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Mon, 03 Jun

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Webinar

Demystifying Financing & Legals with ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund

Reclaim The Frame and ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund have teamed up to offer a free webinar for early career filmmakers, onwards. Scroll down to "About The Event" to register

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Demystifying Financing & Legals with ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund
Demystifying Financing & Legals with ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund

Time & Location

03 Jun 2024, 11:00 – 16:00

Webinar

About the event

Reclaim The Frame and ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund have teamed up to offer a free webinar for early career filmmakers, onwards, to gain knowledge about financing and fundraising for feature films, and about how to secure the rights and paperwork you need ready for financing. With an aim to be inclusive to all, including those who might feel marginalised within the industry, both sessions will take place online and include the chance to ask the speakers questions without judgement.

In Demystifying Financing, we’ll hear from funders, investors and commissioners about the opportunities they offer, and what they look for in projects, pitch decks and funding applications. Together we will explore different routes to finance across development, production and post, and what is needed to close financing.

In Demystifying Legals, we’ll look at how to set up a deal and secure the rights you need, ready for financing. From how to option a book or screenplay, through to what’s involved in a writers, development or contributor agreement, we’ll look at the chain of title, from origination to exploitation, the various agreements needed, and at what stage to bring in a lawyer.

This webinar is being produced by UK film charity Reclaim The Frame whose mission is to champion marginalised gender filmmakers and build community for them, and ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the screen industries – film, television (including children's, unscripted and high-end), VFX (visual effects), animation and games.

Both sessions are free and open to all and will be live captioned and BSL interpreted.

For Demystifying Legals, please register HERE

For Demystifying Finance, please register HERE

If you wish to attend both, please register for both.

Any questions, please email simone@reclaimtheframe.org

Session 1 (11:00 - 13:20): Demystifying Film Financing

11:00 - 11:15 Welcome / intros from Melanie Iredale, Director of Reclaim The Frame, and  Emma Turner, ScreenSkills' Head of Film, Animation and Future Skills.

11:15 - 12:00 Panel / presentations - incl Q&A:

In Demystifying Financing, we’ll hear from funders, investors and commissioners about the opportunities they offer, and what they look for in projects, pitch decks and funding applications. Together we will explore different routes to finance across development, production and post, and what is needed to close financing.

Speakers will include:

  • Mia Bays, Director, Filmmaking Fund at BFI
  • Amy O’Hara, Development & Production Executive at Film4
  • Claudia Yusef, Head of Development at BBC Films
  • Erica Motley, Creative Partner at Impact X
  • Sophie Green, Head of Acquisitions & Development at Bankside Films
  • Tolu Stedford, producer (moderator)

Break: 12.pm-12.10pm

12.10pm-12:55 Session 1 cont’d: Panel / presentations incl Q&A

1pm close

Topics covered will include:

  • What funders/commissioners/financiers are looking for
  • Different types/sources of funding: Commissions, public funding / grants and private investment / equity and debt financing
  • Funding/support at each stage: development, production, post-deals
  • When/where to look for pre/sales
  • How tax credits work
  • What’s needed to close financing

Session 2 (14:00 - 16:00) Demystifying Film Legals

14:00 - 14:10 Welcome / intros  from Melanie Iredale, Director of Reclaim The Frame, and  Emma Turner, ScreenSkills' Head of Film, Animation and Future Skills.

14:10 - 14:55 Panel / presentations incl Q&A:

In Demystifying Legals, we’ll look at how to set up a deal and secure the rights you need, ready for financing. From how to option a book or screenplay, through to what’s involved in a writers, development or contributor agreement, we’ll look at the chain of title, from origination to exploitation, the various agreements needed, and at what stage to bring in a lawyer.

Speakers will include:

  • Ana Santos, Head of Legal & Business Affairs at Bankside Films
  • Suzanne Alizart, Head of Business Affairs at Doc Society
  • Fozia O’Dowd, producer (moderator)

Break: 14.55pm-15.05pm

15.05pm-15:50, Session 2 cont’d Panel / Presentation incl Q&A

Closing remarks: 15:50-16:00

Topics covered will include:

  • Optioning - Considerations when starting a project with writers and/or IP.
  • Development -  What to expect and the importance of getting deal terms right for you.
  • Financing - What is needed for the package and when is the right time to start conversations.
  • Thinking about the 'Three P's: Pre Production; Production; Post - Production
  • Navigating Sales and Distribution - thinking about when and how is best to approach your Sales and Distribution partner and what materials to go there with.

SPEAKER BIOS

Amy O’Hara - Development and Production Executive - Film4

Amy O’Hara joined Film4 in October 2021 as a Development and Production Executive. Previous to that she was the BFI NETWORK Talent Executive at Film Hub North, working closely with new and emerging writers, directors and producers across a slate of short films and features. She has also worked at International Distribution company STX as a Marketing Executive across UK Productions.

Ana Santos - Head of Legal and Business Affairs - Bankside Films

Ana is an experienced entertainment professional with a career of over 17 years in the film industry across production, international sales, distribution and exhibition. As well as extensive commercial knowledge of the industry, Ana possesses legal training and a solid understanding of copyright, intellectual property law, expertise in rights matters and up-to-date knowledge of best practices and regulations relevant to Entertainment Law.

After 8 years leading the acquisitions and programming of the specialist content department for Curzon Cinemas and Artificial Eye group (CAE), she stepped down in 2016, stepping back into a more legal role as Head of Legal and Business Affairs at Bankside Films. Originally a barrister from a civil law jurisdiction, Ana has a Masters in Arts in World Cinemas from the University of Leeds and has a Masters in Law in Entertainment Law at University of Westminster, focusing on US and UK law.

