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2018 THOUGHT LEADERS.

Everyday, someone new is finding a way to shift the paradigm within the entertainment industry. At the Confluence Summit, we’ll bring together leading visionaries who are bringing game changing ideas and business strategies to the forefront. We are currently curating our 2018 speaking faculty. For program updates, join our newsletter here.

 

Eric BriggsEric Briggs: As Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, Eric Briggs oversees MACRO’s strategic planning, M&A and financial matters, film and TV underwriting and new business initiatives. Prior to joining MACRO, Eric Briggs was Senior Advisor of FTI Consulting where he co-managed the firm’s Valuation and Financial Advisory Services Group. Formerly, he was a co-founder of The Salter Group. Mr. Briggs previous clients include Disney, Sony, Warner Bros., Goldman Sachs, Fortress Capital, JP Morgan, NBCUniversal, TPG Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Mr. Briggs is an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Business Economics at The Marshall School at USC. He is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MBA from The Anderson School of Management at UCLA.


Carmen CarpenterCarmen Carpenter: Carmen Carpenter is a Managing Director at Evolution Media and is responsible for the origination, structuring, and execution of media and entertainment M&A and financing transactions. Prior to joining Evolution, Carmen served as Senior Vice President at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the Entertainment Industries Group, where she oversaw the bank’s portfolio of more than $1 billion in direct commitments to companies in the content production and distribution sector. Previously, Carmen held similar positions as Director at Royal Bank of Scotland’s Entertainment and Media Group and Director at GE Capital’s Media, Communications and Entertainment Group. She began her career at Comerica Bank’s Entertainment Group, where she managed a portfolio of single-picture project loans, print and advertising financings, and corporate facilities. Carmen holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.


Joseph ChianeseJoseph Chianese: Joe Chianese is an Executive Vice President with Entertainment Partners. Entertainment Partners (EP) is the global leader in entertainment payroll, residuals, tax incentives, finance, and other integrated production management solutions, with 16 offices in the U.S., Canada, London, and Tokyo. At EP, Joe oversees the EP Financial Solutions division which provides advisory, administrative, financial, tax and other consulting services for domestic and international film, television, and commercial productions. He has over 30 years of accounting, tax, and production experience, and has held senior tax and accounting positions at Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, The American Broadcasting Company, Paramount Pictures, and Ernst & Young. Throughout his career, Joe has been responsible for the tax, finance, and production structures for film and television productions in excess of $5 billion. He is regarded as one of the leading experts in worldwide production incentives and other government subsidies. Joe is a CPA with a BBA in Accounting, a Masters in Tax, and an MBA from Fordham University.


Ken CoelhoKen CoelhoKen has over 18 years of experience in public accounting, 16 of them associated with business management services. He specializes in the entertainment industry, Superfund accounting, Business Improvement Districts, high-net-worth individuals, and small businesses and their owners. Ken’s expertise is in identifying his clients’ accounting and finance needs and tailoring unique solutions. Ken also specializes in cloud-based accounting and management reporting solutions to small and growth-oriented companies and nonprofits. He acts as personal CFO for many of his clients by structuring business entities, managing day-to-day finances, providing investment and cash flow analysis, implementing retirement plans, overseeing insurance needs, and tax planning. Ken holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire and attended postgraduate studies at UCLA.


Assia Graziosi-VenierAssia Grazioli-Venier: Assia Grazioli-Venier is a media executive, investor and advisor to high-growth tech startups, entertainment companies and venture capital firms. A sought-after digital media strategist and consultant to international organizations and leaders, Assia is on the board of directors of Italy's legendary Juventus Football Club. Appointed in 2012, she is the first female and youngest board member to serve in such a role in the 120-year history of the club. Until she started Muse Capital in 2016, Assia was also on the board of advisors of Northzone, one of Europe's leading technology investment partnerships whose portfolio includes Spotify, iZettle, MarketInvoice, Outfittery, Trustpilot, Fyndiq and Qapital. From 2010 Assia was senior advisor to Spotify for over six years, where she was involved in global strategic initiatives that contribute to Spotify's growth and innovation. Assia is often asked to speak at international conferences, such as her Milken Institute speech on the value of diversity in business, her TED talk on grit, and speaking at the Rolex MBA Regatta on leadership. Never short on strong opinions, Assia is regularly invited to participate on international business podcasts and news outlets. Assia has a BA with Honors from Barnard College, Columbia University in the City of New York, and completed the London Business School's Emerging Leaders Programme. Born in Rome and raised in the US, Assia is fluent in four languages and has lived in New York City, London, Milan and Stockholm. She currently lives in Los Angeles.


