Pierre David’s 50-year career encompasses all aspects of development, financing, production and distribution of motion pictures worldwide.
In 1969, while running the live entertainment division of the Mutual Broadcasting Network in Montreal, he was given the mandate to create a new film distribution company: Mutual Films. In 1972, Mutual moved into production and as producer or executive producer, David was involved in the production and worldwide distribution of 19 French-language Canadian films. A few years later, David formed a partnership with Roger Corman and established New World Mutual Pictures of Canada. New World became the largest independent film distributor in Canada, handling films for New World Pictures, AVCO-Embassy, as well as European, American and Canadian acquisitions.
In 1978, David teamed Mutual Films with Victor Solnicki and Claude Heroux to produce English-language motion pictures. David pioneered the three-picture concept, by which Canadian investors funded a series of three films per year, thereby minimizing the risk. He established a close relationship with David Cronenberg and produced his three critically-acclaimed and widely-received films The Brood, Scanners and Videodrome. He moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and amongst his credits are production executive on Oliver Stone’s Platoon.
In January 1987, David became Chairman of the Board and CEO of Image Organization an international production/distribution company formed by David, Malofilm Group, Nelvana Entertainment and New Star Entertainment. In April 1989, David and Rene Malo acquired the shares of New Star and Nelvana. By 1996, Image had represented more than 40 production companies and 100 feature films in the international market.
In the spring of 1989, David with Frank Mancuso, Jr. produced the box office success and critically acclaimed film Internal Affairs for Paramount. Directed by Mike Figgis it starred Richard Gere and Andy Garcia. In December 1989, David produced a sequel to Scanners. Directed by Christian Duguay, Scanners II, the New Order starred David Hewlitt and Deborah Raffin. In 1991 David produced Deep Cover, directed by Bill Duke and starring Lawrence Fishburne and Jeff Goldblum. He also produced Deadbolt starring Justine Bateman and Adam Baldwin.
In 1993 he produced and directed Scanner Cop which starred Daniel Quinn and Darlanne Fluegel. He then executive produced The Paperboy and produced Open Fire starring Jeff Wincott, The Force and Stalked. In 1994, David produced Scanner Cop 2, The Secretary, The Wrong Woman and produced and directed Serial Killer starring Kim Delaney and Tobin Bell. In October of 1996, David and his partner Rene Malo sold Image Organization to Behavior Communications. David then produced Wishmaster for Live Entertainment, a Wes Craven presentation. In June 1998 David became Chairman of WIN Ventures a company affiliated with World International Network where he continued his production activities.
In April 2002, David reactivated his Lance Entertainment banner. His first thriller was A Woman Hunted with Alexandra Paul.Since 2003, David has executive produced or produced over 100 movies, which were mainly television MOW’s for major US cable networks. In addition, he is currently developing a remake of Scanners.
David is also an active member of the Independent Film and Television Alliance of which he served on the board for many years.
John Debney is the ultimate film music character actor. In equal demand for family films such as Elf, as he is for adventure films like Iron Man 2, the Oscar-nominated composer also scored the powerful and poignant The Passion of the Christ. Debney is an agile jack-of-all-genres, composing for comedies (Bruce Almighty), sci-fi action (Predators), horror (Dream House) and romance (Valentine’s Day) with the same confidence and panache. Debney is also known for his work in such films as Princess Diaries, Sin City, Liar Liar, Spy Kids, No Strings Attached, The Emperor’s New Groove, I Know What You Did Last Summer and Hocus Pocus. Debney’s work also includes Disney’s The Jungle Book directed by Jon Favreau, Fox’s Ice Age: Collision Course directed by Mike Thurmeier, and Twentieth Century Fox’s award-winning musical The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron. Debney’s most recent films include The Beach Bum starring Matthew McConaughey and directed by Harmony Korine, the Warner Bros. comedy feature Isn’t It Romantic starring Rebel Wilson, Paramount Pictures’ family adventure feature Dora and the Lost City of Gold, and Bleecker Street’s biopic Brian Banks. Upcoming for Debney is Come Away directed by Brenda Chapman and starring Angelina Jolie.
