IIFF Vancouver Townhall Meeting (March 2009): Networking & Education for Filmmakers & Financiers - Pacific Northwest Chapter Première!


Visit IIFF at http://www.filmfinancing.org

IIFF/PNW Townhall Meeting at Vancouver Film School in Downtown Vancouver –
Where Film & Finance Meet to Succeed Together

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*** Don't miss our upcoming events in San Francisco, Los Angeles & New York City ***


IIFF is coming to Vancouver!

After successfully establishing chapters in several major cities including New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the Institute for International Film Financing (IIFF) launches its presence in Canada and the Pacific Northwest with a special, inaugural event in Vancouver, British Columbia. Our friends at Vancouver Film School are hosting us at their Main Theatre in the heart of the city, conveniently located near Waterfront Station.

This "grassroots" community get-together is designed to foster & inform productive relationships between attending professionals and to provide unbiased insight & education about the business of film (and film financing in particular). The event features a powerful roster of highly topical speakers from the filmmaking and financial industries. We are delighted to welcome real-world financiers among our guests for the evening!

IIFF's one-of-a-kind mission is to sustainably expand the scope & appeal of film financing, and to do so for the benefit of the public at large. True to our proven motto of "democratizing film financing," IIFF's regular Townhall Meetings bring together a wide array of professionals from relevant backgrounds in film, finance and beyond for a vibrant evening of insightful presentations and speeches, inspiring discussion and focused networking. Past meetings (e.g.: January '08 Bay Area Townhall in San Francisco, CA, January '08 Los Angeles Townhall in Venice, CA & January '08 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan | December '07 Bay Area Townhall in San Francisco, CA, December '07 Los Angeles Townhall in Santa Monica, CA, December '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan & December '07 New England Townhall in Providence, RI | November '07 Bay Area Townhall in San Francisco, CA & November '07 New England Townhall in Norwalk, CT | October '07 Los Angeles Townhall in Santa Monica, CA, October '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan & October '07 New England Townhall in Boston, MA | September '07 Los Angeles Townhall in Santa Monica, CA & September '07 New England Townhall in Norwalk, CT | August '07 Los Angeles Townhall in Santa Monica, CA & August '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan | July '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan & July '07 Los Angeles Townhall in Santa Monica, CA | June '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan | May '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan & May '07 Bay Area Townhall in Mountain View, CA | April '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan & April '07 Bay Area Townhall in San Francisco, CA | March '07 New England Townhall in Stowe, VT, March '07 Bay Area Townhall in San Rafael, CA & March '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan | February '07 Townhall West in San Francisco, CA & February '07 Townhall East in New York City | January '07 Townhall in Santa Cruz, CA | December '06 Townhall East in New York City & December '06 Townhall West in San Francisco, CA | October '06 Townhall in New York City | September '06 Townhall in Oakland, CA | July '06 Townhall in Palo Alto, CA | June '06 Townhall in San José, CA | May '06 Townhall in San Francisco, CA | April '06 Townhall at Stanford business school) have reliably delivered useful insights into the business of film, provided valuable networking opportunities, and managed to draw large and enthusiastic crowds.

Who should attend? Entrepreneurs, technologists, attorneys, bankers, investment managers, venture capitalists and other non-film professionals are cordially invited to learn more about independent film. Are you considering taking an active role in film or would you like to expand your current involvement? Don't miss this opportunity to connect with the like-minded… Established and aspiring filmmakers are, naturally, more than welcome to join us as well!

The evening's five presentations & panel discussion will address key issues relevant to filmmakers, financiers, and anyone interested in the economics, business mechanics, and financial dynamics of film. They will be followed by Q&A time. Attendees will also have ample opportunity to interact & network with our distinguished presenters and panelists and amongst themselves.

An informal après-meeting celebration will take place at an area restaurant.

