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Speaker Bios

Frédérique Massart

Frédérique Massart began her career in the audiovisual industry before joining the Madrigall group – the third biggest publishing group in France – where she is the director of the film & theatre rights for Gallimard (literary books), Gallimard Jeunesse (children books) and Futuropolis (graphic novels). With her team, she has currently more than 50 motion pictures and 20 TV productions in development with a significant number at the international level.

Jen McGowan

Jen McGowan’s first feature, KELLY & CAL, starring Juliette Lewis, Cybill Shepherd and Jonny Weston premiered at SXSW where she won the Gamechanger Director Award. The film was released theatrically by IFC Films to rave reviews such as comparing McGowan to the likes of Alexander Payne and Nicole Holofcener.


McGowan’s previous short films CONFESSIONS OF A LATE BLOOMER and TOUCH played at over one hundred film festivals worldwide, winning a majority, and have been distributed by PBS, NBC Universal, Shorts International and Canal Plus. TOUCH became eligible for the short film Oscar when it won the qualifying Florida Film Festival.


Early in her career, McGowan worked her way up the commercial production ladder at many notable production companies including RSA, Radical and Propaganda and was fortunate to work on many features including the Oscar-winning BOYS DON’T CRY.


McGowan studied directing in the MFA program at USC where she was honored with a scholarship from Women in Film and a grant from The Caucus Foundation. She received her BFA in Acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, studying under David Mamet, Bill Macy & Sam Shepard at the Atlantic Theatre.


She is an active member of The Alliance of Women Directors and Film Fatales. McGowan created Filmpowered.com, the online skill-sharing site for women in Film & TV. The site was named Best in LA of 2016 by LA Weekly, featured in Indiewire, included in the Sundance Women’s Initiative Resource List and supported by the PGA, WGA, ICG and others.


She is a Film Independent Fellow, was a finalist for the Clint Eastwood Filmmakers Award, recipient of the Alliance of Women Directors Breakout Award for Excellence in Directing and was included on Vulture’s list of Women Directors Hollywood Should Be Hiring.

Billy Mernit

Known as “the guru of rom-com” for his bestselling screenwriting textbook, Writing the Romantic Comedy, Billy’s first novel Imagine Me and You was published by Random House in 2008. He currently works as both a private script consultant and a story analyst at Universal Pictures, while teaching at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and at seminars here and abroad.


For more information visit: billymernit.com

Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Coming soon.

Bogdan Moncea

Bogdan is a producer and the Marketing Director of Castel Film, one of the largest film studios in Eastern and Central Europe. With a background in advertising, he began his career in the film industry 22 years ago.


He has worked since as Line Producer and UPM on such Castel Film productions as Kusner-Locke’s “Beowulf”, Miramax’ Academy Awards winning “Cold Mountain”, France 2 production of “Les Rois Maudits”, starring Gerard Depardieu, Nicolas Cage’s “Ghost Rider”, and Universal Studios’ “Dragonheart” sequels, Sony Pictures’ “The Hard Corps”, starring Jean Claude Van Damme, Les Productions du Tresor and Castel Film co-production of “The Concert”, a Golden Globe nominee and winner of many French Cesars, and the most recent Netflix original production of Rafaela De Laurentiis’ “What happened to Monday?”, starring Noomi Rapace, Glenn Close and Willem Dafoe, all of which were completely or partially shot in Romania.

Kene Mparu

Coming soon.

Barbara Mudge

Barbara Mudge began her career in domestic theatrical distribution booking drive-in theatres, before entering the international field at the Cannon Group and continuing at New World Communications as Managing Director. Ms. Mudge moved to 20th Century Fox as Vice President of Sales, where she created New World’s International Home Video Specialty Label. She founded her own sales agency in 1998 which has represented several notable libraries, including Universal Studios affiliate Studio USA, Andrew Stevens/Don Kushner’s Focal Point Releasing, and World Wide Pictures from the Billy Graham Evangelical Organization. Mudge’s television and film experience including licensing Palme d’Or winner A CRY IN THE DARK, Oscar winner THE ASSAULT, SPIDER-MAN the Fox series, PBS mini-series COURAGE, NEW HAMPSHIRE and the acclaimed TRADE OF INNOCENTS. Through her company, Worldwide Faith Entertainment On Demand, LLC, Mudge handles business affairs for Faith-content and Family genre producers.