Born in Glendale, California, Debney’s professional life began after he studied composition at the California Institute of the Arts, when he went to work writing music and orchestrating for Disney Studios and various television series. He won his first Emmy in 1990 for the main theme for The Young Riders, and his career soon hit a gallop. Since then he has won three more Emmys (Sea Quest DSV), and been nominated for a total of six (most recently in 2012 for his work on the Kevin Costner western miniseries Hatfields & McCoys). His foray into videogame scoring—2007’s Lair—resulted in a BAFTA nomination and a Best Videogame Score award from The International Film Music Critics Association.
Denise Denson is an accomplished media industry executive. As the former EVP of Global Content Distribution at Viacom, she led the worldwide distribution strategy for Paramount and Viacom Media Networks, and managed over $4B in distribution revenue across 26 channels — including MTV, VH1, and EPIX. Now as the COO at MTonomy, Denise leads the digital transformation for film and TV organizations of all sizes, helping them increase revenue, lower operating costs and achieve more control over their content. Denson holds a B.S. from the University of Southern California and resides in New York with her husband and five children.
Zanne Devine is an award-winning Producer, Executive Producer, and creative consultant for film, television, and investor groups. She has Produced/Executive Produced over a dozen feature films, including Academy Award® winning I, TONYA; Critics’ Choice Movie Awards winner EASY A, starring Emma Stone, and Emmy Award winning CINEMA VERITE for HBO, among others. In television, Devine Executive Produced and oversaw Seasons 2 and 3 of Robert Rodriguez’s “FROM DUSK ‘TILL DAWN: THE SERIES.” Devine brings both a commercial and a business mindset to the creative process, delivering prestige content that meets her partners’ strategic goals.
Her broad range of experience producing award-winning content across multiple platforms has led to her work with companies such as Discovery, Netflix, Miramax, HBO, The Kennedy/Marshall Co., Disney-ABC Television Group, Disney+, and Disney Channels Worldwide with whom she recently inked an Overall Deal.
Under her pact, Devine is currently in post production on the Disney+ feature, SECRET SOCIETY OF
SECOND BORN ROYALS. She previously produced KIM POSSIBLE, the live-action adaptation of the beloved Disney Channel animated series. She is also in post-production on a number of feature films, including NEEDLE IN A TIMESTACK, written and directed by Oscar® winner John Ridley.
At TIFF 2019, Devine premiered AND WE GO GREEN, the documentary from RadicalMedia and presented by Leonardo DiCaprio, chronicling the growth and future of Formula-E electric vehicle racing. Devine previously launched THE GRIZZLIES at TIFF in 2018 which she produced, based on the inspiring true story of Inuit high school students who transform their lives through the power of team sports. This remarkable indie labor of love was shot in the small Arctic town of Kugluktuk, casting almost entirely indigenous talent. The feature has been hugely successful following its Canadian release and will be released in February 2020 in the United States.
Devine has held leadership positions at several studios and production companies, including The
Kennedy/Marshall Company (President), Beacon Pictures (President), PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (Senior Vice President), and Universal Pictures (Vice President).
Prior to leading her own company, Devine was Head of Film & Television at Miramax. Under her leadership, Devine revitalized the studio and the company’s pipeline grew to feature a number of pedigree-rich film projects, including the much anticipated and record-breaking box office success HALLOWEEN; the Grammy® nominated WHITNEY documentary from Oscar® winner Kevin Macdonald, Bill Condon’s critically acclaimed MR. HOLMES, and the Academy Award® and Golden Globe® winning I, TONYA. Prior to joining Miramax full time, Devine was a creative consultant and strategic advisor for the company, as well as a key member of the executive team that prepared and completed the sale of the company from private equity firms, Qatar Investment Authority and Colony Capital to BeIN Media.