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Featured Moderator:

The event will be moderated by Michel DiPollicino (bio), a filmmaker turned banker turned film financier and entrepreneur. Michel went to film school at Sir George Williams University in Montreal and then earned his Bachelor's Degree in economics from The City University of New York. He also attended the New School for Social Research in New York City through whose auspices he served as an apprentice to famed film editor Ralph Rosenblum on films such as "Sleeper" and "Annie Hall". He participated in the early days of Canada's fledgling film and TV industries as a documentary writer/producer for the CBC and as an associate of Michael Spencer, who was the first Director of Telefilm Canada and later founded Film Finances Canada.

In the 80's, Michel took a career turn and joined Citicorp as an international cash management specialist. Following his work for Citi, he availed of leveraged buyout opportunities in the United Kingdom and built the mini-conglomerate Big Bang Ltd., which owned businesses as diverse as clothing manufacturing and software production. His interest in cash management led Michel to opportunities to work on teams raising tax-advantaged finance for films and TV productions, first in the UK and subsequently in Ireland. Upon returning to the US, he co-ventured in the buyout of a major film studio in Louisiana which was well positioned to reap rewards from the state's tax credit fueled production boom. Unfortunately, that particular studio was equally well positioned to be destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Michel is currently President of the production consulting company Radical Nostalgia.

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Meeting Venue:

Vancouver Film School (VFS)
Main Theatre
420 Homer Street (btw. Hastings & Pender St.)
Vancouver, BC V6B 2V5
(604) 685-5808

Map: See a map of 420 Homer St. at Ask, Google, MapQuest, Windows Live or Yahoo.

Our Host:

This Townhall Meeting is graciously hosted by the world-renowned Vancouver Film School (VFS), a leading private entertainment arts school located in downtown Vancouver. VFS trains students in 13 immersive, production-oriented programs across every aspect of the entertainment arts, including filmmaking.


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6:00-6:30 PM ... Registration, Networking & Welcome
6:30-7:30 PM ... Three Featured Presentations with Q&A (3x 20 mins)
7:30-7:45 PM ... Networking Break I (15 mins)
7:45-8:45 PM ... Two Featured Presentations with Q&A (2x 30 mins)
8:45-9:00 PM ... Networking Break II (15 mins)
9:00-10:00 PM ... In-Depth Q&A Session with Panel Discussion (60 mins)
10:00+ PM ... Community Time at Area Restaurant

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Program Details:

1) Emerging Trends in an Uncertain Economy: A Look Forward for Filmmakers & Financiers — by Harvey Kahn (bio) »

2) Sources of Development Financing in Canada — by John Nicolls (bio) »

3) Current International Financing & Co-Production Trends — by Elizabeth Yake (bio) »

4) How to Land the Film Rights to a Novel Without Paying an Arm & a Leg — by Patrick Stark (bio) »

5) All Things Telefilm: How Canada's Film Funding Agency Can Help You Succeed — by John Dippong (bio) »

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Speaker Bios:

– Harvey Kahn (topic): Successful Producer & Director of independent films & TV movies with 20+ years experience; formed production company Front Street Pictures (FSP) with group of investor in 1998; produced numerous indie features distributed by Miramax, Sony, Lionsgate, Artisan, Warner Independent, et al. including critically acclaimed Sundance contender "We Don't Live Here Anymore" (Naomi Watts, Mark Ruffalo), which was fully funded by FSP's own film equity fund, "The Proposal" (Jennifer Esposito), "Out of Line" (Jennifer Beals), "Pressure" (Kerr Smith), Sundance première "Nobody's Baby" (Gary Oldman), "Cadillac Ranch" (Christopher Lloyd), Sundance contender "Eden" (Sean Patrick Flanery), "Row Your Boat" (Jon Bon Jovi, Bai Ling), "The Break Up" (Bridget Fonda, Kiefer Sutherland); also produced & directed "The Deal" (Christian Slater, Selma Blair) & "Water's Edge" (Nathan Fillion, Daniel Baldwin); prolific Producer/Exec. Producer of TV movies & miniseries for all major TV networks incl. ABC, CBS, Lifetime, NBC, SciFi & USA. »