Lucy Mukerjee

Lucy Mukerjee-Brown is the Director of Programming at Outfest where she oversees three LGBTQ film festivals and various year-round educational programs dedicated to increasing the visibility of the queer community.
Since moving to the US from the UK in 2003, Lucy has produced two dozen theatrical feature films, mostly for Lionsgate and Warner Bros. In her spare time, she screens for Sundance and the Women In Film Finishing Fund, as well as curating the LGBT film selections for the Prishtina Kosovo Film Festival.
Lucy’s most recent film Jack Of The Red Hearts was released nationwide in 2016 by AMC. She is a two-time Film Independent fellow, and a member of BAFTA and the Producers Guild of America

Senator Ben Murray Bruce

Coming soon.

Anjay Nagpal

As head of the Los Angeles office of BRON, Anjay oversees film and television productions from the development and financing stages all the way through production and distribution. Previously he was the head of Focus World, a sub-division of Focus Features, where he sourced independent narrative and documentary films and oversaw their worldwide marketing and distribution. Anjay also served as the Head of Business Development and Finance for FilmDistrict and GK Films/GK-TV and in Business Development and Operations at Sony.

Brian O’Shea

Brian O’Shea, with almost 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry, holds an extensive track record in the entertainment industry ranging from independent sales to financing and distribution.

Mr. O’Shea is currently the C.E.O. of The Exchange, a commercially minded and creatively spirited international sales company committed to strong relationships with filmmakers, investors and distributors.

The Exchange has sold and/or financed notable films with stellar, high profile casts such as James Ponsoldt’s THE SPECTACULAR NOW, Denzel Washington and Mark Wallberg in TWO GUNS, TriStar’s SOUL SURFER, award winning documentary GLEASON, Sony International’s A STREET CAT NAMED BOB, Oren Uziel’s SHIMMER LAKE, YOUNG ONES, starring Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon and Elle Fanning, HIGHER GROUND, directed by and starring Vera Farmiga, and more recently OBVIOUS CHILD, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, James Franco’s I AM MICHAEL.

The Exchange’s current projects are Emmy-winning producer and director Stephanie Laing’s IRREPLACEABLE YOU starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michiel Huisman, Kate McKinnon, Steve Coogan, SHOTGUN starring Maika Monroe and Jeremy Allen White, BEEF starring Thomas Mann, Jai Courtney and Timothy Olyphant, OFFICE UPRISINGstarring Brenton Thwaites and Jane Levy, award-winning director Ondi Timoner’sMAPPLETHORPE, Dustin Lance Black’s THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.

Mr. O’Shea is the former President of Worldwide Sales and Distribution for Affinity International, formerly known as Odd Lot International, which he helped make one of the leading independent film production, sales, and distribution companies in the United States.

While at Affinity, Brian was directly responsible for all international acquisitions, sales,and distribution activities. His successes at Affinity include films such as the critically acclaimed RABBIT HOLE, starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, CASA DE MI PADRE, starring Will Ferrell, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, BEASTLY, starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfore from CBS Films, and DRIVE, starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan.

Some of Mr. O’Shea’s other previous roles include Senior Vice President of Worldwide Distribution at Media 8, Senior Vice President of International Sales at First Look International, and Vice President of Legal Affairs and International Sales at Concorde-New Horizons. During his tenure at these companies, Mr. O’Shea was instrumental in securing, financing, and selling such films as MONSTER, UPSIDE OF ANGER, BEFORE NIGHT FALLS, and WAKING NED DEVINE.

