Film financing is widely acknowledged as one of the most challenging aspects of the filmmaking process. You can have the greatest story or cast — but without funding, you are just another aspiring filmmaker with a dream and a passion. This session will provide useful tips and strategies to find and pitch to investors and market your film for success.
Date: Saturday, February 11, 12PM
Location: James Room, 418 Barnard Hall
Tiana Idoni-Matthews is currently serving as the Senior Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Uncharted Play, a renewable energy company, where she manages the company’s marketing strategy and campaigns, branded content, press outreach, event appearances, corporate media partnerships, and social media. In addition to her work with Uncharted Play, Matthews also works as an independent film producer. Her credits include the Emmy and Golden Globe winning Grey Gardens, Maria My Love, which premiered at the 2011 TriBeCa Film Festival and won best US Feature at the 2011 HBO NY Latino Film Festival, and The Warrior and The Savior, which premiered at the 2013 St. Tropez International Film Festival and the 2013 GenArt Film Festival. Matthews is a Founding Partner of Frame Switch, a media investment company based in NYC, whose credits include the 2015 SXSW opening night film Hello, My Name is Doris starring Academy Award winner Sally Field. Tiana graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies, with a focus on documentary film. She received an MFA in Creative Producing from Columbia University focusing on Creative Producing and Screenwriting. She also earned a Certificate of Readiness from Harvard Business School, with a focus on Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting.
Alysia Reiner is best know for her role as Natalie “Fig” Figueroa, the tough as nails assistant warden everyone loves to hate on NETFLIX’s hit series Orange is The New Black. Reiner won a SAG award as part of the amazing ensemble cast, you can see her in all 4 seasons, and she is currently filming Season 5. You can also catch her as Sunny in the new F/X show Better Things, as D.A. PARKS in How to Get Away With Murder, & Fiona in Search Party. On the film front, Reiner stars in Equity, the first ever female driven Wall Street film, which she also produced. The film premiered at Sundance in January 2016, was acquired by SONY PICTURES CLASSICS was in theaters nationwide, and now on demand & iTunes. Additionally, it is being developed into a TV series by Tri-Star and ABC, and was just nominated for 4 WIN awards. Equity was Reiner’s first feature as both actress and producer, but she has acted in critically acclaimed & award winning films & TV; over 50 episodes of television and over 30 features, working with masters from Alexander Payne in the Oscar winning Sideways to Jodie Foster. Reiner loves working as a change maker for women, and has been invited to THE WHITE HOUSE, THE UNITED NATIONS, S.H.E. SUMMIT, GOOGLE, and CANNES LION to speak about breaking barriers for women in all fields. Additionally, she was awarded the SARAH POWELL HUNTINGTON LEADERSHIP AWARD by the Women’s Prison Association, and just in this past year she has been honored with the VOICE OF A WOMAN AWARD, the MOVES POWER WOMAN AWARD, the PIONEER IN FILMMAKING AWARD, and the FOUNDERS AWARD FOR SUPPORT.
Sam Tabet is a creative producer and cinematographer who is committed to stories that expose structural oppression and ignite change. Most recently, Sam produced Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four (Tribeca, Sheffield, HotDocs, Frameline & OutFest Winner for best documentary 2016). Southwest of Salem is a feature documentary about four Latina lesbians who are wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls during the ’Satanic panic’ era of the 1980’s and 90’s in the United States. The film team worked alongside activists and lawyers for years to free the San Antonio Four. They were finally exonerated after a 20 year fight in November 2016. From 2010-2014 Sam worked as the Program Associate at Chicken & Egg Pictures, an organization which supports women non-fiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change. During this time Sam was also the assistant producer for award-winning feature documentary Call Me Kuchu (Berlin Film Festival, HotDocs 2012) and produced SIGNIFIED, a multi-media archive of LGBTQ testimony and documentary series featuring the work of queer artists and activists. Sam also executive produced the narrative short Forever, Ally (Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival 2015, BRIC FLIX). They previously worked and volunteered at NewFest and American Documentary, POV, and holds a B.A. from Connecticut College in Film and Gender studies. Sam is a founder of the Queer Producers Collective.
Rachel Watanabe-Batton was born in Manhattan and raised in the Lower East Side, the Bronx and Upper West Side via the Vermont woods, Rachel Watanabe-Batton focused on Visual Environmental Studies and sociology at Harvard-Radcliffe, and cut her teeth in creative development at Spring Creek Burbank with producer Paula Weinstein and assisting Australian director Peter Weir. She has since produced films with writer-directors Tanya Hamilton and Mo Ogrodnik, line produced television series Insider Training and I Pity the Fool with Mr. T, co-founded Department of Film at Goldcrest and exec produced for hit artists including Nas and PDiddy, and independently line produced hundreds more productions around the globe. As a director, she’s interested in extraordinary regular people’s lives and has explored American identity, infant mortality, undocumented Irish immigrants marrying for a green card, and helmed hit music videos for Lil Jon, MTV Africa artists and created content for Martha Stewart. Consulting clients include Viacom and Magnolia. Current projects include the documentary feature Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl with acclaimed writer-director Julie Dash about chef-renaissance woman Vertamae Smart Grosvenor, a feature with writer-director Maria Agui Carter, and a limited tv series with writer Lara Stapleton. Mayor Bill deBlasio honored Rachel with the 2014 “Made in New York” award for her contributions toward diversity in the city’s entertainment industry. She serves as Producers Guild of America Diversity Chair and PGA Women’s Impact Network co-chair, Vice Chair of Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and is a founding member of Women Independent Producers (WIP).
Moderator: Susan J. Margolin: With over 25 years’ experience in the global film and television distribution business, Susan Margolin has built a reputation as a pioneer of digital distribution and a dedicated supporter of independent filmmakers. After spending her early career in international film sales and television, she launched the independent film and television distribution company New Video Group in 1991 with partner Steve Savage. In 1999, Margolin launched Docurama Films, a subsidiary of New Video. Through Docurama, Margolin has championed more than 400 award winning non-fiction films, from Academy Award nominees including Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War, Danfung Dennis’ Hell and Back Again and Joe Berlinger’s Paradise Lost trilogy to Josh Fox’s Gasland, and D.A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back. In 2012, Margolin and Savage sold New Video to Cinedigm. While at Cinedigm, she released many critically acclaimed films including Destin Daniel Crettin’s Short Term 12, Penny Lane’s Our Nixon, and Kelly Reichert’s Night Moves. Margolin recently launched St. Marks Productions, a production and distribution company. She currently serves on the board of directors of BAFTA NY, Chicken & Egg Pictures and Hamptons Take2 Documentary Film Festival and on the advisory board of New York Women in Film and Television. She received her B.A. from Brown University and lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
Sponsored by: The Ravenal Foundation