Kevin Khanna: Co-Head, Technology, Media & Telecom Group, Fifth Third Bank. Kevin has been actively financing companies in the media, entertainment and technology industries for more than 15yrs. Kevin has led or been a key part of financings for transactions in a variety of sectors, including: film production and distribution, broadcast television, cable programming, music publishing, software as a service, and television production. Throughout the past decade, Kevin has overseen the commitment of more than $5B of capital in content related sectors, and more recently has overseen capital deployment in transactions that focus on the convergence of certain technology and media driven businesses.


Adele LimAdele Lim: Adele is a screenwriter for TV drama series and film. Most recently she wrote the screenplay adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros.) A Malaysian native of Chinese descent, she came to the States at 19 and graduated from Emerson College, Boston. She has written and produced multiple primetime TV dramas, including One Tree Hill, Private Practice and Lethal Weapon. She also mentors writers through CAPE's New Writers Fellowship and is a judge for the WGA’s Writers Access Project. Currently she is developing a drama series for FOX and writing a screenplay for Disney Feature Animation.


Holly Liu: As the co-founder of mobile gaming company Kabam, Holly Liu has led the award-winning Kingdoms of Camelot including its extension, Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North. Holly is also amongst Fortune’s “10 Most Powerful Women in Gaming” as well as Forbes’s “12 Women in Gaming to Watch”.

 

 


John PennJon Penn: Jon is CEO of National Research Group (NRG) – the firm that created the Hollywood research industry. In his first two years as CEO, Jon has doubled the size of the firm positioning it at the intersection of technology, culture and content. Today the firm consults with bold storytellers in film, TV, OTT, gaming and mobile – decoding tastes and identifying consumer needs anywhere on any screen. Jon has spent nearly two decades modernizing and expanding the strategic value of entertainment research by applying insights from both political and corporate polling. Jon is an ARF award winner as well as a contributor to The Hollywood Reporter. Before leading NRG, he was the Founder and CEO of the Media and Entertainment practice at Penn Schoen Berland. In a 17-year career at PSB, he built the practice into one of the most successful and well-respected global entertainment consultancies. Previously, Jon served as Director of Internet Strategy for Hillary Clinton’s successful Senate campaign win in 2000. Jon is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.


Stacey SherStacey Sher: Sher is Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios where she oversees development and production of numerous live action and animated films and television series based on the company’s rich catalogue of over 1000 game titles. Sher served as a producer on Seasons One and Two of the successful animated Netflix family television series Skylanders Academy, based on the Skylanders game series.  She is currently producing Season Three which will launch on Netflix in fall of 2018.  Stacey is also overseeing active development of the highly anticipated live-action feature film based on the globally renowned Call of Duty game franchise, a $15 billion franchise that has an avid following in 166 countries.

Stacey Sher is a two-time Academy Award nominee, receiving the honors for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington, and Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich, with Julia Roberts and Albert Finney.

Sher has produced more than two dozen major motion pictures amassing nearly $2.2 billion at the global box office.  Her many critically acclaimed and commercially successful production credits include such notable titles as Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight; Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich, Out of Sight and ContagionGarden State; Reality Bites; and Get Shorty.  Sher has also produced nearly a dozen TV series and TV movies which in addition to AMC’s hit series Into The Badlands; include the critically acclaimed TV series Sweet/Vicious and Reno 911, on which she served as an executive producer for all six seasons.

Sher was honored by the ACLU for her commitment to films and television that are empowering, inspirational and thought-provoking, dealing with issues from public safety to education, social justice to censorship. In 2007, Freedom Writers, which was produced by Sher and written and directed by Richard LaGravenese, was chosen as the recipient of the Humanitas Prize.  World Trade Center, directed by Oliver Stone and produced by Sher, was chosen for the 2006 Christopher Award, which is presented to those who create films that affirm the highest values of the human spirit. Sher was also the recipient of the 2002 Mary Pickford Award from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the Women in Film Independent Vision Award in the year 2000.  In 2013, Sher returned to her USC alma mater and delivered the commencement address at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) graduation ceremony.