Devine is an active member of Women In Film and serves as an Ambassador for the WIF/Sundance ReFrame
Project—an initiative committed to closing the gender gap in Hollywood. She is a mentor for WIF and the Producers Guild of America, a member of the Academy Nicholl Fellowships Committee, and on the SXSW Film Advisory Board.
Devine is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the PGA, and Film Independent. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters.
Dr. Ciro Donalek is CTO and Co-Founder of Virtualitics, a 3D data visualization platform. He is a former Computational Scientist at CalTech where he applied Machine Learning techniques to multiple scientific fields and co-authored over a hundred scientific and technical publications.
Leading the iViz project at CalTech, he pioneered new uses of Mixed Reality for immersive data visualization and Machine Learning. During his 18 years as a data scientist, Ciro has been granted three patents, awarded research fellowships and has served as a reviewer for major scientific journals. He also has a Minor Planet named after him in honor of his accomplishments in the classification of celestial bodies, as part of the group that built the Big Picture, the single largest real astronomical image in the world.
He holds a PhD in Computational Science from the University Federico II, Naples and an MS in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence from the University of Salerno, Italy.
Darren Ehlers, SVP, Product Management at Entertainment Partners, leads EP’s product teams to deliver on the overall product strategy at EP. Ehlers was the co-founder of Scenechronize, the industry leader for digitizing, automating and securing the production office. Since joining EP in 2015 as part of the Ease acquisition, he has overseen SmartStart, which has jumped to the market leading solution for digitally on-boarding crew, in addition to extending Scenechronize’s market leadership and overseeing EP’s Movie Magic products.
Bruce David Eisen
Bruce David Eisen is a veteran entertainment attorney and media executive. His legal practice focuses on the intersection of new and traditional media and the technology powering them. Eisen’s current and recent clients include Shout! Factory, Brainstorm Media, Rubicon Entertainment, Shoreline Entertainment, among others.
Eisen’s services include structuring, drafting and negotiating film development agreements, content acquisition and distribution agreements, film finance agreements, technology agreements, production legal services as well as and providing general legal/business affairs services for film, television, new media and other clients. Other recent activities include M&A legal work on multi-million dollar deals representing the Hollywood Film Awards in its sale to Dick Clark productions.
Eisen was recently engaged by the Entertainment Merchants Association (“EMA”) to represent the trade association and negotiate its agreement with Premiere Digital Services with respect to the EMA’s Video Repository. Eisen has recently negotiated with individuals and companies on behalf of his clients including, but not limited to, Allison Janney, Sean Hayes, James Cromwell, Bruce Dern, Bret Easton Ellis, James Franco, Cross Creek Pictures, Palm Star Media, Voltage Pictures, Netflix, Amazon, PlayStation Network, Showtime, Starz, HBO, and Vimeo.
In addition to his legal practice, Eisen is head of Content Strategy and Acquisitions for Nagra’s myCinema (www.mycinema.live) an event cinema initiative, that uses new technology to bring a broad variety of specialized content to movie theaters across the United States.
Eisen was one of the principals who started CinemaNow in 1999 and, as the company’s general counsel, negotiated financing for the company in excess of $40 million, negotiated CinemaNow’s agreements with over 200 content licensors including all of the major Hollywood studios as well as agreements with local ISPs, portals and film distributors to bring CinemaNow to the U.K., the Netherlands, Taiwan, Philippines, Latin America, and Singapore. In addition, Eisen was instrumental in creating CinemaNow Japan, Inc., an affiliated entity that raised over $15 million in funding.
Eisen structured the strategy and business aspects of CinemaNow’s technology requirements to enable the efficient, cost-effective distribution of content on a worldwide, video-on-demand basis and, in that regard, licensed all required technology including agreements for content delivery network services, data services, data hosting, geo-targeting, recommendation engines, web analytics, network storage and customer relation management with companies such as Akamai, Limelight, Savvis, Intel, Microsoft, EchoStar and Qwest.
Eisen received his J.D. from the University of Southern California and his B.A. cum laude with high honors in Philosophy from Clark University.