– John P.H. Nicolls (topic): Seasoned entertainment lawyer in private practice with Grossman & Stanley in Vancouver; worked in Canadian film & TV business for past 14 years, first as Project Manager with Telefilm, later as Director of Business & Legal Affairs with Peace Arch Entertainment; law practice focuses on film, TV & multimedia producers, distributors & financiers of live action & animation content; provides advice on rights acquisition, development, co-production & broadcast agreements, interim & gap financing, tax credits & general production legal work; previously worked as writer on CBC drama series "Street Legal" & wrote Vancouver Magazine's "Brollywood column"; wrote & directed short film financed through Telefilm's "Kickstart" program which played at Vancouver International Film Festival & "Moving Pictures" Festival. »

– Elizabeth Yake (topic): Founder, Principal & Producer at True West Films, established in 2002 to create high-quality feature films, TV series & documentaries for world market with emphasis on international co-productions; produced "Everything's Gone Green" in 2005/6 & Michael Dowse's "It's All Gone Pete Tong" which premièred & won Best Canadian Feature at 2004 Toronto International Film Festival & was named among Canada's Top Ten Films 2004; other awards include Best Feature & Best Actor at HBO US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Grand Jury Award for Best Feature & Audience Award at Gen Art Film Festival in New York & 3 Leo Awards incl. Best Feature-Length Drama; service-produced mini-series "Miss Texas" for Germany's SAT.1 & Studio Hamburg; fmr. Founder & President at Toronto-based production company Subjective Eye, producing such award winners as "Mile Zero", "Desire", "Shoemaker" & "The Feeler"; worked as independent film distributor & filmmaker before training as producer at Canadian Film Centre. »

– Patrick Stark (topic): 20-year veteran of Vancouver film industry whose work is broadcast over many TV networks; worked as independent producer, director & consultant on wide variety of film & TV projects (e.g., "The X-Files"); Founder & Producer at production company Stark-Stewart Pictures/Creative Ballistics (partnership with corporate finance lawyer Andrew Stewart); currently developing film based on award-winning author W.D. Wetherell's novel "A Century of November" with Hollywood screenwriter Jay Wolpert ("The Count of Monte Cristo", "Pirates of the Caribbean"); produced 3 Telly Award-winning commercials in 2008 as well as 30-minute short "Tilt", notable as immense collaboration of 700+ individuals (shown at Boston International Film Festival, etc.); named one of "21 artists & performers who will change the face of culture in British Columbia in the 21st Century" by The Vancouver Sun. »

– John Dippong (topic): Regional Feature Film Executive at Telefilm Canada, overseeing all feature film development, production & marketing decisions in Western Region; Telefilm is primary federal cultural agency dedicated to development & promotion of Canada's audiovisual industry, providing financial support to private sector to create distinctive productions that appeal to domestic & international audiences, which includes administering funding programs such as Canadian Television Fund (CTF) & Canada Feature Film Fund (CFFF); previously spent 2 years as programmer of Canadian Images Series at Vancouver International Film Festival; fmr. Founding Director at traveling film festival Moving Pictures: Canadian Films on Tour, designed to bring Canadian films into smaller centers in Western Canada; co-produced Bruce Sweeney's second feature film "Dirty", which screened at Sundance, Berlin & Toronto International Film Festivals. »

– Michel DiPollicino (moderator): Former international banker turned film financier & entrepreneur; President at production consulting company Radical Nostalgia; fmr. partner in buyout of leading Louisiana film studio well positioned to capitalize on tax credit-fueled production boom; previously raised tax-advantaged finance for films & TV productions in UK & Ireland; built mini-conglomerate Big Bang Ltd. (with businesses as diverse as clothing manufacturing & software production) through leveraged buyouts in UK; worked as international cash management specialist at Citicorp; prior to banking career, participated in early days of Canada's film & TV industries as writer/producer for CBC & as associate of Michael Spencer, Telefilm Canada's first Director & Founder of Film Finances Canada. »

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Online registration is available at http://pnw.filmfinancing.org/033009 (top of this page)

Early bird registration NLT Sunday, March 8:
IIFF Member ... $25 if registered online no later than 3/8
Non-member ... $40

Regular registration NLT Sunday, March 22:
IIFF Member ... $35 if registered online no later than 3/22
Non-member ... $50

Last minute registration NLT Sunday, March 29:
IIFF Member ... $45 if registered online no later than 3/29
Non-member ... $60

On-site registration (at the door):
IIFF Member ... $55
Non-member ... $70

To learn more about membership with IIFF, email our Membership Bureau, or approach an IIFF team member at or after the event.

