The 2008 Film Financing Conference will be held on June 21st as part of the upcoming Los Angeles Film Festival (June 19th-29th). This very worthwhile day of panels, presentations, and workshops are a must-attend for any first-time or even experienced indie filmmaker because it will address the current (sorry) state of independent film financing. This year’s conference will take place at The Landmark West Los Angeles Theaters adjacent to the Westside Pavilion. On a personal note, I won’t be able to moderate the panel Film Financing 2008: Money in the Time of Crisis addressing the current economic climate and its effects on film financing and production, and featuring panelists include Cathy Schulman (Mandalay Pictures), James Stern (Endgame Entertainment), and Hal Sadoff (ICM). Here’s a schedule of the upcoming activities so you can plan accordingly:

8 a.m. Check-in
9 a.m. Introduction to the Conference

9:15 a.m. Keynote Speech:
  Mark Gill, The Film Department

10:15 a.m. Film Financing 101: Getting the Basics
If you are a newbie, this in-depth presentation on the different ways films are financed is for you. This introductory overview includes an explanation of basic film-financing structures and terminology. All questions welcome.

OR Film Financing 2008: Money in the Time of Crisis
Slow sales at Sundance, a mortgage industry meltdown, a long writers strike, an imminent actors walkout, a looming recession… What’s a producer to do now? Seasoned producers and financiers analyze the current economic climate and its effects on film financing and production.

12 p.m. Domestic and Foreign Incentives: Money Without Borders
Government subsidies, tax credits, rebates and much more… How do these incentives work? What productions qualify to take advantage of these opportunities? And most importantly, how do you turn soft money into cash? This panel will answer these questions and provide an up-to-date review of the most-used incentives.

OR Financing Clinic: Fast Track on the Spot
Hear participants in the Los Angeles Film Festival Fast Track Program pitch their projects to a panel of experts and get advice on how to leverage their projects’ elements into an attractive package for financiers and investors. The panelists’ specific feedback and practical advice will provide useful packaging and financing tips for all.

2:45 p.m. Theatrical Distribution: Pie in the Sky?
A diverse group of executives—from small boutique independent companies to the mini-majors—assesses the current state and gives a realistic picture of the economics of theatrical distribution for independent films today. Is there money to be had, or is it just a pie in the sky?

OR Getting Paid in the Digital Age: The Lowdown on Downloads
The recent writers strike brought to the foreground some of the legal and rights-management implications raised by digital download sales and VOD distribution. This panel will give the lowdown on intellectual property, residuals and royalties in the Digital Age.

4:30 p.m. Working the Markets: How to Sell Your Movie
A group of experts explain the film market as a pre-sales and product-sales point while providing current information on how to navigate the international marketplace with your film at any stage—on the page or in the can.

OR The Global Screen: Online Content Distribution
From entrepreneurial filmmakers who use the Web to self-distribute their films to online distributors who are amassing large collections from around the globe, there are multiple business models to reach a broad audience and make money on the web. Key players in the online distribution field share their experience on the Web and provide some insight on the future.

6 p.m. Reception

Confirmed Panelists:

Vanessa Arteaga, Jaman
Catherine Batavick, MD Film Office
Ram Bergman, Gordon Street Pictures
Joseph D. Chianese, Entertainment Partners
Eric D’Arbeloff, Roadside Attractions
Matt Dentler, Cinetic Rights Management
Pam Dixon, Pam Dixon Casting
Craig Emanuel, Loeb & Loeb
Mark Gill, The Film Department
Greg Goodfried, EQAL
Micah Green, CAA
Robert Kyncl, Netflix
Kevin Lau, Strand Releasing
Doug Mankoff, Echo Lake Productions
Curt Marvis, Lionsgate
Ted Mundorff, Landmark Theatres
Irwin M. Rappaport, P.C.
Hal Sadoff, ICM
Tony Safford, Fox
Sonoko Sakai, Producer Blindness
Paula Schmit, Film Finances
Cathy Schulman, Mandalay Pictures
Russell Schwartz, Pandemic Marketing
Christopher Stelly, Louisiana Film Commission
James Stern, Endgame Entertainment
Lisa Strout, New Mexico Film Office
Jonathan Wolf, IFTA