Bennett Pozil heads the Corporate Banking Division at East West Bank and is a leading industry expert on U.S.-China cross-border entertainment financing. His team also specializes in middle market lending, trade finance and developing business opportunities on both sides of the Pacific.
Media and entertainment lending has expanded substantially over the past five years under Pozil’s leadership, making East West Bank one of the premier entertainment financers in both the U.S. and Greater China, and the only bank with a significant presence in both markets. With strong ties in the entertainment industries of both countries, East West Bank is able to add value in financing and facilitating landmark partnerships, like financing for Bona’s investment in TSG for a slate of tent pole films produced and released by Twentieth Century Fox including The Martian. East West Bank also took the lead on debt financing for the co-investment deal between Lionsgate Entertainment and Hunan TV & Ltd. In addition, East West Bank was the sole financer of the deal between STX Entertainment and Huayi Brothers Media Corp for the co-financing, co-production, and distribution for 12 to 15 releases per year.
BRITTANY MARTINEZ - Influencer
“Brittany is an American social media influencer and international model of Mexican and Italian descent. Her career began at 16 when she won the ELLE GIRL model search among thousands of contestants.
She is a producer and co-founder of LABYRINTH ARTISTS, an independent development and production company for new media, film and television. She is building a social media empire with its new media division, which has taken her all over the world, shooting campaigns and creating original content for boutique companies to leading global brands such as Apple, Aeropostale, Adidas, Bebe, Clairol, Garnier, Neutrogena, Sofitel, and posting it to her 100,000+ fans.
Christina Chou is a Corporate Development Agent at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Chou is based in the Los Angeles office and works across all areas to identify opportunities for the agency and its clients in the international marketplace, with an emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region.
Chou began her career at the Economic and Trade Policy office at the Embassy of Canada. She then worked at boutique talent management company, Plan C Group, before joining CAA in 2011.
Chou graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a dual B.A. degree in Economics and Political Science.
KATE MARKS - Executive Vice President, International Production - Ausfilm
Kate Marks joined Ausfilm as Executive Vice President, International Production in September 2014. In this role she heads up the Los Angeles office and is tasked with promoting Australia as a production destination, marketing Australia’s production incentive schemes and matching Australian creative teams with US executives. Projects secured for Australia since her appointment include Alien: Covenant; Thor: Ragnarok; Season three of The Leftovers; Pacific Rim; Kong Skull Island; and The Shallows. Prior to this she worked with Film Victoria for 10 years and from 2009-2013 was General Manager – Incentives, Locations and Production Services.
Kate is also President of the Board of Australians in Film, a Los Angeles based non-profit film, television and digital content foundation that supports and promotes Australian screen talent and culture in the United States.
DOUG HALEY - Casting Director
“Doug has an extensive resume in Los Angeles, working in offices with Mary Jo Slater, Shannon Makhennian and Nancy Nayor. Doug recently cast “Laid in America” for Universal Studios, casting digital influencers to become the first studio feature fully utilizing a social media marketing
INETRA BRAZIL - Moderator
Inetra is an actress, influencer and CMO of The Social Media Advantage. She has grown her personal Instagram by 8,500 followers in only the last seven months, as well as negotiated deals with Probelle Interiors, Angelus Medical, and more. Her expertise is in the social media and digital marketing aspect of filmmaking and working in entertainment.
LOUIS GIORDANO, Actor & Influencer
“Louis began creating videos on the social platform app Vine in late 2013. Over the course of a year and a half he accumulated 2 million followers and had nearly 3 billion views online. His large social presence landed him over 60 Fortune 500 company brand deals. Louis landed his first recurring role on “Sun Records,” CMT’S first original scripted show. Since April 2016, he has not only worked on CMT, but ABC, NBC, and most recently Netflix.
Having started in feature-film production (as assistant to acclaimed director Tony Scott), Kilian moved into the development arena, first as an executive and then as a screenwriter.
Over a ten-year span he wrote projects for Universal Pictures, Miramax, Paramount Pictures, Fox 2000, Dreamworks Animation, and Twentieth Century Fox.
