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NOVEMBER 6 - 13, 2019 • SANTA MONICA

Speaker Bios

2019 Speaker Bios M-O

Katherine MacDonald

Kate MacDonald is a studio marketing executive based in Los Angeles. She is the Vice President of Marketing and Production at Paramount Pictures. During her career, Kate has worked on a variety of both large and more targeted films such as Wedding Crashers, the Saw horror franchise, World War Z, the Star Trek franchise, Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short.

Tia Maggini

Tia Maggini

Tia Maggini joined A+E Networks in 2014 as Vice President of Programming for Lifetime Original Movies.  She oversees development and production on movies, miniseries, and limited series.  Since 2014, Maggini has developed and managed nearly 30 movies for the network, including many of the top-rated movies of the year: LOVE YOU TO DEATH, starring Marcia Gay Harden; FAITH UNDER FIRE, starring Toni Braxton; THE SIMONE BILES STORY; THE BAD SEED, starring and directed by Rob Lowe; BEACHES, starring Idina Menzel and Nia Long; I AM ELIZABETH SMART, which was nominated for two Critics’ Choice Awards; UNBREAK MY HEART: THE TONI BRAXTON STORY; SURVIVING COMPTON; and CLEVELAND ABDUCTION.

Upcoming movies include biopics of Wendy Williams and of the Clark Sisters, and a Christmas movie based on an original idea of Kelly Rowland’s.

Prior to joining Lifetime, Maggini worked in television as the Vice President of Television for Josephson Entertainment, developing scripted series and supervising the producer’s first-look deal with Fremantle Media, and she was a consultant at Disney Channel Original Movies.  In feature films, she served as a development executive at Marc Platt Productions and Red Wagon Entertainment.  Before relocating to Los Angeles, she began her career working as a book editor in New York for HarperCollins, ReganBooks, and Avon Books.

Maggini received a Bachelor’s of Arts in English Literature at Dartmouth, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, and with Honors in English.

Marshall, Amanda

Amanda Marshall

Amanda Marshall is a hands on producer focused on making perspective driven films. As President of Cold Iron Pictures, an independent film and television production company based in Los Angeles, she’s responsible for overseeing all projects from the development phase through post-production and release.
kayvan Mashayekh

Kayvan Mashayekh

Attorney turned filmmaker, Kayvan Mashayekh, began his career by writing, producing and directing an epic, independent feature film called, “The Keeper: The Legend of Omar Khayyam,” which Premiered at the Moscow Film Festival in 2005 and had a successful theatrical run in the US for 53 weeks in 14 separate cities.

Mashayekh was the winner of the Relativity Media Special Prize of $25,000 at the 2007 Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi for his script “Batting for Palestine” where one of the judges, legendary two time Oscar Winning Producer of “Gladiator” and “Schindler’s List,” Branko Lustig, noticed him and subsequently took him in under his wing as an apprentice producer developing his slate of international, studio grade projects.

Being the beneficiary of a treasure chest of knowledge and experience, Mr. Lustig treated Kayvan like a son and taught him the soft skills an effective producer needs in handling complicated tasks in high pressure situations by learning to manage talented individuals in delicate environments. As a result of the knowledge he acquired, Mashayekh became a consultant to independent filmmakers.

Mashayekh became a member of the PGA in 2008 and was chosen as its Middle East Representative in the International Committee, working closely to develop an outreach program with the PGA’s first ever Middle East Affiliate, The Royal Film Commission of Jordan. By creating workshops, seminars and events with RFC, the relationship has helped launch the careers of many talented producers in the region who have benefited from the bridge building nature and educational importance of cross border producing by PGA mentor members in over a decade.

Since June 2018, Mashayekh was elected as Co-Chairman of the International Committee for the Producers Guild of America. In that capacity, he is proactive in globally branding the World’s largest trade organization of Film, TV, and Multi-Media producers with a membership of over 8500. He has increased the membership of the specific committee of 140 members he Chairs by 70% since taking over from his predecessors, proving that when people feel empowered and motivated by action and results, they will be engaged to participate and add value to the group.Mashayekh is also the Founder of “Producers Without Borders” a curated series of film entertainment seminars at World Class Film Festivals and markets (such as BFI London, Cannes, Berlinale, and in 2019, AFM) for the past 5 years. Additionally, he is the Co-Founder of “The Power of Connectivity,” a private members network of worldwide professionals in Entertainment, Finance and Technology launched in 2018 boasting a tight knit group of supercharged “doers” keen on collaborating with each other to create meaningful content together.
Colin McCormack