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Please direct all your questions and inquiries regarding this event to IIFF's online forum at http://forum.filmfinancing.org.

Having trouble with Eventbrite (this site), PayPal or Google Checkout? Get help in IIFF's online forum. (You can also notify us by email well in advance of the event, and register on-site.)

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The Buzz:

The following quotes are samples of what others say about IIFF meetings…

"Wow. Last night was great! I want to thank you again for the inspiring work you do. This is such a big need […] and you're truly doing the work of angels (literally and figuratively)." — Brant Smith, Producer, "Quality of Life"

"I really must say that I found all speakers very interesting, and I was hanging on their every word. IIFF, the mission and content, seems to be a good fit for me, because it is my dream to run a medium size production house. […] Thank you, BIG THANK YOU […], for inviting me to this very quality and important event." — John Henry, Owner, John Henry Filmworks

"Let me again say I think you did a great job putting yesterday's event together – great crowd, smart presentation, lots of enthusiasm." — David Rosen, Executive Producer/Convener, Digital Independence

"Wow! For such a moderate investment, so much information. So much good networking. I hope you are proud of the magic you've created with IIFF." — Kevin Morrison, Writer/Director/Producer of independent film & TV

"I just wanted to say thanks for another great and informative meeting. The speakers were impressive and I made some good contacts." — Jesse Ford, Founder & Executive Director, Group Hug Productions

"IIFF and FilmAngels has really impressed me so far with its focus on the independent film community. I've traveled and interacted with film organizations around the world […]." — Jin Woo Joo, Founder, Cinemasports

"Thanks so much for hosting such an interesting program last week. I am always inspired by the creativity, and most recently, by the commitment to 'a better world'. It keeps my cynic's heart at bay! […] again, my heartfelt thanks for your mission and execution. Well done!" — Teri Cundall, Founder & President, Propville.com

"The event was great, very helpful." — Marc Perez, Co-President & Founding Partner, Sirk Productions

"[…] I greatly enjoyed attending last night's event and found it very informative - certainly something that's been missing in New York so far." — Michael Gunther, Director/Producer, Triboro Pictures

"Great presentation tonight. Lots of energetic discussions and questions." — Campbell Dalglish, Prof. of Screenwriting, MFA in Film & Video at CUNY

"Thanks so much for tonight's event. It was really inspiring and incredibly informative." — Elizabeth Foley, Founding Faculty Member, Producing Dep't at NYFA

"I enjoyed this evening's townhall presentation and found it very informative." — William Doll, Writer/Director, World Stage Pictures

"Your Town Hall mtg was stimulating. You managed to attract the right target audience, and I loved your choice of speakers." — Sandra Schulberg, Founder, Independent Feature Project (IFP)

"I attended the New York Town Hall Meeting and just wanted to thank you for setting up such an informative colloquium. It was my first IIFF event and I look forward to attending more in the future." — Blythe Frank, Producer, "Kettle of Fish" (Michael Mailer Films)

"Thank you again for a wonderful event last night." — Morgan Pehme, Co-Founder & CEO, Merlion Entertainment

"I'm just writing […] pertaining to the IIFF meeting last night, which I found both entertaining and informative and also promising of great things to come from IIFF in the near future!" — Thomas Woodrow, Producer, Furnace Films