Cassian Elwes (Producer/Elevated Entertainment) is an independent film producer, beginning his career in 1984. 30 films and 10 years later, Elwes joined William Morris and headed William Morris Independent Film for 15 years where he worked on 283 films. Since leaving William Morris 10 years ago, Elwes has either produced or executive produced 60 films, is currently in post-production on Nicholas Jarecki’s DREAMLAND and Dee Rees’ THE LAST THING HE WANTED, and in active development on multiple projects. Cassian is well known for producing Academy Award winning and nominated films such as Dee Rees’ MUDBOUND (2017), Jean-Marc Vallée’s DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (2013) and LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER (2013). Throughout his career, Elwes has worked closely alongside many of the world’s best directors including Gus Van Sant, Marc Forster, Werner Herzog, David Lowery, J.C. Chandor, Derek Cianfrance, John Hillcoat, and Eli Roth among hundreds of others.
Clay Epstein is President of Film Mode Entertainment, a leading worldwide sales agent, production entity and distribution company, focusing on commercially driven feature films of all genres and budget sizes. Film Mode represents projects at all stages of the filmmaking process, often as Executive Producer, with the aim of helping producers and distributors achieve maximum exposure for their films.
Film Mode’s recent titles include CRYPTO starring Kurt Russell, Luke Hemsworth and Alexis Bledel, BAILEY AND DARLA starring Brittany Snow, Sam Richardson and Vivica A. Fox, STAGE MOTHER starring Academy Award nominee Jacki Weaver, Lucy Liu and Adrian Grenier, BURN starring Josh Hutcherson and Suki Waterhouse, and RABID, a reimagining of David Cronenberg’s 1977 cult horror classic, directed by the Soska Sisters. Previous releases include SUGAR MOUNTAIN starring Jason Momoa, and THE GOOD NEIGHBOR starring Academy Award nominee James Caan. In 2019, Film Mode accelerated its growth and expanded its capabilities by entering into a partnership with SCREEN MEDIA, representing their catalogue of over 600 titles, including WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE starring Leonardo DiCaprio, who was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his performance, and MONSTER, starring Charlize Theron who won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress for the film. The company also has its own distribution arm, as well as a documentary label, DocMode. Film Mode is based in Beverly Hills, CA.
Laurie Wilson Espinosa is the Senior Director of Contracts for the Writers Guild of America West and has over 18 years of experience at the WGA. Laurie has extensive knowledge of the WGA Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement, with a particular focus on separated rights issues. Laurie obtained her J.D. from the USC Gould School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Liliana Espinoza is currently the Projects Director at the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), where she oversees the various programs and departments including the Latino Lens Incubators, Latino Media Market, NALIP Media Summit, Diverse Women in Media Forum and Emerging Content Creators Inclusion Initiative, targeted to advancing Latinx and diverse creatives across all media platforms. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara and was part of the UCLA Professionals Program focusing on Film & TV.
In 2007, Patrick Ewald launched Epic Pictures Group with the goal of bringing original and visionary films to a worldwide audience. His career in the film business spans over 25 years as a senior level executive and he has been involved in the development, financing, and producing of numerous independent films. A few of these are: “TURBO KID,” “THE LODGERS,” “EXTRA ORDINARY,” “SEA FEVER,” and “THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT.” He is currently producing “THE WINTER LAKE,” “THE BALLAD OF AUDREY EARNSHAW,” and “LUCKY.”
In addition to running Epic Pictures Group, Inc., Patrick heads DreadCentral.com, the world’s leading horror website and branded genre label for horror films, and DreadXP.com, the gaming and live streaming site.