Sher is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, BAFTA, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


Vinay Singh: Vinay Singh is a Partner at Archer Gray, the accomplished production, media investment, and venture capital company that leverages its multi-faceted expertise to bring stories, new ideas, products, and audiences together in singular, dynamic ecosystem unlike any other in the industry. Singh currently leads the firm’s venture capital and content finance businesses, and has overseen investments in disruptive media companies including Littlstar, ShareGrid, and Battlefy; films such as SXSW Audience Award Winner TRANSMILITARY and Michael Moore’s WHERE TO INVADE NEXT; and theater productions including The Elephant Man. Singh combines a proficiency in business strategy with an established track record in content finance and distribution. He has advised some of the leading names in the sector including Vimeo and Indiegogo. Prior to joining Archer Gray, Singh headed the consulting division of Cinetic Media. While there, he managed an international portfolio of clients ranging from tech companies to film financiers and was actively involved in project finance and sales. Singh has also produced several narrative and documentary films that have premiered at Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca, serves on the boards of Rooftop Films and EFM Innovation Platform, and is a member of Made in NY Media Center’s Innovation Committee.


Jesse SisgoldJesse Sisgold: As President and Chief Operating Officer of Skydance Media, Jesse helps to set and execute the overall strategy and growth plan for the company, while managing key operations across all units. He also oversees business and legal affairs, corporate development, digital and interactive entertainment, international distribution and co-productions, licensing, and television physical production for the company, and manages relationships across all distribution and co-financing partners.

In 2018, Jesse was instrumental in forming a broad strategic partnership with Tencent Holdings Ltd to bolster Skydance’s footprint in China for its films, as well as its television, gaming and virtual reality – areas of recent aggressive expansion for Skydance. In 2017, he facilitated a multi-year renewal of Skydance’s first-look production and global distribution deal with Paramount, while also helping to create a slate partnership with Ilion Animation in Madrid, leading to the launch of Skydance Animation. In 2016, Jesse took a leadership role in Skydance’s first acquisition – of game developer The Workshop Entertainment – to form Skydance Interactive, as well as in securing a $700 million recapitalization to enable continued growth and expansion. And in 2015, he oversaw the formation of Skydance’s initial global television distribution pact with Lionsgate, resulting in the launch of Skydance International. Jesse was listed in Variety’s Dealmaker’s Impact Report in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Before joining Skydance, Jesse served as the managing shareholder of his own boutique entertainment and venture capital law firm and launched the graphic novel and augmented reality company Anomaly Productions. He began his career at Heller Ehrman LLP.

Jesse is a member of the Television Academy and serves as a board member of UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability and Angels at Risk. He earned a J.D. with honors from the University of California, Hastings and a B.A. with honors from the University of California, San Diego.


Rachel SpringateRachel Springate: Originally from the UK, Rachel started her career at Superbrands, a brand research company and membership organization for some of the worlds most prestigious brands, developing relationships with the worlds leading Marketing Directors such as Coca-Cola, Jaguar, Apple, Aston Martin, Disney etc. In 2006 Rachel was headhunted to start the corporate sales division of the leading luxury lifestyle group Quintessentially. Rachel lived and traveled around the globe, training local teams in corporate sales, closing deals and building relationships with some of the world’s leading CEOs, celebrities, entrepreneurs and brand directors. Clients included Amex Centurion, Cartier, Google, HSBC, Gucci Group etc. Her introduction to the start-up world came in 2012 after meeting the renowned artist manager and super angel investor Troy Carter. Inspired, she moved to the US and founded a company dedicated to bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and her vast media and entertainment network. Over the last few years Rachel has worked with key decision makers across the entertainment and technology space, representing young technology companies and creating major partnerships between Silicon Valley and Hollywood. It was through this work she met Assia when pitching a tech company to Spotify.


Nick Van DykNick van DykNick van Dyk is a 25-year veteran of the entertainment industry and is currently Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios, which he was hired to establish in 2014 to create live action and animated films and television product based on Activision Blizzard’s rich catalog of globally recognized intellectual property. Currently, van Dyk and his partner are overseeing development and production of the highly anticipated live action feature film adaptation of Call of Duty, a $15 billion franchise with an avid following in 166 countries. Van Dyk has also served as executive producer on the three seasons of Skylanders Academy, Activision Blizzard Studios’ highly successful family animated series based on the Skylanders game series, which van Dyk sold to Netflix in 2015 as the first content produced by Activision Blizzard Studios. Season Three will be launching on Netflix this fall.

