Maverick Artist & Innovator Forums - The New Distribution

The New Distribution

Maverick Artist & Innovator Forums - The New Distribution

Running Time: 90 mins

The New Distribution
Friday, February 26th from 1:30pm to 3:00pm at the Repertory Theatre

Combining Hollywood experts in Theatrical, DVD, and International film sales with pioneers of Internet distribution and Internet TV, this discussion focuses on the evolution of distribution and new opportunities for audiences and artists.

Topics consist of:
- Traditional distribution: theaters, DVD and Cable TV
- International versus Domestic opportunities
- Pioneering Internet distribution on the computer
- The Revolution of Internet TV
- Building audiences with traditional marketing campaigns
- Old school and new school media and how they influence audiences, distribution and filmmakers
- Monetizing film in an era where new audiences want it for free

Panelists include:

Gilles BianRosa - Chief Executive Officer of Vuze, Inc. Vuze creates and distributes innovative digital media applications that are changing the way people consume media. Our popular peer-to-peer application and media hub has been installed 90 million times in the last 36 months. The Vuze community represents Hollywood’s biggest fans and consumers, as well as technology trendsetters. More importantly, they are leading a Digital Entertainment Lifestyle revolution (started with iPods and Tivos), which will dramatically change the way we consume media. Prior to Vuze, Gilles was with McKinsey and Company in Palo Alto, California, where he led mission-critical initiatives related to product roadmaps and go-to-market strategies for venture- backed and "academy" technology companies including Microsoft, HP, BEA, SAP. Prior to McKinsey, Gilles was instrumental in the launch of Vivendi's media and services Internet platform for health professionals. Early in his career, Gilles founded MileStone, a software company serving the retail industry. Gilles advises the FCC on internet policies, and is a frequent speaker at leading industry events, including CES, MIP, NATPE. Gilles holds a MS in Computer Science from EPITA School of Engineering in Paris, and an MBA from Harvard University.

Jim Funk - Jim leads partnership and content relationship efforts for Roku. Jim was previously the VP of Business Development for Internet TV at Netflix. Prior to Netflix, Jim was VP Marketing & Co-Founder at Akimbo Systems. Previously Jim has held executive management positions at Macromedia and marketing positions at Apple. Jim has both a MBA and a bachelor's degree from Stanford University.

Steven Harnsberger - VP of Business Development at Jaman Networks in San Francisco, leading strategy and market development for Jaman’s white label online video and e-commerce platform for the digital distribution of movies. From 2004-2008, he served as the Vice President, Strategic Business Development at Sonic Solutions (Roxio/CinemaNow), where he specialized in opening new markets for digital media distribution and burning DVD on demand. His work focuses on building the new digital ecosystem, working to create new markets for digital video, forging partnerships with CinemaNow, Amazon DVD on Demand, Amazon Digital Music, Google and Yahoo. He spearheaded the first deals for ‘TiVo to Go’ products as well as the cable market’s first set top box combining a DVR with DVD playback and burning with Scientific Atlanta. Mr. Harnsberger consults in digital markets and is a leading analyst at Gerson Lehrman, where he provides strategic analysis in online video and new media for over 100 investment clients. Steve started his digital career at market pioneer NetTV who launched the first convergence device (PC/Set top)for delivering broadband video at the TV, combining internet VOD, Live TV, DVR, music, video and photos. Steve has 12 years in the Bay Area digital technologies area including mobile, wireless, portables media players, PC, netbooks, DVR, DVD, BluRay, kiosks for DVD rental, digital music, download & DVD burn & broadband IP video markets. He works to foster strategic partnerships between many national brand name, digital media industry leaders such as Roku, Boxee, TiVo, HBO, Netflix, Rovi, BlockBuster, Best Buy, RedBox, Divx,, DirectTV, Vizio, EchoStar, Apple, Real Networks, Warner, Yahoo and Google. Steve is a lifelong Bay Area resident , and can be reached by email at

