NOVEMBER 6 - 13, 2019 • SANTA MONICA

Speaker Bios

2019 Speaker Bios A-C

Pilar Alessandra

Pilar Alessandra

PILAR ALESSANDRA started her career as Senior Story Analyst at DreamWorks SKG. In 2001, she opened the Los Angeles-based On the Page Writers’ Studio, dedicated to teaching and consulting with screenwriters and TV writers at all levels. She’s the author of the top-selling scriptwriting book, “The Coffee Break Screenwriter,” and host of the popular “On the Page Podcast.” An in-demand speaker, she’s taught at Disney Animation, ABC, CBS and MTV, and traveled the world coaching writers and producers in the UK, China, Poland, Vietnam, Colombia, Portugal and South Africa. Pilar’s greatest accomplishment is the success of her students, many of whom have won top competitions like the Nicholl Fellowship, are working on TV shows such as “The 100,” “Silicon Valley” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and have sold scripts and pitches to studios including DreamWorks, Warner Bros. and Disney.

For more information about Pilar, her classes, consultations, book and podcast, go to www.onthepage.tv.

Tobin Armbrust

Tobin Armbrust

Tobin Armbrust is currently COO and President at Virgin Produced. Virgin Produced is the film, television and digital and live entertainment arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

Armbrust just completed production on an untitled film for Nickelodeon due out in February 2019. For Virgin Produced he is also overseeing TV projects with ABC, Global Road, Amazon and Pete Berg’s Film44. His most recent film in theaters was the ghost story “Winchester” from CBS Films, starring Hellen Mirren and Jason Clarke

Virgin Produced also distributes original and acquired digital content through its airline, mobile, airport and hotel partners. Taken together, Virgin Produced and its strategic partners can reach well over 100 million viewers per month with its content. Recently, Virgin Produced has become the content curator for the Kaaboo music and comedy festival (Located in Del Mar, Cayman Islands and Dallas). In this role he has created short video programming and branded content for hundred of thousands live attendees as well as millions of live stream viewers.

Prior to joining Virgin Produced, Armbrust held the same position at Exclusive Media where he produced the romantic music comedy “Begin Again” starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine and Hailee Steinfeld from writer/director John Carney. Previously, he executive produced Ron Howard’s epic action thriller “Rush,” starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl, “Parkland” starring Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, and Zac Efron, the box office hit “End of Watch” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, the fast paced thriller “Snitch” starring action superstar Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon, and the action romantic comedy “Hit and Run” starring Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell and Bradley Cooper.

Additional films from Exclusive Media produced and/or executive produced by Armbrust include “A Walk Among the Tombstones” starring Liam Neeson, “Dark Places” starring Charlize Theron, and the follow up to The Woman in Black, “The Woman in Black: Angel of Death.” Other films Armbrust has produced include “The Quiet Ones,” starring Jared Harris and Sam Claflin, “The Woman in Black” starring Daniel Radcliffe, Matt Reeves’ “Let Me In”, “The Resident” starring Hilary Swank, “So Undercover” starring Miley Cyrus and Peter Weir’s “The Way Back” with Saiorse Ronan and Ed Harris. For Exclusive Media’s documentary feature label, Spitfire Pictures, Armbrust produced “Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who”, “Billy Joel: Last Play at Shea” and “Guys and Divas: Battle of the High School Musicals.” In his capacity as Head of Production and Acquisitions, Tobin oversaw several films for the company in an executive role including George Clooney’s “Ides of March”, and the Academy Award winning documentary “Undefeated”.

Prior to joining Exclusive Media, Armbrust served as a producer at Thunder Road, a production company with a first look deal at Warner Bros. Armbrust oversaw over thirty projects in various stages of development, and Co-Produced “Firewall” starring Harrison Ford and Paul Bettany. During his time at Thunder Road he helped develop “Clash of the Titans”, “We Are Marshall” and “Seventh Son”, all of which went on to be made. Before joining Thunder Road, Armbrust spent seven years at Intermedia serving under Co-Founders Nigel Sinclair and Guy East. At Intermedia he held positions as both a VP of
Business Development as well as a VP of Production. During his tenure, he helped oversee several feature films including “K-19” starring Harrison Ford, “Basic” starring John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, “The Wedding Planner” starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, “Adaptation” starring Nicolas Cage, “National Security” starring Martin Lawrence, “Terminator 3” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Welcome to Mooseport” starring Gene Hackman and Ray Romano, and “Sliding Doors” starring Gwyneth Paltrow.

Armbrust received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at UCSB and a Rotary Scholarship to study Business at the University of Munich, Germany. He has been a panelist and guest speaker at the USC School of Film, UCLA, The American Film Market, Loyola Marymount, California State University, Los Angeles and several other industry events. He has been profiled in multiple newspapers and magazines, including, most recently, the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Screen Daily and Deadline Hollywood. He adores his wife, is tolerated by his children and is completely disrespected by the family puppy.

Amy Baker

Amy Baker

As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of WINSTON | BAKER, Amy Baker oversees the company’s Global Strategic Planning, Business Development and vendor relationships. Amy Co-Founded the FILM FINANCE FORUM® in 2008, which provides the leading series of events dedicated to bringing finance and entertainment executives together from around the world.

Prior to establishing Winston/Baker, Amy successfully directed B2B and B2C business development efforts for over 10 years by leveraging innovative sponsorship methods to engage business professionals. At ALM, as Vice President of Business Development, she provided finance executives and marketers with targeted channels for reaching decision-makers within the legal, entertainment, healthcare and tech sectors. In her previous position, Director of Business Development at RPMC, she worked with entertainment, music, and sports companies, creating event marketing programs, travel incentive services, sweepstakes, and media promotions. Amy received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with honors from New York University. Amy proudly sits on the National Board of Advisors for the Moffitt Cancer Center.

Richard Botto

Richard Botto

Richard “RB” Botto is the Founder and CEO of Stage 32 (stage32.com). Stage32 is the world’s largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV & digital creatives and executives worldwide. Since 2011, Stage 32 has emerged as an online community of over 500,000 creatives with over 1,000 hours of online education taught by over 500 industry executives. Stage 32 is also the official film education & networking platform of AFM.

RB is also a working actor, producer and screenwriter. As a producer, his films have played at dozens of festivals including the Sundance award winning feature, Another Happy Day, written & directed by Sam Levinson, the documentary Crutch, and the upcoming Rain-Beau’s End. As a writer, his latest screenplay, The End Game, is currently in development at Covert Media. As an actor, his latest film On the Corner of Ego and Desire is premiering at the 2018 Raindance Film Festival.

Botto is a best-selling author. His book Crowdsourcing For Filmmakers, was published by Focal Press/Routledge under the American Film Market Presents banner and quickly became one of their best selling titles. The book can be found at the Focal Press/Routledge booth by AFM badge registration and on Amazon, where it has over 60 5-star reviews.

A sought after speaker, teacher and mentor, RB has been a keynote speaker and panelist at such festivals and conferences as Cannes, AFM, Tribeca, Sundance, Raindance, SXSW, Portugal FEST and Winston Baker. He has also taught at institutions such as Harvard, USC and Columbia University on the subjects of filmmaking, producing, film finance, screenwriting, social media, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, entrepreneurship and business.