Disney, FilmNation, NEON, Picturestart, Wattpad + More Join AFM Speaker Lineup

Posted by Larry Gleeson



Los Angeles, CA – October 21, 2019 – The American Film Market (AFM®) announced today more confirmed speakers for this year’s Conferences and programming which runs alongside the AFM’s marketplace and industry screenings. Over six days, more than 150 thought leaders, decision-makers and experts will discuss topics and issues most relevant to global filmmakers across three dedicated stages. This year’s market takes place November 6 – 13 in Santa Monica and marks its 40th edition.

American Film Market Sign


The AFM Conferences will kick off on Friday, November 8 on the AFM main stage at the Fairmont Hotel.  Highlights include:

The opening Conference will feature Breaking the Mold: The Innovators bringing together Erik Feig, CEO, Picturestart, Tim League, Founder, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, and Aron Levitz, Head of Wattpad Studios, and Tom Quinn, Founder & CEO, NEON.

As part of its new Television Conference, network executives including Disney’s VP of Original Programming, Lauren Kisilevsky, the History Channel’s VP of Development and Programming, Mike Stiller, and Lifetime Original Movie’s Vice President of Programming, Tia Maggini will take the stage to present their feature-length programming needs and priorities.

Television Alliance

The Producing for the International Pre-sales Marketplace panel featuring Miranda Bailey, CEO, Cold Iron Pictures, Sherryl Clark, President, Production, The H Collective, Mark Gooder, Co-President, Cornerstone Films and Nat McCormick, EVP, Worldwide Distribution, The Exchange.

Producer Effie Brown will join AFM’s popular Pitch Conference as a panelist and advisor.

New speakers for the Immersive Summit presented by Winston Baker include Rick Hack, Head of Media & Entertainment Partnerships, Intel Studios, Laura Hertzfeld, Director of XR Partnerships, Verizon Media’s Yahoo! News, Randal Kleiser, Film Director, and Lauren Xandra, Director of Strategic Initiatives, National Research Group.

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In addition, the AFM’s Palisades Stage at the Loews Hotel will host Roundtables and Presentations exploring specialized and timely issues. Highlights include:

  • Audiences Want More: Bringing Diverse Projects to the Marketplace – presented in partnership with ReFrame and featuring Glen Basner, CEO, FilmNation, Producers Zanne Devine and Cassian Elwes, and Monica Levinson, President of Production, ShivHans Pictures.
  • Seizing the Moment: Producing LGBTQ Content in a Time of Unprecedented Visibility – presented in partnership with Outfest and featuring River Gallo, Writer/Director/Star, Ponyboi, Stephen Kelliher, Director, Sales & Marketing, Bankside Films, Keya Khayatian, Partner, United Talent Agency, LaShawn McGhee, Co-Founder & CPO, Revry, and Valerie Stadler Big Swing Productions & Outfest Board of Directors.
  • Distributing & Monetizing Feature Documentaries with Josh Braun, Co-President, Submarine Entertainment, Alexandra Johnes, Producer, Very Special Projects, Melanie Miller, Co-Founder/Producer, Fishbowl Films, and Evan Saxon, Head of West Coast Acquisitions and Business Development, Abramorama.
  • Respecting the Genre: Why Some Horror Films Work While Others Don’t with Roxanne Benjamin, Producer, V/H/S, Southbound, Patrick Ewald, CEOEpic Pictures, and Natalie Metzger, VP, Development & Production, Vanishing Angle.
  • Shooting Intimate Scenes – with Amanda Blumenthal, Intimacy Coordinator, Euphoria, The L Word: Generation Q, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels and Founder of Intimacy Professionals Association.


The full list of 2019 speakers announced to date are:

