equity, international co-productions, U.S. and foreign tax incentivized financings and crowd funding, with an added focus on animation and TV joint ventures. Projects include the directorial debut of Russell Crowe, The Water Diviner, James Cameron’s groundbreaking digital 3D IMAX feature underwater documentary Ghosts of the Abyss, ReelFx’s animated feature film Free Birds, Edward R. Pressman’s The Crow and its spinoffs including the upcoming major Crow feature film reboot, and, more recently, a series of international TV co-productions for a major US basic cable network. She has also worked extensively in international media and strategic entertainment investments and acquisitions in India, China, Japan, the Middle East, UK, Australia, Europe (particularly Germany) and Latin America. Recently she has represented a number of slate equity funds for production funding for independently financed films and TV. Prior to her career as a US attorney, Karen was an attorney in her native Australia and also had a brief career as a film actress in Australia, including a major role in Peter Weir’s cult favorite, Picnic at Hanging Rock. She is married to Iranian-American filmmaker Ramin Niami and she has executive produced various films with him including his most recent feature film Shirin In Love, an Iranian-American romantic comedy feature film.
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 is now working on the newly enacted program so as to enable California to provide incentives to productions which will create employment and increase economic development throughout California. Ms. Stone has worked as a producer, line producer, executive and consultant in the motion picture industry for over 20 years. Ms. Stone 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 the physical production of notable theatrical films, including 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. Ms. Stone has supervised productions with budgets ranging from $4 to $90 Million dollars in locales such as Romania, Russia, Hungary, Morocco, the Philippines, Britain, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. Ms. Stone began her producing career working for Roger Corman on a time-tripping indie which utilized space ship and castle set pieces from previous projects, as well as stock footage from his library.
Kathleen Thompson is a Director at EP Financial Solutions which offers production incentive consulting, financing, administration, and tax credit placement services to the entertainment industry. In her role, Thompson provides production incentive consulting services, with a key focus on transferable tax credit placement. She works closely with Fortune 500 companies, large private entities, and high net worth individuals to help them identify and place transferable film and non-film tax credits. Thompson is an active member of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT), and has guest lectured on production incentives at Chapman University, American Film Institute, and the University of Southern California. She also moderated the Outfest panel, “Where’s the Money?” in July of 2014. Prior to EP, Thompson worked in the tax department at Sony Pictures Entertainment for six years.