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Join our forum in New York City and take film and TV finance from a macro to micro perspective. We’ll start with a bird’s eye view of the entertainment and media landscape then dive into more detailed topics on how to create winning content and monetization strategies for TV, film and digital platforms.


11:00 – 11:30 am
Forum Registration

11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Networking Luncheon

12:30 – 12:45 pm
Welcome and Opening Address

FORUM CO-CHAIR: Katherine Winston and Amy Baker, Co-Founders and Managing Partners, Winston Baker

12:45 – 1:15 pm
State of the Industry: Is Showbusiness Still Recession Resilient?
Half of US business economists are predicting a recession over the next year. So what would a 2020 recession mean for the media and entertainment sector – a business that has historically endured financial downturns better than other industries? Cord cutting, rising debt levels, soaring movie ticket prices – and other factors are making the stakes higher than ever. Hear a leading media and entertainment finance expert breakdown the economic trends and what it might mean for the industry.

Marshall Sonenshine, Founder and Managing Partner, Sonenshine Partners LLC

1:15 – 2:00 pm
M&A Strategies: What Are Buyers Looking For?
To compete with today’s fast-paced digital marketplace, entertainment companies are being forced to look for ways to bulk up in content, market share and reach. During this session, hear from the dealmakers behind the industry’s most recent transactions. Learn what buyers are looking for and how to increase your value.

Robb Klein, Partner & Group Leader, Entertainment, Technology & Advertising Practice, Sheppard Mullin

Alex Berkett, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy, Viacom
Stephen Kovach, Founding Member and Chief Financial Officer, Vine Alternative Investments

Scott Parish, Chief Operating Officer, Alcon Media Group
Ethan Sawyer, Senior Managing Director, Guggenheim Securities, LLC

2:00 – 2:30 pm
Script First: The Art, Science and Business of Storytelling
The increasingly crowded field of programming and content that are available to viewers means studios, networks and production companies need to break through the clutter in order to stand out. Although having a great financial model and strong marketing strategy can break through the clutter, what matters most is the story. Hear Alexander Dinelaris address the art, science and business of storytelling whether it be in film, TV or on stage, from conception through development. Dinelaris, who recently launched Lexicon, a development company focused on screenwriters, will be joined by producer/financier Richard Saperstein, who under his Bluestone Entertainment banner inked a first-look deal with Lexicon and has partnered on the upcoming stage to screen adaptation of Jekyll & Hyde.

Alexander Dinelaris, Academy Award® and Golden Globe® Winning Screenwriter and Founder, Lexicon
Richard Saperstein, Chief Executive Officer, Bluestone Entertainment

2:30 – 3:15 pm
Producing Award-Winning Films at the Right Budget
Is there a formula to calculating an award-winning film budget? If there was – we’d all be using it! During this keynote discussion join ‘Greenbook’ and ‘Boyhood’ producer John Sloss along with industry powerhouse Lia Buman, who will be sharing insider tips on finding success in the movie business from both a creative and fiscal perspective.


Lia Buman, Tango Entertainment and
John Sloss, Award-Winning Producer and Principal, Cinetic Media

3:15 – 3:45 pm
Networking Break

3:45 – 4:30 pm
Revenue Stream Revolution: Which Business Models will Rise?
While consumers continue to seek more high quality content and there are a diversity of media and platforms available to creators to make great TV and film, the fragmented consumer experience has led to fragmented business models with margin pressures, making it more complex and challenging to fund the creation of that content. Creators and distributors are increasingly asked to understand the consumer and provide direct-to-consumer offerings instead of leveraging traditional B2B relationships. This panel will examine the variety of these business models and their viability. We will look at how new forms of content are being funded by a spectrum of business models, from ad-supported networks to subscription offerings. Is there a prevailing model that works best for longer form vs. short form, snackable content? Mobile vs. the living room? And how can they be sustainably funded?

Brian Hunt, President of Believe Studios, Head of Development, Believe Entertainment Group
Jennifer Cron, Director of Content Partnerships, Eko
Dominic Ianno EVP, New Initiatives & Content Finance, Whistle
Croi McNamara, Senior Vice President, Video Programming, Condé Nast Entertainment
Dia Simms, President, Combs Enterprises

4:30 – 5:15 pm
The Evolution of Deal Structures from a Single Picture Perspective
How do you evaluate a film’s economic value in today’s market? What new financial structures are emerging to get movies made? How do you increase upside? And what are the best ways to assess potential domestic and international sales in the new landscape?

Joseph Woolf, Founder, Trowbridge Capital, LLC
Thomas Benski, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Pulse Films
Celine Rattray, Principal, Maven Pictures
Rafael Marmor, Producer and Partner, Delirio Films
Nigel Sinclair, Executive Chairman, White Horse Pictures 

5:15 – 6:00 pm
MOME Finance Lab Pitches
In partnership with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Entertainment and Media (MOME), pre-selected filmmakers and producers will present their projects at the forum. For more details on our partnership with MOME, please contact us here.

6:00 – 8:00 pm
Networking Reception

8:00 pm
Forum Concludes


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