Kilian also wrote and directed a feature film, LEARNING CURVES, which aired on Showtime Networks and starred Sophia Bush.
Kilian is currently President of Production at Ivanhoe Pictures, where he oversees local-language projects from territories including India, Korea, China, and Latin America, as well as selected international English-language motion picture and international television series.
A graduate of Reed College (Portland OR), Kilian is also very involved in the rugby world. He holds a seat on the USA Rugby Congress, which works with the National Governing Body to advance the growth of rugby in the USA.
Lindsay Conner is chair of Manatt’s entertainment and media practice. He has served as chief outside entertainment counsel for major film studios and television networks, global telecommunications companies, film and television financiers, production and distribution companies, and digital media companies, as well as financial institutions and private equity funds. Lindsay’s clientele spans the globe, from North America to Asia, Europe and Latin America. Lindsay’s recent highlights include representation of: China’s Perfect World Pictures in its $500 million, 50-film co-finance deal with Universal Pictures; Tang Media Partners in a joint venture with China’s Tencent and the creation of a groundbreaking slate co-finance deal in television; and Huayi Brothers Media Corp., China’s largest privately-held film company, in a 18-film, three year co- finance and distribution agreement with the Hollywood studio STX.
Marj Galas - Variety
Marjorie Galas is the Editor for Variety 411 where she manages and contributes to a monthly eNewsletter that focuses on the film, television and commercial production world. Additionally, she oversees the content supplied for the Variety 411 national production directory and produces a production incentives webinar series with partners the Producers Guild of America, Entertainment Partners and the Association of Film Commissioners International. A native of Massachusetts, Marj worked for Hachette Book Group and at Boston Neighborhood Network prior to relocating to Los Angeles and launching her career in the entertainment industry at Variety Magazine. Her articles have appeared in Variety, Variety 411, Creative Content and Tradeshow Week.
Rick Ambros - Partner Lightsource Asia Media Group & Consultant, Fox International Productions
Rick Ambros brings a deep background in international film and television production, co-production, business development and financing across Asia, Europe and North America. For the last ten years he has focused his attention on the rapidly growing media and entertainment industries in India, China and Vietnam. He is a Partner in Benchmark Studios, a media production and advisory firm based in Mumbai, and Lightsource Asia Media Group, an entertainment consulting group bridging China with Hollywood. He served as COO of Justin Lin's Perfect Storm Entertainment and Chinese media company Seven Stars. Previously, he spent considerable time in India on behalf of Fox, Sony, Constantin Entertainment and Star TV.
RYAN WALKER, Founder TSMA
“Ryan has worked in casting, events and entertainment for over a decade and now regularly holds seminars on social media strategy and growth to entertainers across the nation. He is the founder of TSMA, a social media consulting and management group focused on entertainment and productions. TSMA is partnered with DEG, Inc., CESD, Upcast, SMSS, and more. Ryan is also an actor and influencer, with over 25 partnerships this year on his
RONG CHEN - CEO OF PERFECT WORLD PICTURES
Mr. Rong Chen joined Perfect World (then trading on Nasdaq under ticket PWRD) in 2009 as Director of Strategy and went on to become Vice President of company’s Film & TV business, which became known as Perfect World Pictures (PWPIC) as it spun off from Perfect World and operated as an independent company in 2011. From 2011 to 2016, Mr. Rong Chen has been the President and member of the Board of Directors for PWPIC, and starting in 2017, Mr. Chen serves as the Senior Vice President of the combined Perfect World Company (merging what used to be PWRD and PWPIC) and CEO of Perfect World Pictures (USA). Prior to joining Perfect World, Mr. Chen founded a successful online travel service business. Before that, he was a strategy consultant at A.T. Kearney (San Francisco) and Boston Consulting Group (Shanghai). Before business school, Mr. Chen held management roles in Hewlett Packard and Juniper Networks, in R&D and operations. Mr. Chen holds an MBA from UC Berkeley and a MSEE (Master of Science in Electrical Engineering) degree from University of Minnesota. He graduated summa cum laude from University of Southern California (USC), from its undergraduate engineering program.
