Speaker Bios

2019 Speaker Bios D-F

David Pierre

Pierre David

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.

Bruce David Eisen

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 ( 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

Cassian Elwes

Elwes began his producing career with 1983’s “Oxford Blues” starring Rob Lowe and Ally Sheedy and quickly went on to make another 29 films, including “Men At Work,” with Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen, and “The Chase” with Sheen.

In 1994, Elwes joined William Morris and headed William Morris Independent for 15 years. He financed such indie hits as “Slingblade” and “The Apostle,” both of which were nominated for multiple Oscars. “Monster’s Ball” was their follow up, which won the “Best Actress” Oscar for Halle Berry, the first African American woman to do so.

Wikipedia calls Cassian Elwes one of the most important figures in independent cinema and an expert in the field of arranging financing and distribution for independent films, having done so for 283 films during his tenure at William Morris Independent.

Since leaving William Morris Independent 5 years ago, Elwes has either produced or executive produced 40 films including John Hillcoat’s “Lawless,” Lee Daniels’ “The Paperboy,” and David Lowery’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”, which was nominated for a Gotham Independent Film Award for “Best Feature.”

Recently, Elwes produced the hit period drama “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which featured an all-star cast headed by Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. He also executive produced J.C. Chandor’s “All Is Lost” starring Robert Redford and executive produced and arranged financing for the Oscar winning hit “Dallas Buyers Club” directed by Jean-Marc Vallee, starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner.

Elwes executive produced the Kevin Costner release “Black and White”, directed by Mike Binder, and has produced both Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert” and Eli Roth’s “Knock Knock”. His most current release was “Elvis & Nixon” starring Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey. Cassian is in post on the 1980’s Los Angeles-set thriller “The Billionaire Boy’s Club”, starring Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton, and Kevin Spacey.

Elwes most recently finished “Mudbound”, which was directed by Dee Rees, starring Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige and Garrett Hedlund and premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Clay Epstein

Clay Epstein

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.