Susan Jackson - Susan Jackson has worked in feature film distribution for over twenty years, holding executive positions in sales, acquisitions and marketing at The Samuel Goldwyn Company, Vestron, Goodtimes, BMG/Bertelsmann, Sony and the BBC. Jackson's last corporate job before launching her own company was heading up BMG Independents in New York, an all rights distributor of independent film created to provide theatrically released feature films to BMG's North American DVD division. There, Jackson acquired and distributed theatrical, DVD, TV and international rights to multiple films. In 1999 Jackson started indie sales company Turtles Crossing, LLC selling hundreds of films to studios, TV and independent distributors in the USA. In 2002 Jackson Executive Produced the hit indie film "Cabin Fever". Jackson came on at script stage, brought in investors and sold the film to Lions Gate at the Toronto Film Festival. Produced for $1.4m “Cabin Fever” is considered one of the most profitable and successful indie features worldwide of the last decade. Jackson has gone on to Exec Produce many more indie films, which have had successful distribution. In 2004 Jackson founded Freestyle Releasing with business partner Mark Borde. Some of Freestyle’s most successful releases include “ The illusionist” ($40m box), "The Haunting of Molly Hartley" ($14m box), “Dragon Wars” (11m box) , “An American Haunting” ($17m box), "Bottle Shock" ($5m box), “The Collector” $8m box) and “My One and Only” $3m to date. Currently in theaters is Freestyle’s comedy “Me and Orson Welles” starring Zac Efron and Claire Danes which is now over $1m in box office. Upcoming releases include “I Love you Phillip Morris” starring Jim Carey and Ewan McCgregor for CPG and a nice line up of wide and specialty releases which are slated for spring/summer/fall of 2010 and will be announced over the next two months. Freestyle has remained in the top US theatrical distributors, based on box office, for the last 5 years. Started initially as a rent a system for producers looking to get their films released in theaters, Freestyle offered the original “do it your self” distribution. With so many independents and studio specialty divisions going out of business Freestyle meets a need in the market. Freestyle has 15 full time former studio professionals that can open features in the best screens in the US and settle and collect the film rental at excellent rates. Freestyle also has P&A investors who will put up P&A for commercial promotable films. In addition to studio level theatrical distribution Jackson’s sales company Turtles Crossing, LLC handles Freestyle's ancillary distribution and offers DVD distribution through various studio partners including a output deals with Fox for DVD/VOD, Showtime for PAY TV, Alliance in Canada and Entertainment in Motion for non theatrical. Additionally, Turtles Crossing, handles sales and distribution for at least 30 commercial independent features a year including new releases and catalog sales. Born in the UK, Jackson lives in Malibu, California and is an avid skier, tennis player and surfer. Jackson is married to British Production Designer Ben Morahan who designs commercials for major advertisers, television and film.