Sarah Platt has over a decade of experience as a filmmaker. Her motion picture credits include Warren Beatty’s latest film Rules Don’t Apply, Source Code, Untraceable, Blood & Chocolate and Norman.
As a development and production executive at The Koch Company, Platt learned the ropes around a film set from her mentor, Hawk Koch, former President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. The two now work closely together, both in developing projects and in implementing production plans on set.
In the course of her work, Platt has been fortunate enough to work with a multitude of directors including Warren Beatty, Billy Ray, Phil Alden Robinson, Duncan Jones and Gregory Hoblit.
However, her true passion as a filmmaker is in working with up-and-coming talent to develop their voices for the screen and their story and characters for the page. Platt’s short, The Gunfighter, made with Eric Kissack, went viral when it was launched online and became eligible for an Oscar nomination.
Apart from motion pictures, Platt produced a four-hour experimental film that plays behind Parsifal, which opened at The Metropolitan Opera in 2013 and she was a producer on Funny In Love, a web series supported by FreeMantle. Currently, she is working on a transmedia project with documentary/VR filmmakers Jongsma + O’Neill.
Currently, Platt leads the International Engagement, Outreach and Business Development in Los Angeles for Wanda Studios Qingdao.
Shaine Griffin - SAG-AFTRA Organizing
“Shaine Griffin has an extensive background in union work, from from her pivotal contribution to the nurses union, to leading the charge with influencer strategy within the professional performer’s union, SAG-AFTRA. Her work has been instrumental to SAG-AFTRA’s commercial recapture initiative.
Sophia K. Yen is a partner in the Entertainment and Media group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and a member of Manatt Digital. Sophia represents film and television industry clients, as well as financial institutions and private equity, in equity and debt finance deals, distribution and licensing deals, and deals for the acquisition of companies and film and television assets. She has worked on a wide variety of deals related to the production, distribution, and financing of both studio and independent film and television projects, such as Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson and starring Andrew Garfield, the upcoming film Submergence, starring Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy, and various tentpole slate financing deals, including representing China’s Perfect World Pictures in its ultimates debt financing facility related to its $500 million, 50-film co- finance deal with Universal Pictures. She is well versed in the emerging fields of the entertainment industry and in recognizing for clients the strategic value of the digital media and China entertainment sectors. In 2012, Variety profiled her as one of “Hollywood’s New Leaders” in the legal space and for the last four years, she has been selected as a “Rising Star” for Southern California by Super Lawyers in Entertainment & Media and was included in their 2015 list of the Top 50 Up-and- Coming Women Attorneys in Southern California and Top 100 Up-and- Coming Attorneys in Southern California. Sophia earned her B.S. in Business Administration from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and her JD from Boston University School of Law.
Tomas Jegeus is President of Fox International Productions (FIP), a post he took over in September of 2015. FIP launched in 2008 to build upon Fox’s industry-leading international activities by producing and acquiring local language films for key global territories, and by complementing Fox’s worldwide releases with films sourced through partnerships with producers, filmmakers and strategic production and distribution agreements. During its eight years, FIP has aligned all the company’s international territory productions under one banner and has grossed over a billion dollars at the global box office from films it produced or acquired. Jegeus is an experienced veteran in movie marketing and distribution. Prior to his current role, Jegeus, along with Paul Hanneman, was 20 th Century Fox Film’s co-President of Worldwide Theatrical Marketing and Distribution. Jegeus and Hanneman had previously overseen the international marketing and distribution teams since October 2005 before both were promoted to run worldwide marketing and distribution in 2013. Jegeus began his career at Fox in 1990 as Marketing Director for the U.K. office. In 1998 he moved to Hong Kong to become Vice President of Fox’s Asia/Pacific Marketing division. From 2002 to 2004, he served as Executive Vice President of Marketing for UIP where he was responsible for the international marketing activity for all UIP released product. Jegeus returned to Fox in 2004 as Executive Vice President at 20th Century Fox International in Los Angeles, overseeing the international marketing campaigns for the entire slate of releases. He held that position until the fall of 2005 when he was promoted to co-President of the division.