Claudia Yusef - Commissioning Executive - BBC Film

Claudia has Executive Produced a number of features and shorts for BBC Film including Clio Barnard’s ALI & AVA; PRAY, novelist Caleb Azumah Nelson’s debut short as a director; IN CAMERA, Naqqash Khalid’s debut feature starring Nabhaan Rizwan ; THE END WE START FROM, the debut feature of Mahalia Belo , written by Alice Birch and starring Jodie Comer ; and THE OUTRUN directed by Nora Fingscheidt , based on the best- selling memoir by Amy Liptrot (which Fingscheidt adapted in collaboration with Liptrot) and starring Saoirse Ronan.

Prior to BBC Film, Claudia was Head of Development at Number 9 Films where she oversaw the film and television slate. Claudia was previously Talent Development Executive at the Scottish Film Network, part of BFI NETWORK, where she established several new short film programmes and first feature talent development initiatives, and commissioned a series of shorts and first feature developments, working with emerging filmmakers including Ruth Paxton, Cara Connolly, Morayo Akande, and Ben Sharrock. She has an MFA in film from Columbia University, where she received the Hollywood Foreign Press Association scholarship.

Erica Motley Dupuis - Executive Producer - Impact X Studio

Erica is an accomplished Executive Producer with over two decades of experience in scripted entertainment. With a background in investment banking and an MBA from Harvard, complemented by a BA from Howard University, Erica began her  career as a film acquisition executive at HBO. She later held key roles at Fox, Bertelsmann, and was a founder and General Manager at Shine International. Erica's expertise extends to international acquisitions, packaging, and film financing, having served as head of international acquisitions for UIP in the UK and K5 in Germany.

Transitioning into originally scripted television, Erica pioneered the use of independent film packaging in the direct-to-series model, notably as an Executive Producer on the acclaimed FX/BBC seriesTABOO. Currently, Erica serves as an Executive Producer for IYANU, HBO's groundbreaking AfricanAnime series.

Beyond her executive roles, Erica is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of talent. She has contributed her expertise as a mentor at the Sundance Episodic Story Lab and as a Film Professor at the  Media Business School in Spain and Johns Hopkins/Mica Film School in the US. Presently, Erica continues to make significant contributions as an Executive Producer at Impact X Studio.

Fozia O’Dowd - Producer

Fozia is an award-winning Producer, founder of Public Display of Affection Films, and former Production Accountant. Her slate of projects have been selected for the Galway Film Fleadh, PACT’s Content Without Borders, Film London’s Production Finance Market and Creative England’s Market Trader Programme as well as being shortlisted for the EAVE Producer’s Programme 2023. She is an alumni of our Filmonomics programme and has projects in development with the BFI and Sky Drama across Film and TV.

Mia Bays - Director BFI Film Fund

Mia celebrates 32 years in film this year. She’s worked on over 150 films as a producer, sales agent and distributor, of both documentary and fiction. She has produced an Oscar winner and received a BAFTA nomination for Best Debut for her work on cult music film Scott Walker – 30 Century Man. She is a renowned champion of new/emerging talent (working on the early films of Riz Ahmed, Arinzé Kene, Hong Khaou and Deborah Haywood, Gavin Hood and Lucy Walker), a cultural activist and equality agitator (through Birds’ Eye View and Reclaim the Frame.) As of October 2021, she is the Director of the BFI Film Fund. At £30 million a year, it is the largest public fund in the UK for film.

Sophie Green - Head of Acquisitions and Development Bankside Films

Sophie started her film career with producer Michael Kuhn, following a start in television with Tiger Aspect and Company Pictures. In 2009 she joined the Film/TV department of literary agency David Higham Associates. She then moved to StudioCanal UK joining the legal and business affairs team with a focus on acquisitions. In 2015 Sophie relocated to Australia to gain an insight into a foreign market. There she spent time working for funding agency ScreenWest before joining production company Ticket to Ride, part of See Pictures. 

Returning to the UK in 2016 Sophie joined WestEnd Films and then joined Bankside Films in 2018 as Head of Acquisitions and Development where is responsible for evaluating, negotiating and contracting a diverse slate of independent, talent driven films for international sales as well as driving the company’s in-house production and development slate. Recent successes include Danny & Michael Philippou's Talk to Me which premiered at Sundance 2023 and sold to A24. Inside by Vasilis Katsoupis which premiered at Berlinale 2023 and pre-sold to Focus Features globally. You Won’t Be Alone from writer/director Goran Stolevski and British comedy Brian and Charles both of which premiered at Sundance 2022 and sold globally to Focus Features, as well as Peter Strickland’s Flux Gourmet which premiered at Berlinale 2022.

Suzanne Alizart - Head of Business Affairs - Doc Society

Suzanne started working in film last century, after training at Intermedia Film and Video, in Nottingham. Having delivered some short films and a baby, she moved into film and creative industries policy development and funding. She contributed to the establishment of regional film Lottery distributor EM Media where she worked for a decade, eventually leading on business affairs across the slate. She then spent some time at Ffilm Cymru and re-trained as a solicitor, before working at the University of Leicester for five years on academic research contracts, alongside supporting SMEs to understand and manage their intellectual property assets. She also enjoyed continuing to provide business affairs advice to independent documentary film producers during that time.

Tolu Stedford - Co-founder of Story Compound

Story Compound is a creative film, TV and immersive media production company and consultancy with an emphasis on Global Majority talent and narratives and all marginalised intersections. She is also PEC- INDUSTRY CHAMPION and a British Screen Forum FUTURE LEADER.

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