Colin McCormack

Colin McCormack is Communications Manager for SAGindie, an educational resource for independent filmmakers looking to hire professional actors. Colin graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in Media Studies, and has worked in various capacities as a writer, producer, and editor on projects ranging from feature and short films to commercials. Before arriving at SAGindie, Colin managed a filmmaker outreach program for a national animal welfare nonprofit, assisting documentary filmmakers with production, financial grants, research, and marketing. As SAGindie’s Communications Manager, Colin handles advertising and promotions, social media outreach, filmmaker interviews, and web operations, and recently launched a state-by-state production resource guide on the SAGindie website. You can see all the fruits of his labor at sagindie.org.

Nat McCormick

Nat McCormick

Nat McCormick currently serves as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Distribution, and oversees all sales and distribution activity for the company.

Prior to joining The Exchange, McCormick held the position of Director, International Sales & Operations at IM Global. While at IM Global McCormick handled sales on such films as DREDD, starring Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby, SINISTER, starring Ethan Hawke, BULLET TO THE HEAD, starring Sylvester Stallone, DEAD MAN DOWN, starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace, HUMMINGBIRD, starring Jason Statham, and THE BUTLER, starring Forest Whitaker and directed by Lee Daniels. Nat also managed the physical sales operation, and tracked and reviewed all international release plans.

From October 2009 to March 2011, McCormick held the position of Director, International Sales & Acquisitions for Affinity International, the foreign distribution company jointly owned by Bold Films and Odd Lot Entertainment. In that capacity he handled sales on such films as DRIVE, starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, BEASTLY, starring Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens, CASA DE MI PADRE, starring Will Farrell, and FROM PRADA TO NADA, starring Camilla Belle and Alexa Vega. In addition, Nat assisted with acquisitions for Affinity, working closely with the major agencies and leading independent producers and financiers.

Previous to Affinity, McCormick held the position of Manager, Worldwide Distribution at Odd Lot International, the foreign distribution arm of Odd Lot Entertainment. From November 2008 to October 2009 McCormick handled sales on such films as RABBIT HOLE, staring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, THE OPEN ROAD, starring Jeff Bridges and Justin Timberlake, and THE SPIRIT, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson. Prior to joining the international division, McCormick worked in development & production, and business & legal affairs at Odd Lot Entertainment, and was production consultant on GREEN ST. HOOLIGANS 2.Before working in independent film, Nat produced unscripted television for A&E, HDNET, SPIKE TV, and COURT TV, and served as co-creative director for Edward James Olmos Productions based at Walt Disney Studios. Nat graduated from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a degree in Film Production and a minor in Business Administration.

McGhee, LaShawn

LaShawn McGhee

LaShawn a Co-Founder of Revry, the world’s first LGBTQ+ digital streaming and distribution network dedicated to showcasing artistry that truly represents the breadth of the queer experience. After leaving a nine-year nursing career with the United States Army, LaShawn dedicated herself to the art of storytelling by graduating from The American Film Institute (AFI) with a master’s degree in film editing. She has worked on film, television, and documentary projects in the Editor, Assistant Editor, and Producer capacities. LaShawn is also an advocate for Queer voices through her work as Head of Production at QueerX Fest, a one-of-a-kind festival celebrating the intersection of music, film and industry.
Arjun Mendhi

Arjun Mendhi

Arjun Mendhi is a leading media technology researcher and entrepreneur. As the CEO at MTonomy, he applies next-generation technologies to radically simplify core operations of the film and TV industry—such as rights, content and financials management. At MTonomy, he leads a team of engineers from MIT, and collaborates with film and TV companies from across the world. Previously Arjun led product, technology, and business operations across organizations including Google and Danaher, completed his undergrad in computer science, and his MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has spoken at select conferences and events, including TedX Boston. He is also a musician and an avid rock climber.

Metzger, Natalie

Natalie Metzger

Natalie Metzger is an award-winning producer whose credits include THE WEREWOLF, GREENER GRASS (Sundance Film Festival, SXSW), THUNDER ROAD (Grand Jury Award at SXSW; Spirit Award Nominee), THE ROBBERY (Sundance Film Festival), MATPAT’S GAME LAB (Streamy Award), Lil Dicky’s FREAKY FRIDAY (over 433 million views), HYDRANGEA (Vimeo Staff Pick), THE ARRIVAL (Jury Award, Napa Valley Film Festival), THE STOP (Vimeo Staff Pick), TOPLESS WOMEN TALK NFL (Aurora Award), and the virtual reality miniseries GLOBAL GAMER, among numerous others.