Maurice Fadida is an L.A. based film producer and financier. He cut his teeth working with legendary Israeli film producer, Yoram Globus, and shortly thereafter launched his film finance & production banner, KODIAK PICTURES. Maurice has executive produced a number of high-profile projects including the THE CLAPPER (Ed Helms, Amanda Seyfried, Tracy Morgan), THE TAX COLLECTOR (directed by David Ayer, starring Shia Lebeouf), and the 2020 Sony Pictures release BLOODSHOT, starring Vin Diesel, which is to be the first film in the Valiant comic book universe. As a producer, Maurice has made projects like THE VANISHING (starring Gerard Butler), and, as part of his current partnership with Defiant Studios on a slate of films with Will Smith’s company Telepool, the upcoming 2020 title JOHN HENRY, starring Terry Crews and Ludacris. Maurice is a trail-blazing filmmaker and champion of the arts who aims to evoke powerful emotions with his films and to stimulate the imagination’s of his audience.
Brandon Fail is the Economic Development Director for the City of Shreveport and has served as the city’s Film Commissioner since April 2019. He is working to grow and support Shreveport’s film industry – and to spread the word that Shreveport offers the lowest cost environment for production along with extremely high quality talent, an exceptional variety of scenery, and multiple world-class indoor sound stages.
Brandon’s prior experience includes five years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, during which time he led small teams solving complex problems for large companies in the retail, consumer, pharmaceutical, and finance industries as well as the public sector. He has also worked in finance (as chief of staff to a prominent hedge fund manager), as an entrepreneur (as the founder and CEO of a digital shopping startup), and as Executive Director of a nationally respected nonprofit.
A native New Yorker, Brandon graduated with high honors from Harvard University, holds a law degree from Yale Law School, and is admitted to practice law in New York State. He has lived in Shreveport for five years along with his partner, John-Paul Young, a Shreveport native. The two are co-owners of a small farm, a craft cocktail bar, and the city’s first farm-to-table restaurant.
Erik Feig is Founder & CEO of PICTURESTART, which focuses on “discovery of voice” content and storytelling. Feig is an American media executive and producer whose films have collectively grossed more than $13 billion at the box office worldwide.
Although just recently launched, PICTURESTART already has a rich and diverse slate of projects in various stages of development and production: the action-packed epic true story about Japan’s first African samurai, YASUKE, starring Chadwick Boseman; the eagerly anticipated musical GREASE: SUMMER NIGHTS, for Paramount, produced with Temple Hill Productions; the film adaptation of bestselling teen classic ELEANOR & PARK; the high-school-cheating caper remake of the Thai hit BAD GENIUS; the film adaptation of the New York Times bestselling novel, WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH by Elizabeth Acevedo; and the adaptation of Wattpad’s ALONG FOR THE RIDE. UNPREGNANT, the first of PICTURESTART’s projects to go into production, does so five months after the company’s formation.
Feig began as an independent producer and helped turn Summit Entertainment into one of the most successful independent studios ever, and then served as co-president of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group after Lionsgate bought Summit. He has produced, supervised and originated the production of Academy Award-winning films including LA LA LAND and THE HURT LOCKER, along with book adaptations and films geared toward the youth market, including THE TWILIGHT SAGA, THE HUNGER GAMES SERIES, DIVERGENT series, WONDER, WARM BODIES, PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and other movies including SICARIO, the NOW YOU SEE ME series, the RED series, and the STEP UP series.
For the past 35 years, Randi Feldman has been working in the film industry as a script supervisor/film teacher/producer. Randi has been a member of Local 871 since 1992, working on motion pictures and commercials. She also is a producing partner for World Wide Artists since 1986.
Randi has been teaching workshops and lecturing since 1996 at: AFI, UCLA, NYFA, Santa Fe Community College, “F.I.T” Film Industry Training Program, and Detroit, Michigan. She is the founder of CINEMA WORKSHOPS (1998), teaching the “The Craft of the Script Supervisor” – beginning and advanced courses to aspiring and working script supervisors. She also teaches Blocking Strategies and The Rules of Continuity to aspiring directors at colleges and in workshops offered at CINEMA WORKSHOPS.