Adam Lewinson, Tubi TV

Alexandra Jones, Very Special Projects

Alex Ferrari, Indie Film Hustle

Alysa Nahmias, Ajna Films

Amanda Blumenthal, Intimacy Professionals Association

Amanda Marshall, Cold Iron Pictures

Anthony Layser, Xumo

Arjun Mendhi, MTonomy

Baba Uppal, Secret Location

Barbara Mudge, Worldwide Film Entertainment

Benjamin Wiessner, Producer

Brad Krevoy, Motion Picture Corporation of America

Bruce Eisen, Digital Advisors

Cassian Elwes, Producer

Clay Epstein, Film Mode Entertainment

Colin McCormack, SAGIndie

Cynthia Tollett, DGA

Darren Ehlers, Entertainment Partners

David Offenberg, Loyola Marymount

David White, SHIFT72

Denise Denson, MTonomy

Dr. Patrice Poujol, Lumiere

Effie Brown, Producer

Emmanuel Itier, The Wonderland Group

Erik Feig, Picturestart

Eunice Shin, PROPHET

Evan Saxon, Abramorama

Floris Bauer, Gunpowder & Sky

George Campanellas, Invest Cyprus

Glen Basner, FilmNation

Gregg Schwenk, Newport Beach Film Festival

Heather Rae, Iron Circles Pictures

Illya Szilak, Cloudred

Ivo Felt, Allfilm

Jānis Kalējs, Producer

Jason M. Berman, Mandalay Pictures

Jeff Shultz, Chief Business Officer, Pluto TV

Jennifer Chavarria, Kite & Lightning

Joanelle Romero, Red Nation Celebration Institute

John Hadity, EP Financial Solutions

John Zois, Anton

Jordana Mollick, Semi-Formal Productions

Josh Braun, Submarine Entertainment

Joy Ganes, Producer

Julian Franco, Vudu

Karen Robson, Pryor Cashman LLP

Katherine MacDonald, Paramount Pictures

Katya Mtsitouridze, ROSKINO

Kayvan Mashayekh, Producers Without Borders

Keya Khayatian, United Talent Agency

LaShawn McGhee, Revry

Laura Hertzfeld, Verizon Media’s Yahoo! News

Lauren Kisilevsky, The Disney Channel

Lauren Xandra, National Research Group

Lee Jessup, lessjessup.com

Linda Nelson, IndieRights

Lise Anderson, WGAW

Manuel Badel, Badel Media

Mark Gooder, Cornerstone Films

Marko Post, VFX Specialist

Megan Gilbride, Producer

Melanie Miller, Fishbowl Films

Michalis P. Michael, Invest Cyprus

Mike Stiller, History Channel

Miranda Bailey, Cold Iron Pictures

Monica Levinson, ShivHans Pictures

Myfa Cirinna, Entertainment Partners

Nat McCormick, The Exchange

Natalie Metzger, Vanishing Angle

Patrick Ewald, Epic Pictures

Paul Audley, FilmLA

Paul Bales, The Asylum

Paul Hertzberg, CineTel Films, Inc.

Pierre David, ReelOne/Lance Entertainment

Pilar Alessandra, On the Page

Randal Kleiser, Randal Kleiser Productions

Randi Feldman, Cinema Workshops

Richard Botto, Stage 32

Rick Hack, Intel Studios  

River Gallo, Ponyboi

Roxanne Benjamin, Producer

Russell Schwartz, Pandemic Marketing Group

Ryan Koo, No Film School

Shaked Berenson, Wood Entertainment

Sherryl Clark, The H Collective

Sr. Rose Pacatte, Pauline Center for Media Studies

Stephen Kelliher, Bankside Films

Steve Nicholaides, Producer

Steven Wolfson, UCLA

Suzy Sammons, The Giving Company

Tanel Toom, Director

Ted Schilowitz, Paramount Pictures

Tia Maggini, Lifetime Network

Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse

Tobin Armbrust, Virgin Produced

Tom Quinn, NEON

Tony Vassiliadis, MarVista Entertainment

Trevor Crafts, Macrocosm

Valerie Stadler, Big Swing Productions / Outfest

William Bibbiani, Bloody Disgusting

Zanne Devine, Producer

View the full programming lineup for AFM 2019. For badge and ticket information, please visit the AFM website.

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About the American Film Market®

The American Film Market is the most efficient film acquisition, development and networking event in the world. Unlike a festival, AFM is a marketplace where production and distribution deals are closed. More than US$1 billion in deals are sealed every year – on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production.

Over 7,000 industry professionals from more than 70 countries converge in Santa Monica every November. They include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press and all those who provide services to the motion picture industry.

At AFM, participants can discover the entire global catalogue of available films and projects, attend 50+ best-in-class class conferences, summits, roundtables and presentations, and connect with the independent film community’s decision makers, all in one convenient location without the distraction of a film festival.


About the Independent Film & Television Alliance®

The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA®) is the global trade association of the independent motion picture and television programming industry. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IFTA represents and provides significant entertainment industry services to more than 140 Member companies in 23 countries, consisting of independent production and distribution companies, sales agents, and financial institutions engaged in production finance. Collectively, IFTA Members produce more than 500 independent films and countless hours of television programming each year, generating more than $5 billion in sales revenues annually. For more information on IFTA, please visit www.IFTA-online.org.


About Winston Baker:
Co-Founded by Katherine Winston and Amy Baker, Winston Baker is the leading producer of entertainment conferences worldwide addressing finance, innovation and growth. Winston Baker has been successfully organizing educational events globally since 2008 in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Menlo Park, Cannes, Zurich, Shanghai, Beijing, Los Cabos, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Moscow and Singapore. Winston Baker’s conference series includes the CONFLUENCE SUMMIT, FILM FINANCE FORUM, IMMERSIVE SUMMIT, and MUSIC FINANCE FORUM. For more information, visit www.WinstonBaker.com.

Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 3.17.22 PM(Source: Press release from Independent Film & Television Alliance)

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