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Music as Financing for independent Film

This is a Convergence panel presented by SXSW Film. This session is open to all badges: Interactive, Film, Music, Gold and Platinum.

This panel will discuss the evolution of music into a source of finance for independent film. Filmmakers rarely raise money from one source; debt, equity, grants, tax credits, rebates, and fan funding are well known sources, but music-based sources of finance can be increasingly useful to independent producers seeking to close their financing.


Aleks de Carvalho Founder No Mystery Studios

David Kaplan Animal Kingdom

David Kaplan is an independent film producer, financing consultant and sales agent. He is one half of the newly-formed NYC-based production shingle Animal Kingdom and most recently served as Executive Producer of Destin Cretton's feature SHORT TERM 12, the first film under the Animal Kingdom banner. He also Executive Produced Joe Swanberg's DRINKING BUDDIES and packaged financing for Jordan Vogt-Roberts' TOY'S HOUSE (Official Selection, Sundance '13). Prior to founding Animal Kingdom with producing partner Joshua Astrachan (FRIENDS WITH KIDS), Kaplan served as a film financing consultant and the Director of Development at Killer Films. He is currently in pre-production on Gillian Robespierre's directorial debut, OBVIOUS CHILD.

Goetz Grossman Film & TV Score Acquisitions Songs Music Publishing

Goetz Grossmann has partnered with Songs Music Publishing, an independent music publishing company with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London and Nashville, to acquire film and TV score rights from production companies. Producers use SMP’s funds to help finance their productions, to pay for the composer or simply as a return for their investors.

Grossmann also serves as a financial consultant to the film and media industry, with a focus on advising leading film production and distribution companies on deal structuring, fundraising and corporate advisory work. On single film projects, Grossmann advises producers and investors on project finance, talent, foreign sales and distribution deal terms. Please find his profile on LinkedIn.

Jennifer Dana The Gersh Agency

Producer Jennifer Dana has been a member of The Gersh Agency’s Finance and Distribution department since October 2010. Most recently she served as producer on THE BRASS TEAPOT which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012, and is forthcoming in 2013 from Magnolia Entertainment. Prior to that, Dana was the producer of THE ART OF GETTING BY starring Emma Roberts and Freddie Highmore, under her Mint Pictures banner. From director Gavin Wiesen, the pictures also stars Michael Angarano, Rita Wilson, Blair Underwood and Alicia Silverstone. THE ART OF GETTING BY premiered at Sundance in 2012 and was purchased by Fox Searchlight.
Previously, Dana headed up production and development for Andrew Lauren Productions where she oversaw, developed, and set up numerous film and Television Projects including Universal's PURSUIT with director Pierre Morel (TAKEN), YEAR OF FOG based on the best-selling book, with Karen Moncrieff (BLUE CAR) to direct, and the spy thriller FOREST OF MIRRORS with Anand Tucker (SHOPGIRL).

Her prior producing credits include the critically acclaimed WINTER PASSING for Focus Features, along with BROTHERS SHADOW and the documentary THIS IS NOT A ROBBERY. Dana has an extensive network of relationships with studios, specialty distributors, foreign sales companies, and independent financiers.

After graduating from Yale, Dana started her career in the theater and worked extensively in film production in New York before establishing Mint Pictures in Los Angeles and establishing her relationship with Gersh.

John Sloss Pres Cinetic Media

John Sloss is the founder of the entertainment and media advisory firm Cinetic Media and a co-founder of FilmBuff. He is also the founder of and a partner in the entertainment law firm Sloss Eckhouse LawCo LLP. He recently co-founded Producers Distribution Agency, the theatrical distributor of Exit Through the Gift Shop, Senna, The Way and Brooklyn Castle.

Through Cinetic Media, Sloss has facilitated the sale and/or financing of well over 300 films including Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, The House I Live In, Safety Not Guaranteed, Friends With Kids, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Red State, The Kids Are All Right, Precious, Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, I’m Not There and Sundance Film Festival hits Napoleon Dynamite, Little Miss Sunshine, and Super Size Me. Sloss has executive produced over 60 films including Bernie, Before Midnight and the Academy Award®-winning The Fog of War and Boys Don’t Cry. His law clients include Killer Films, Richard Linklater, Kevin Smith, Bob Dylan, John Hamburg, Justin Lin, Jake Kasdan, the Isle of Man’s CinemaNX and Big Beach Films.

Prior to founding Sloss Law Office in 1993, Sloss was a partner at the international law firm Morrison & Foerster. Sloss received his J.D. and B.A. from the University of Michigan. He lives in New York with his daughter Loulou and son Henry.

Mike Ventimiglia No Mystery Studios

As head of No Mystery Media’s strategic development, Mike leads the company’s efforts to leverage its existing media catalog and production services portfolio to bring unique solutions to filmmakers and content producers. Mike brings over 15 years of professional experience providing creative and technical leadership, with a focus on disruptive product strategies in traditional markets.

Mike began his professional career at age 15, building and managing computer networks for regional internet provider Ultracom. Over the next four years, he would help grow Ultracom into a national broadband service provider, servicing over 10,000 customers before it’s acquisition by At age 20, Mike joined Exario Networks becoming part of a small team designing one of the earliest next generation voice enabled wide area networks providing customized voice and data solutions to companies in the retail and financial sectors including Ann Taylor, Gap, Prudential, and Merrill Lynch.

In 2005, Mike began transitioning into entertainment joining MediaSentry. There he helped develop anti-piracy, rights management and digital distribution products and strategies for a variety of media companies such as HBO and Warner Brothers, and their trade organizations RIAA and MPAA.

Mike is also an accomplished designer, serving as creative director on numerous projects in print, digital, and interaction design throughout his career.