Metzger’s directing credits include AT&T original documentary ALONE IN THE GAME (AFI Docs, Frameline, Outfest); SPECIAL BLOOD (Dolores Huerta Award for Best Director at Long Beach Indie Festival, Best Feature Documentary at California Women’s Film Festival); public service announcement TOPLESS WOMEN TALK NFL (Aurora Award; Telly Award; featured in Washington Post, Huffington Post, Vice), CAMP KESEM (Aurora Award, Telly Award), and VERDI CHORUS (Aurora Award); and short films BARELY (Best Director – L-Dub Film Festival); ARENA (Best Experimental Film, California Women’s Film Festival; Best Music Video, Silent River Film Festival); FOR WATER (Best Short and Best Experimental Film nominations, Female Eye Film Festival), amongst others. Also an accomplished writer, Metzger won the Gold Prize at the Page International Screenwriting Awards for her sci-fi script IMMORTAL.

Metzger holds a Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts from Emory University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude and received the Sudler Award in the Arts and the Pioneer Award.

Michalis P. Michael

Michalis P. Michael

Michalis P. Michael is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency since January 2018.

He has a long professional career in business and audit services, both as a sole practitioner and as a Partner in KPMG Cyprus. Mr. Michael has a vast experience in the Ukrainian market and he is the Chairman of the Cyprus-Ukraine Business Association from 2012 until today.

Mr. Michael has been actively involved with public life since his early career. Formerly, he served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (1996-2000), Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Organisation of Land Development (2000-2003), Member of the Committee for the Supervision and Development of Cooperative Societies (2003-2013). He was also Member of the Board of Directors of The Cyprus University of Technology (2014-2016), where he currently holds the position of Vice-President (July 2016-today).

Mr. Michael, is a Chartered Certified Accountant, a Fellow member of the UK Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and Member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus, of which he served also as a Member of the Board of Directors.

Miller, Melanie

Melanie Miller

Melanie Miller has over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry. During her tenure at Gravitas Ventures as Vice President of Acquisitions & Marketing, she played an integral role in the growth of the new paradigm of independent distribution. Following Gravitas she was Executive Vice President at Samuel Goldwyn Films where she was responsible for re-shaping the company’s distribution footprint, signing new deals with cable and digital platforms, and overseeing marketing and PR strategy for all films. Prior to Gravitas, Miller was the Artistic Director at the Jackson Hole Film Institute and in 2009 co-founded Fishbowl Films with Diane Becker. Their films include William Dickerson’s DETOUR which released theatrically in 2013, and Shaz Bennett’s directorial debut ALASKA IS A DRAG, which received its world premiere at Frameline and is currently on a global film festival tour. Their latest collaboration, INVENTING TOMORROW by Laura Nix, had its world premiere within the US Documentary Competition category at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The film was theatrically released in 2018, made its national broadcast debut in July on the PBS documentary series POV and is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime. Melanie has been a guest speaker at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Sloan Summit, the Sundance Institute, the Produced By Conference, and is an active member of the Producers Guild (PGA).

Jordana Mollick

Jordana Mollick

Jordana Mollick is a Los Angeles-based producer with a background in theater, film, television and digital media, as well as literary management. In 2009 she co-founded a company called Black Sheep Management and Productions, which merged with Haven Entertainment in 2013, where she was a partner. In 2018, she joined forces with Michael Showalter to form Semi-Formal Productions, a production company which aims to produce film and television that is edgy, contemporary, and socially aware, and to tell commercial stories with unconventional characters that have as much heart as they do humor.

Jordana began her career in theater and created the UNSCREENED play series, an annual development and presentation of four world-premiere short plays by some of Hollywood’s fastest rising screenwriters and television writers. Through this annual project, Jordana has produced work written and directed by Leslye Headland, Dahvi Waller, John Whittington, Michelle Morgan, Will Graham, Raamla Mohamed, Corrine Kingsbury, The Shipley Brothers, James Ponsoldt, and Susanna Fogel & Joni Lefkowitz, among others.

Jordana produced HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS starring Sally Field and directed by Michael Showalter. The film was distributed by Roadside Attractions and Sony Worldwide, and played in theaters nationwide. She Executive Produced NIGHT OWLS starring Adam Pally and Rosa Salazar, which was distributed by MGM. Both films premiered at SXSW. Jordana also produced

LIFE PARTNERS, directed by Susanna Fogel and starring Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs, and Adam Brody. LIFE PARTNERS originated as a short play in Unscreened, and the feature film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival where it was acquired by Magnolia Pictures.