"I attended the IIFF town hall last week in New York and came away impressed. Thank you for putting together such an excellent panel of speakers. I found [Mr. Trenker's] presentation especially useful. As a former quant at Putnam Investments, I tend to dig into the numbers and [Mr. Trenker's] analysis was illuminating." — Robert Milacci, Executive Producer, Sinestra Pictures

"I very much enjoyed the seminar last Saturday in Stowe, VT. It was a lot of driving in one day (3.25 hrs. each way…), but worth it. […] Thanks again for a very enlightening day." — Marjorie Short, Oscar-nominated Writer/Producer/Director, Short Productions

"Just a note to say Larry Meistrich had a good time last night and was impressed with the quality of the group." — Jeff Silverstein, President of NEHST Access + Learning, NEHST Studios

"As it turns out, my producing partner [producer/director Leszek Burzynski] attended your IIFF meeting in Santa Monica on July 16. He was quite impressed with the presentations." — Terrance Sweeney, Partner & Producer, Winning Team Studios

"I just wanted to say thanks again for putting on such a great forum last night. […] I really enjoyed the occasion and especially the presentations. They were extremely relevant and really strong, credible presenters." — Gordon Clark, CEO, The Movie Portfolio Fund

"First, I wanted to say how much I really enjoyed your premier IIFF/LA seminar…!" — Frank Sacks, Founder & Principal, The Frank Sacks Company

"I had a very enjoyable experience. The seminar was extremely professional and well put together." — Adam Tantleff, Founder, President & Executive Producer, Sinestra Pictures

"THANKS […] There are no organizations or groups that I have come across that are doing what you and Film Angels are doing." — J. Martin, Co-Owner, 24 Bros Entertainment

"I cannot express enough gratitude toward the great job that you are doing to help talented filmmakers realize their dreams. God bless you!" — Mara Vardanyan, Producer, Roman Pictures

"Your seminars are FIRST RATE!" — Rowan Joseph, President, Greenwood Hill Productions

"Thanks for organizing a great event. I thought it was a very interesting group of speakers." — Tricia van Klaveren, Producer/Exec. Producer & Principal, Fully Loaded Pictures

"[T]hank you for a terrific meeting last night…" — Greg Lejnieks, Actor/Filmmaker, Art Dealer & fmr. Pro Soccer Player

"First of all, thank you for hosting the Film Financing seminar. Very, very informative. I hope you have another one very soon." — Richard Beaty, Writer/Producer/Director & Co-Owner, Cielo Azul Films

"Just wanted to say 'thank you' for last night's IIFF meeting. […] The slides look great […]. I look forward to the next meeting." — Robert Pratten, Founder & Writer/Director, Zen Films

"I'm a big fan of all you're doing with IIFF… very inspiring to filmmakers." — Thomas Mignone, Director/Writer, DOOM Incorporated

"Thank you for hosting the [Workshop] last week. It was very informative and [the instructor] was spectacular. I learned a lot and met several fantastic people." — Lisa McTigue, Producer/Director, Three Masked Peeps Productions

"Thank you for inviting us to present to your [FilmAngels] groups in both Palo Alto and San Francisco. The attendees were warm and educated investors. You've done a terrific job gathering people with a passion for film." — Julie Richardson, Producer, "Collateral" (Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx)

"I wanted to let you know just how much I enjoyed last Saturday's workshop. It was extremely informative and comprehensive. Thank you so much! I look forward to attending many more of the IIFF workshops." — Janine Goldberg, Director of Business Affairs, Polygon Entertainment

Would you like to speak out? We want to hear from you! Send us your comments by email.

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Link to us:
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Copyright © 2009 Institute for Int'l Film Financing (IIFF). All Rights Reserved.

Name Sales End Price Fee
IIFF Member: Last minute Ended $55 $1.38
Non-member: Last minute Ended $75 $1.88
IIFF Member: On-site Ended $70 $1.75
Non-member: On-site Ended $90 $2.25
*** Associate Membership (1 yr) at intro rate ***   Ended $99 $2.48
*** Special: Full Membership (1 yr) at intro rate + FREE Townhall ticket ***   Ended $199 $4.98

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