Matt McKee - VP of Content Acquisitions and Business Development at ZillionTV. With over 15 years experience of Sales and Consulting in the Entertainment and Technology industry Matt (Maddy) McKee has worked and consulted on nearly all continents of the world for the furthering of entertainment into the digital age in a variety of industries including Music, Entertainment, Technology, Digital Cinema, IPTV deployments, In Flight Entertainment, In room Entertainment (Hospitality) and Consumer Electronics. Prior to joining ZillionTV in its infancy (founding team) McKee of VP/GM of the Shenzhen Television design center in Shenzhen China. Here he worked with many of today’s leading Consumer Electronics companies who where beginning to deliver Panel displays (LCD,PDP Televisions) such as Hyundai, Haier, Samsung, Vizio, ILO and Pioneer. In this role McKee was responsible for overseeing the successful creation of branded LCD and Plasma Televisions from the drawing board through manufacturing for the above brands ultimately insuring their successful delivery to the US market. McKee came to STDC from DG2L inc. via Acquisition of his company Morai Media that previously acquired MPEG4 codec company IVAST inc. At DG2L Technologies McKee served as the VP of World Wide Sales and also assisted in the company productizing its technology which ultimately became the Neuron Set Top Box which was the worlds first Hybrid MPEG/H.264 Device as well as the DG2L Digital Cinema System. Neuron was later licensed to a division of Motorola and Digital Cinema System was sold to Reliance of India in conjunction with UFO Cinema partners. Digital Cinema System is still the worlds most widely utilized Digital Cinema system serving over 4500 Theaters in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Prior to DG2L Technologies McKee focused on bringing entertainment into the digital age serving as GM of US and Europe Streaming21 one of the leaders in carrier class solutions for video streaming over IP as well as consulting with many providers globally in preparation of delivery of video over their networks. He was also one of the founders of On Radio which created early internet radio portals for the Clear Channel owned radio stations nation wide (The web properties where later sold to Clear Channel) as well as created the first web properties for Entertainment publications such as Spin, Vibe and Blaze all of which where eventually licensed directly to their respective owners and the company reemerged as Avevo delivering branded video and radio entertainment to the enterprise market for companies such as United Airlines, GAP, EBAY and WWF. Avevo was later sold to Global Media (Canada). Matt started his career in Philadelphia in the Music industry launching Entertainment Company PACE entertainments first market outside of their head quarters in Texas (Pace North East) as a Lead Talent Buyer. Pace was later sold to Clear Channel and is now part of the Nations largest Concert promotion firm Live Nation. McKee resides in Rocklin, CA with his wife and 3 children where he is actively involved in the community, Local politics.

Vincent Scordino - Currently an acquisitions executive at Apparition, which has released films such as BRIGHT STAR, BLACK DYNAMITE, and THE YOUNG VICTORIA.  Upcoming titles include THE RUNAWAYS, THE SQUARE, and Terrence Malick’s THE TREE OF LIFE.  Previously, he did acquisitions at Picturehouse and was part of the team that acquired and distributed LA VIE EN ROSE, PAN’S LABYRINTH, and A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION among others.  He began his career as an agent at Sandra Marsh Management.

Moderated by Peter Belsito - PETER BELSITO grew up in New York City and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and from the Masters film program at UCLA where he was a graduate teaching assistant at UCLA Film School. He was a founding member of Newsreel, a radical anti war student filmmaking collective. He was a founding member of the Independent Feature Project (IFP) in New York City in 1981 and opened the IFP office in Los Angeles (now FIND). He was a founding member of the Chicano Cinema Coalition. After graduating from UCLA he worked professionally as a cinematographer, produced feature films and feature documentaries and wrote screenplays. His produced documentary ‘Valley of Tears’ is playing the festival circuit now (LA Latino FF, Margaret Mead FF 2003) and is being distributed US by Seven Arts. He worked in publishing for ten years for Charles T. Munger, Vice Chairman of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, and assisted Sydney Levine in founding FILM FINDERS in 1988 as a blue chip film acquisitions tracking, consulting and publishing firm. He came on board full time in 1995 as a FILM FINDERS partner, Head of Sales and Marketing as Executive Vice President. Fourteen years after Ms. Levine’s successful launch of Film Finders, Peter recently founded the growing Film Finders Consulting division. Both Peter and Sydney have been involved for the last fifteen years in professional education and with young filmmakers via countless festival and market panels and forums and active course involvement with such institutions including Harvard, Wharton, the Maurits Binger Institute of Amsterdam, ACE of Paris, Rotterdam Cinemart, IFP New York, IFP West of Los Angeles etc. Both have originated and coordinated panels and conferences for various institutions as well as Film Finders. He lives in West Hollywood, California and travels extensively throughout the year to film festivals and markets worldwide. In July 2006 FILM FINDERS merged with WITHOUT A BOX to develop new digital services for filmmakers, festivals, and international sales and distribution. In January 2008 WITHOUT A BOX and FILM FINDERS merged with IMDB / AMAZON.COM. In June of 2009 Belsito, having finished his work there integrating Film Finders to IMDbPro, parted amicably with them and resumed his indie career.