Brian was also an active member of the Board of Directors of the Independent Film and Television Association (IFTA) from 2008 to 2016. In addition, he is a member in good standing of the State Bar of California.

Hanny Patel

Coming soon.

John Penotti

John Penotti serves as President of SK Global (www.skglobalentertainment.com), the merged entity of Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE), a Hollywood-based, independent film finance and production company, and Ivanhoe Pictures, an internationally-focused local-language content company. John has produced over forty films, and has been a prominent industry executive since his start working with legendary director Sidney Lumet (Network, Dog Day Afternoon).

With Ivanhoe, John has crafted a four-year, multi-picture co-financing pact with Fox International Productions to produce local language films in India, Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan. Similarly, he orchestrated the company’s multi-country, five-year financing and production deal with Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Purge) to make ten genre pictures in both India (with Phantom Films as the local partner) and Korea (with Showbox Mediaplex as the local partner).

In 2016, John served as Executive Producer of director Na Hong-jin’s Korean phenomenon The Wailing, an Official Selection at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, whose $50m at the box-office made it the second highest-grossing Fox Korea film of all time (after Avatar). He is also the Executive Producer of the Academy Award-nominated CBS/Lionsgate film Hell or High Water, starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine, which was also a 2016 Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival and a 2017 Academy Award nominee for Best Picture.

John and Ivanhoe Pictures, along with Warner Bros. and Color Force, are producing the upcoming Crazy Rich Asians, an adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel directed by Jon M. Chu (Now You See Me 2), with a fully-Asian cast — a first for a Hollywood studio. John also produced the Chinese film My Other Home, the life story of NBA and CBA basketball star Stephon Marbury.

With SKE, John served as the Executive Producer for the recently released Brad’s Status, an Amazon Studios co-production, starring Ben Stiller, written and directed by Mike White (School of Rock), and produced with Dede Gardner and Brad Pitt of Plan B Entertainment. He is Executive Producing the upcoming film The Widow, directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game), starring Isabelle Huppert and Chloë Grace Moretz; production began in September 2017. John is also currently producing Going Places, starring, written, and directed by John Turturro (The Night Of), with Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou, and Susan Sarandon.

John was the founding partner and President of GreeneStreet Films, a NY-based company from 1994 until 2013. While there, he oversaw the financing and producing of over thirty films, including the five-time Academy Award-nominated In the Bedroom, the #1 box office thriller Swimfan, the studio hit comedy Uptown Girls, Robert Altman’s A Prairie Home Companion, the action-thriller Crank, and the documentary Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos.

John recently relocated from New York City to Santa Monica, CA, with his wife Sheryl and son Luca. Born and raised in Paterson, NJ, John is a graduate of Tufts University, with degrees in Biology and Psychology.

Kim Roberts Hedgpeth

Kim Roberts Hedgpeth is the Executive Director of the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund (FMSMF), a 501(c)(6) non-profit that collects and distributes musicians’ residual payments from exhibition of films and television programs in “supplemental” markets as defined by the AFM-AMPTP collective bargaining agreements. From 2005-2012, Hedpgeth led the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) as its National Executive Director. During her 31-year association with AFTRA, Hedgpeth’s responsibilities included leading negotiations covering all areas of entertainment, news and information programming and sound recordings. She was a key leader in the successful merger of AFTRA with the Screen Actors Guild. Hedgpeth received her B.A. from Harvard University and J.D. from Georgetown University, and has served as a Vice President of the Associated Actors and Artistes of America; Trustee of the AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds, and Trustee of the AFM-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund. Her other board memberships have included the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies, SoundExchange, and as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Twelfth District Economic Advisory Council. She is currently the Vice-Chair of FilmL.A., Inc., the 501(c)4 not-for-profit public benefit organization and the official film office of the City and County of Los Angeles, as well as increasing roster of local municipalities, which provides streamlined permit processing and production planning services to filmmakers and comprehensive community relations, marketing services, film policy analysis and more to local governments in the Greater Los Angeles area.