In addition to films, Jordana has produced several shows in the digital space, including PLAY BY PLAY, EMBEDS, & IN THE VAULT for Verizon’s streaming platform (Go90) and I LOVE BEKKA & LUCY for Warner Brother’s streaming platform (Stage 13). I LOVE BEKKA & LUCY played at SXSW in 2017 as the first independent episodic series to premiere at the festival.Jordana was a 2012 Creative Producing fellow with the Sundance Institute and a 2013 Women at Sundance Fellow. She was also the recipient of the Piaget Producer’s Award at the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards. Most recently Jordana produced the documentary IT STARTED AS A JOKE, which premiered at the 2019 SXSW film festival.  She is currently in post-production on THE LOVEBIRDS, directed by Michael Showalter and starring Kumail Nanjiani and Issa Rae.
Carroll Morton

Carroll Morton

Carroll Morton is a graduate of Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.  As the Director of Film New Orleans for the City of New Orleans, Carroll overseas all feature film, television, commercial productions, and works to attract physical production and entertainment based businesses to the New Orleans market.  She informs the city’s film policies and advises the city at the state level regarding the tax incentive program.  For the past 6 years she has developed critical industry partnerships with local film festivals and industry businesses, as well as supported workforce development training programs.  Carroll is committed to expanding the initiatives of the Film Office to support the continued growth of the industry.

Katya Mtsitouridze

Katya Mtsitouridze

Katya Mtsitouridze is head of ROSKINO, Channel One film expert, former Variety Russia Editor-in-Chief, SPIMF concept developer and general producer. Katya graduated from the Tbilisi State University with an MA in history and film studies. She is the author and narrator of This Is Cinema, a regular show on Russia’s Channel One. She is ROSKINO CEO since 2011. Katya’s portfolio includes diplomas of the film festivals in Cannes and Venice as well as the AFM market in LA. In June, 2001, she was a member of the FIPRESCI jury at the 23rd Moscow International Film Festival. In May, 2002, she was a member of the FIPRESCI jury at the 55th Cannes International Film Festival. In June, 2003, Katya was on the jury for debut films at the 25th Moscow International Film Festival. In May, 2008, she was a member of the jury of the Un Certain Regard section of the 61th Cannes International Film Festival. Still in 2008, she initiated the establishment of the Russian Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival and became its director. From September, 2010 to January, 2011 Catherine provided PR support in US and Canada for The Edge (Krai), a film by Alexey Uchitel, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the HFPA Golden Globe awards. In September, 2011 she was in charge of the international PR and advertising campaign of Alexander Sokurov’s Faust that won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival. In June, 2012 she held the first DOORS International Traveling Film Market of Russian Content at MIFF with the participation of 45 US sales and distribution companies from US. In November, 2012, Katya reached an agreement with HULU, one of the leading US digital platforms, for the VOD release of 12 contemporary Russian titles. In May, 2014 she reached a further agreement for the distribution of CTC Media TV Content through HULU platforms. In October, 2014 Katya held the first edition of the Saint Petersburg International Media Forum of which she was the concept developer and general producer. In 2016 Katya was named Breakthrough of the Year at the First National Business Communication Awards ceremony. Under her guidance ROSKINO delivered outstanding results, including a successful partnership with the world’s biggest film market Marché du Film at the 69th Cannes International Film Festival where Russia became one of the headliners. In 2017 she initiated the establishment of the Moscow Film Commission, a Moscow City government organization set up and endorsed by Roskino with the aim promoting the Russian capital as a unique filming location and supporting international film and TV crews in setting up their production in Moscow. In May, 2018 Katya became Associate Producer of Ayka by Sergey Dvorstevoy, one of the titles in the main competition of the Cannes film festival. The protagonist, Samal Yeslyamova, was awarded the Palme d’Or for Best Actress. Katya is a member of FIPRESCI, the Russian Filmmakers’ Union, the Russian and International Unions of Journalists, the National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Russia. She also holds an MA in History.

Mudge, Barbara

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, and the acclaimed TRADE OF INNOCENTS, through her company, Worldwide Faith Entertainment On Demand, LLC.  Currently, Mudge is a marketing and licensing consultant.