Before joining Activision Blizzard Studios, van Dyk spent nine years as Senior Vice President at the Walt Disney Company, where he helped drive Disney’s focus on franchise intellectual property, both through establishing key franchise-centric strategies at the company’s Studio business unit and in its overall approach, and through playing a significant role in the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm as well as the divestiture of Miramax. Disney’s transition from a broad approach to a franchise-specific one has fundamentally reshaped the industry while delighting audiences.

Previously, van Dyk spent six years as part of the senior management team of Artisan Entertainment, a holding of Bain Capital that was subsequently merged into Lionsgate. Van Dyk and the management team grew Artisan — perhaps best remembered for The Blair Witch Project — into the largest and most profitable independent studio of its day. Before being recruited to join the management team of Artisan, van Dyk was a manager in the Strategic Planning group of The Walt Disney Company in his first of two employment terms with the studio. He began his career with LEK Consulting.

Mr. van Dyk is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


Chris WoodrowChristopher Woodrow: Mr. Woodrow is Chairman and CEO at MovieCoin, a next-generation financial technology company focused on leveraging blockchain technology, proprietary applications and cryptographic tokens to become the leading entertainment transaction platform for businesses and consumers and the standard currency for funding motion pictures, television and other media. He has financed and produced numerous notable feature films including the box office successes Black Mass  and Hacksaw Ridge  as well as the critically acclaimed hit Birdman . Mr. Woodrow served as Chairman and CEO at Vendian Entertainment and Worldview Entertainment, motion picture financing and production companies, which financed and produced over 30 feature films under his leadership. His films have grossed in excess of $700 million worldwide and been nominated for 16 Academy Awards® and won 6 Oscars® including Best Picture. Prior to this, Mr. Woodrow was Managing Director at Prospect Point Capital, an investment company focused on structured finance and venture capital opportunities in media and entertainment.

2018 THOUGHT LEADERS.

Everyday, someone new is finding a way to shift the paradigm within the entertainment industry. At the Confluence Summit, we’ll bring together leading visionaries who are bringing game changing ideas and business strategies to the forefront. We are currently curating our 2018 speaking faculty. For program updates, join our newsletter here.

 

Eric BriggsEric Briggs: As Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, Eric Briggs oversees MACRO’s strategic planning, M&A and financial matters, film and TV underwriting and new business initiatives. Prior to joining MACRO, Eric Briggs was Senior Advisor of FTI Consulting where he co-managed the firm’s Valuation and Financial Advisory Services Group. Formerly, he was a co-founder of The Salter Group. Mr. Briggs previous clients include Disney, Sony, Warner Bros., Goldman Sachs, Fortress Capital, JP Morgan, NBCUniversal, TPG Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Mr. Briggs is an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Business Economics at The Marshall School at USC. He is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MBA from The Anderson School of Management at UCLA.


Carmen CarpenterCarmen Carpenter: Carmen Carpenter is a Managing Director at Evolution Media and is responsible for the origination, structuring, and execution of media and entertainment M&A and financing transactions. Prior to joining Evolution, Carmen served as Senior Vice President at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the Entertainment Industries Group, where she oversaw the bank’s portfolio of more than $1 billion in direct commitments to companies in the content production and distribution sector. Previously, Carmen held similar positions as Director at Royal Bank of Scotland’s Entertainment and Media Group and Director at GE Capital’s Media, Communications and Entertainment Group. She began her career at Comerica Bank’s Entertainment Group, where she managed a portfolio of single-picture project loans, print and advertising financings, and corporate facilities. Carmen holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.