Ivo Felt is the CEO of Allfim which he co-founded in 1995. He is a producer, as well as an award-winning sound designer of numerous features, television series, documentaries and commercials. He was nominated for a Foreign Language Oscar for Zaza Urushadze’s “The Tangerines” and received two Golden Globe nominations for “The Tangerines” and Klaus Haro’s “The Fencer”. He was also one of the 10 finalists for the foreign language Oscar for Sound Design for “Those Old Love letters”. He is currently in pre-production on the sci-fi thriller “Gateway 6”.
Alex Ferrari is an author, blogger, speaker, consultant, the host of the #1 filmmaking podcast on iTunes Indie Film Hustle Podcast and an award-winning writer/director with 25 years of experience in the film industry. As a director his films have screened in over 500 international film festivals. Frustrated that his fellow filmmakers were being “chewed up” by the film business Alex decided to start Indie Film Hustle® a website dedicated to educating filmmakers and artists on how to survive and thrive in the film business. He also launched a podcast focused on filmmaking called The Indie Film Hustle® Podcast. Within three months of its start date. the show became the #1 filmmaking podcast on Apple Podcasts. He’s also the host of the popular screenwriting podcast Bulletproof Screenwriting® and the filmmaking business podcast Filmtrepreneur®. His new book Rise of the Filmtrepreneur® How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Money Making Business rocketed to the top of the Amazon charts and became a #1 Best Seller as well. Alex currently lives in Los Angeles with his lovely family. He is a devoted practitioner of meditation and how it aids in the creative process. He also speaks regularly at screenwriting and film events, festivals and conventions.
Jane Fleming is a veteran film and television producer and former Hollywood studio executive.
Fleming is a founding partner with Mark Ordesky in Court Five, a multi-platform media company that develops and produces diverse, commercial content for global distribution. At Court Five, she has produced feature films including Lovely Molly, The Frozen Ground, and Exists and #RealityHigh as well as the groundbreaking television including the critically acclaimed reality/scripted ABC television series, The Quest. She is currently in post on the female-driven indie feature, Golden Arm. Court Five is currently developing and packaging several independent features as well as multiple television series with Amazon Studios, Disney+, RAI Studios, Endeavor Content.
Ms. Fleming forged her career as a senior executive at New Line Cinema, ultimately holding the position of Senior Vice President, Business Development. While there, Fleming architected and managed New Line’s greenlight process, evaluated all of New Line’s film and corporate investments and later teamed with Ordesky in the company’s dynamic acquisitions division and Fine Line Features subsidiary.
Long committed to fostering gender equality in Hollywood, Ms. Fleming served two terms as President of Women In Film and continues to serve as its President Emeritus. She is a ReFrame Ambassador and an advisor for ReFrame Rise.
She is also a member of the Producers Guild of America, the Television Academy and sits on the Board of DWF-LA.
Julian Franco, Head of AVOD (Advertising supported Video On Demand), including content and advertising at Vudu, Walmart’s streaming Movies & TV service. Julian leads the content acquisition, programming, and advertising (product and demand) teams for the Vudu platform, which connects content and. advertising impressions directly to retail sales at Walmart stores and Walmart online properties.
Amy Friedlander Hoffman
Amy Friedlander Hoffman has spent her career making sense of radically changing industries. Most recently as the Head of Business Development and Experiential Marketing for Uber, she oversaw all partnerships for entertainment, music, sports, venues, community and brand, purposeful to improve the consumer experience. Prior to Uber, she ran Priority Digital Media, a strategic consulting practice focused on content, media and distribution as the world moved from traditional to new platforms. Prior to PDM, Amy was the Senior Vice President of Programming for AT&T U-Verse as it entered the market, overseeing interactive programming, convergence and ultimately broadband programming. Early in her career, Amy was the SVP of Business Development and Head of Business & Legal Affairs for Intertainer, the first VOD service delivered over both broadband and cable. Prior to Intertainer, Ms. Friedlander Hoffman practiced corporate law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles.
Amy holds a JD from the University of Chicago and a BA with honors from the University of Michigan. Amy sits on the board of the Los Angeles Waterkeeper, and advises and invests in companies focused on making people’s lives better.