Anjay Nagpal

Anjay Nagpal

As Chief Content Officer at BRON, Nagpal plays an instrumental role in creating and executing the overall slate strategy for the studio. In his cross-functional role, he oversees the development, production, sales and distribution of live-action film and television content. Prior to joining BRON, Nagpal served as 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. He 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. Nagpal is an Executive Producer on Jay Roach’s upcoming BOMBSHELL, starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie and is a Co-Executive Producer on the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time, JOKER.

Nahimas, Alysa2

Alysa Nahmias

Alysa Nahmias is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of the Los Angeles-based production company Ajna Films. Alysa’s directorial debut feature, Unfinished Spaces, co-directed with Benjamin Murray, won a 2012 Spirit Award, numerous festival prizes, and is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. As a producer, Alysa’s most recent film is the Emmy-nominated and Sundance award-winning Unrest (2017) directed by Jennifer Brea, and as an executive producer What We Left Unfinished directed by Mariam Ghani which premiered at the Berlinale and SFFILM Festival (2019). Her producing credits also include: the Los Angeles Film Festival award-winning scripted feature No Light and No Land Anywhere (2016) by director Amber Sealey with executive producer Miranda July; and Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq directed by Nancy Buirski with creative advisor Martin Scorsese (2013).

As a consulting producer, Nahmias frequently advises on films such as Academy Award-nominated director Jennifer Redfearn’s Tocando La Luz (2015), Hao Wu’s People’s Republic of Desire, and Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake’s Weed the People (2018). Alysa’s work has been shown at festivals and exhibitions worldwide, including Sundance, Berlinale, SXSW, HotDocs, Sheffield Doc/Fest, CPH:DOX, Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Sound + Vision, and has been released theatrically in the US and UK, exhibited at MoMA and the Venice Biennale, and broadcast on platforms including Netflix, PBS, and HBO. Alysa is a 2019 Sundance Institute Momentum Fellow and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Nelson, Linda

Linda Nelson

Linda Nelson began her career as an international investment banker, IT executive an entertainment real estate developer.  After meeting Michael Madison, she pivoted into the movie business finally realizing her artistic potential.   As an Executive Producer on NSYNC, she quickly realized that she was interested in being more “hands on” and was the DP for her next film, SHIFTED.  As a Producer on DELIVERED she was finally able to gain experience in all aspects of the financing, development, production and distribution phases of moviemaking.  In 2007, she co-founded Indie Rights with Michael Madison and has been active in distribution every since.

https://www.indierights.com/

David Offenberg

David Offenberg

Dr. David Offenberg is an Associate Professor of Entertainment Finance in the College of Business Administration at Loyola Marymount University. Additionally, he is the Champion of the Entertainment Finance GOAL, which aims to make LMU the world’s leading institution for Entertainment Finance.

His alumni work across the industry, at the major studios, independent studios, agencies, and financial firms. Dr. Offenberg won the nation’s most prestigious teaching award for finance professors in 2018, the Financial Management Association’s Innovation in Teaching Award. He also provides financial and analytical consulting services to independent filmmakers and studios. Dr. Offenberg received his Ph.D. in finance from Purdue University.

Chevonne

Chevonne O’Shaughnessy

Chevonne O’Shaughnessy began her career as the President of International sales for PM Entertainment. Her 10 years in the position resulted in the production and sales of over 176 feature films and two successful television series.

In 2000, Chevonne founded American Cinema International, along with George Shamieh, with the goal of distributing and producing high quality commercial motion pictures throughout the world.  In less than ten years, ACI produced 20 feature films with international sales and domestic prime time broadcasts on USA, SyFy, and HBO Premier. She has also served as the executive producer of numerous films and TV mini-series including the Jack Hunter trilogy, El Dorado, Born to Race, and Love Finds You series.

In 2008, she co-founded Mission Pictures International with the goal of creating a brand of quality content to best serve inspirational and family-oriented market. During her time, MPI acquired over a hundred films for theatrical, home video and TV release, and became the international destination for films appealing to the family and faith market. With Chevonne’s departure from MPI in 2014, she created ACI INSPIRES with George Shamieh, the newest brand of inspirational entertainment focusing on family films for everyone.

In addition to her corporate responsibilities, Chevonne currently sits on Board of Directors of the Bentonville Film Festival and her family’s I. A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation which gives generously to the University of Notre Dame, St. Thomas University, and numerous other philanthropic causes each year. Chevonne also served 15 years on the Board of Directors of the Women in Film Foundation.  Additionally, she makes guest appearances at Chapman University each quarter teaching International Film Distribution.