Joseph ChianeseJoseph Chianese: Joe Chianese is an Executive Vice President with Entertainment Partners. Entertainment Partners (EP) is the global leader in entertainment payroll, residuals, tax incentives, finance, and other integrated production management solutions, with 16 offices in the U.S., Canada, London, and Tokyo. At EP, Joe oversees the EP Financial Solutions division which provides advisory, administrative, financial, tax and other consulting services for domestic and international film, television, and commercial productions. He has over 30 years of accounting, tax, and production experience, and has held senior tax and accounting positions at Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, The American Broadcasting Company, Paramount Pictures, and Ernst & Young. Throughout his career, Joe has been responsible for the tax, finance, and production structures for film and television productions in excess of $5 billion. He is regarded as one of the leading experts in worldwide production incentives and other government subsidies. Joe is a CPA with a BBA in Accounting, a Masters in Tax, and an MBA from Fordham University.


Ken CoelhoKen CoelhoKen has over 18 years of experience in public accounting, 16 of them associated with business management services. He specializes in the entertainment industry, Superfund accounting, Business Improvement Districts, high-net-worth individuals, and small businesses and their owners. Ken’s expertise is in identifying his clients’ accounting and finance needs and tailoring unique solutions. Ken also specializes in cloud-based accounting and management reporting solutions to small and growth-oriented companies and nonprofits. He acts as personal CFO for many of his clients by structuring business entities, managing day-to-day finances, providing investment and cash flow analysis, implementing retirement plans, overseeing insurance needs, and tax planning. Ken holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire and attended postgraduate studies at UCLA.


Assia Graziosi-VenierAssia Grazioli-Venier: Assia Grazioli-Venier is a media executive, investor and advisor to high-growth tech startups, entertainment companies and venture capital firms. A sought-after digital media strategist and consultant to international organizations and leaders, Assia is on the board of directors of Italy's legendary Juventus Football Club. Appointed in 2012, she is the first female and youngest board member to serve in such a role in the 120-year history of the club. Until she started Muse Capital in 2016, Assia was also on the board of advisors of Northzone, one of Europe's leading technology investment partnerships whose portfolio includes Spotify, iZettle, MarketInvoice, Outfittery, Trustpilot, Fyndiq and Qapital. From 2010 Assia was senior advisor to Spotify for over six years, where she was involved in global strategic initiatives that contribute to Spotify's growth and innovation. Assia is often asked to speak at international conferences, such as her Milken Institute speech on the value of diversity in business, her TED talk on grit, and speaking at the Rolex MBA Regatta on leadership. Never short on strong opinions, Assia is regularly invited to participate on international business podcasts and news outlets. Assia has a BA with Honors from Barnard College, Columbia University in the City of New York, and completed the London Business School's Emerging Leaders Programme. Born in Rome and raised in the US, Assia is fluent in four languages and has lived in New York City, London, Milan and Stockholm. She currently lives in Los Angeles.


Kevin Khanna: Co-Head, Technology, Media & Telecom Group, Fifth Third Bank. Kevin has been actively financing companies in the media, entertainment and technology industries for more than 15yrs. Kevin has led or been a key part of financings for transactions in a variety of sectors, including: film production and distribution, broadcast television, cable programming, music publishing, software as a service, and television production. Throughout the past decade, Kevin has overseen the commitment of more than $5B of capital in content related sectors, and more recently has overseen capital deployment in transactions that focus on the convergence of certain technology and media driven businesses.


Adele LimAdele Lim: Adele is a screenwriter for TV drama series and film. Most recently she wrote the screenplay adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros.) A Malaysian native of Chinese descent, she came to the States at 19 and graduated from Emerson College, Boston. She has written and produced multiple primetime TV dramas, including One Tree Hill, Private Practice and Lethal Weapon. She also mentors writers through CAPE's New Writers Fellowship and is a judge for the WGA’s Writers Access Project. Currently she is developing a drama series for FOX and writing a screenplay for Disney Feature Animation.


Holly Liu: As the co-founder of mobile gaming company Kabam, Holly Liu has led the award-winning Kingdoms of Camelot including its extension, Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North. Holly is also amongst Fortune’s “10 Most Powerful Women in Gaming” as well as Forbes’s “12 Women in Gaming to Watch”.

 

 


John PennJon Penn: Jon is CEO of National Research Group (NRG) – the firm that created the Hollywood research industry. In his first two years as CEO, Jon has doubled the size of the firm positioning it at the intersection of technology, culture and content. Today the firm consults with bold storytellers in film, TV, OTT, gaming and mobile – decoding tastes and identifying consumer needs anywhere on any screen. Jon has spent nearly two decades modernizing and expanding the strategic value of entertainment research by applying insights from both political and corporate polling. Jon is an ARF award winner as well as a contributor to The Hollywood Reporter. Before leading NRG, he was the Founder and CEO of the Media and Entertainment practice at Penn Schoen Berland. In a 17-year career at PSB, he built the practice into one of the most successful and well-respected global entertainment consultancies. Previously, Jon served as Director of Internet Strategy for Hillary Clinton’s successful Senate campaign win in 2000. Jon is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.


Stacey SherStacey Sher: Sher is Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios where she oversees development and production of numerous live action and animated films and television series based on the company’s rich catalogue of over 1000 game titles. Sher served as a producer on Seasons One and Two of the successful animated Netflix family television series Skylanders Academy, based on the Skylanders game series.  She is currently producing Season Three which will launch on Netflix in fall of 2018.  Stacey is also overseeing active development of the highly anticipated live-action feature film based on the globally renowned Call of Duty game franchise, a $15 billion franchise that has an avid following in 166 countries.

Stacey Sher is a two-time Academy Award nominee, receiving the honors for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington, and Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich, with Julia Roberts and Albert Finney.

Sher has produced more than two dozen major motion pictures amassing nearly $2.2 billion at the global box office.  Her many critically acclaimed and commercially successful production credits include such notable titles as Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight; Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich, Out of Sight and ContagionGarden State; Reality Bites; and Get Shorty.  Sher has also produced nearly a dozen TV series and TV movies which in addition to AMC’s hit series Into The Badlands; include the critically acclaimed TV series Sweet/Vicious and Reno 911, on which she served as an executive producer for all six seasons.

Sher was honored by the ACLU for her commitment to films and television that are empowering, inspirational and thought-provoking, dealing with issues from public safety to education, social justice to censorship. In 2007, Freedom Writers, which was produced by Sher and written and directed by Richard LaGravenese, was chosen as the recipient of the Humanitas Prize.  World Trade Center, directed by Oliver Stone and produced by Sher, was chosen for the 2006 Christopher Award, which is presented to those who create films that affirm the highest values of the human spirit. Sher was also the recipient of the 2002 Mary Pickford Award from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the Women in Film Independent Vision Award in the year 2000.  In 2013, Sher returned to her USC alma mater and delivered the commencement address at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) graduation ceremony.

Sher is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, BAFTA, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


Vinay Singh: Vinay Singh is a Partner at Archer Gray, the accomplished production, media investment, and venture capital company that leverages its multi-faceted expertise to bring stories, new ideas, products, and audiences together in singular, dynamic ecosystem unlike any other in the industry. Singh currently leads the firm’s venture capital and content finance businesses, and has overseen investments in disruptive media companies including Littlstar, ShareGrid, and Battlefy; films such as SXSW Audience Award Winner TRANSMILITARY and Michael Moore’s WHERE TO INVADE NEXT; and theater productions including The Elephant Man. Singh combines a proficiency in business strategy with an established track record in content finance and distribution. He has advised some of the leading names in the sector including Vimeo and Indiegogo. Prior to joining Archer Gray, Singh headed the consulting division of Cinetic Media. While there, he managed an international portfolio of clients ranging from tech companies to film financiers and was actively involved in project finance and sales. Singh has also produced several narrative and documentary films that have premiered at Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca, serves on the boards of Rooftop Films and EFM Innovation Platform, and is a member of Made in NY Media Center’s Innovation Committee.


Jesse SisgoldJesse Sisgold: As President and Chief Operating Officer of Skydance Media, Jesse helps to set and execute the overall strategy and growth plan for the company, while managing key operations across all units. He also oversees business and legal affairs, corporate development, digital and interactive entertainment, international distribution and co-productions, licensing, and television physical production for the company, and manages relationships across all distribution and co-financing partners.

In 2018, Jesse was instrumental in forming a broad strategic partnership with Tencent Holdings Ltd to bolster Skydance’s footprint in China for its films, as well as its television, gaming and virtual reality – areas of recent aggressive expansion for Skydance. In 2017, he facilitated a multi-year renewal of Skydance’s first-look production and global distribution deal with Paramount, while also helping to create a slate partnership with Ilion Animation in Madrid, leading to the launch of Skydance Animation. In 2016, Jesse took a leadership role in Skydance’s first acquisition – of game developer The Workshop Entertainment – to form Skydance Interactive, as well as in securing a $700 million recapitalization to enable continued growth and expansion. And in 2015, he oversaw the formation of Skydance’s initial global television distribution pact with Lionsgate, resulting in the launch of Skydance International. Jesse was listed in Variety’s Dealmaker’s Impact Report in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Before joining Skydance, Jesse served as the managing shareholder of his own boutique entertainment and venture capital law firm and launched the graphic novel and augmented reality company Anomaly Productions. He began his career at Heller Ehrman LLP.

Jesse is a member of the Television Academy and serves as a board member of UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability and Angels at Risk. He earned a J.D. with honors from the University of California, Hastings and a B.A. with honors from the University of California, San Diego.


Rachel SpringateRachel Springate: Originally from the UK, Rachel started her career at Superbrands, a brand research company and membership organization for some of the worlds most prestigious brands, developing relationships with the worlds leading Marketing Directors such as Coca-Cola, Jaguar, Apple, Aston Martin, Disney etc. In 2006 Rachel was headhunted to start the corporate sales division of the leading luxury lifestyle group Quintessentially. Rachel lived and traveled around the globe, training local teams in corporate sales, closing deals and building relationships with some of the world’s leading CEOs, celebrities, entrepreneurs and brand directors. Clients included Amex Centurion, Cartier, Google, HSBC, Gucci Group etc. Her introduction to the start-up world came in 2012 after meeting the renowned artist manager and super angel investor Troy Carter. Inspired, she moved to the US and founded a company dedicated to bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and her vast media and entertainment network. Over the last few years Rachel has worked with key decision makers across the entertainment and technology space, representing young technology companies and creating major partnerships between Silicon Valley and Hollywood. It was through this work she met Assia when pitching a tech company to Spotify.


Nick Van DykNick van DykNick van Dyk is a 25-year veteran of the entertainment industry and is currently Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios, which he was hired to establish in 2014 to create live action and animated films and television product based on Activision Blizzard’s rich catalog of globally recognized intellectual property. Currently, van Dyk and his partner are overseeing development and production of the highly anticipated live action feature film adaptation of Call of Duty, a $15 billion franchise with an avid following in 166 countries. Van Dyk has also served as executive producer on the three seasons of Skylanders Academy, Activision Blizzard Studios’ highly successful family animated series based on the Skylanders game series, which van Dyk sold to Netflix in 2015 as the first content produced by Activision Blizzard Studios. Season Three will be launching on Netflix this fall.

Before joining Activision Blizzard Studios, van Dyk spent nine years as Senior Vice President at the Walt Disney Company, where he helped drive Disney’s focus on franchise intellectual property, both through establishing key franchise-centric strategies at the company’s Studio business unit and in its overall approach, and through playing a significant role in the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm as well as the divestiture of Miramax. Disney’s transition from a broad approach to a franchise-specific one has fundamentally reshaped the industry while delighting audiences.

Previously, van Dyk spent six years as part of the senior management team of Artisan Entertainment, a holding of Bain Capital that was subsequently merged into Lionsgate. Van Dyk and the management team grew Artisan — perhaps best remembered for The Blair Witch Project — into the largest and most profitable independent studio of its day. Before being recruited to join the management team of Artisan, van Dyk was a manager in the Strategic Planning group of The Walt Disney Company in his first of two employment terms with the studio. He began his career with LEK Consulting.

Mr. van Dyk is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


Chris WoodrowChristopher Woodrow: Mr. Woodrow is Chairman and CEO at MovieCoin, a next-generation financial technology company focused on leveraging blockchain technology, proprietary applications and cryptographic tokens to become the leading entertainment transaction platform for businesses and consumers and the standard currency for funding motion pictures, television and other media. He has financed and produced numerous notable feature films including the box office successes Black Mass  and Hacksaw Ridge  as well as the critically acclaimed hit Birdman . Mr. Woodrow served as Chairman and CEO at Vendian Entertainment and Worldview Entertainment, motion picture financing and production companies, which financed and produced over 30 feature films under his leadership. His films have grossed in excess of $700 million worldwide and been nominated for 16 Academy Awards® and won 6 Oscars® including Best Picture. Prior to this, Mr. Woodrow was Managing Director at Prospect Point Capital, an investment company focused on structured finance and venture capital opportunities in media and entertainment.

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