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IIFF San Francisco Film Financing Townhall (April 2010): Networking & Education for Filmmakers & Financiers
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM (PDT)
San Francisco, CA
IIFF/SF Townhall Meeting at Academy of Art University –
Where Film & Finance Meet to Succeed Together
abstract | moderator | venue | schedule | program | bios | registration | help
The Bay Area chapter of the Institute for International Film Financing (IIFF) continues its acclaimed series of monthly gatherings at the junction of film & finance with another special Townhall Meeting in San Francisco. Our friends at Academy of Art University are again hosting us at their new facilities in the City's SoMa district, conveniently located just a short stroll from SF Caltrain Station at 4th & King.
This "grassroots" community get-together is designed to foster & inform productive relationships between attending professionals and to provide unbiased insight & education about the business of film (and film financing in particular). The event features a powerful roster of highly topical speakers from the filmmaking and financial industries. We are delighted to once again welcome real-world financiers among our guests for the evening!
IIFF's one-of-a-kind mission is to sustainably expand the scope & appeal of film financing, and to do so for the benefit of the public at large. True to our proven motto of "democratizing film financing," IIFF's regular Townhall Meetings bring together a wide array of professionals from relevant backgrounds in film, finance and beyond for a vibrant evening of insightful presentations and speeches, inspiring discussion and focused networking. Past meetings (e.g.: January '08 Bay Area Townhall in San Francisco, CA, January '08 Los Angeles Townhall in Venice, CA & January '08 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan | December '07 Bay Area Townhall in San Francisco, CA, December '07 Los Angeles Townhall in Santa Monica, CA, December '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan & December '07 New England Townhall in Providence, RI | November '07 Bay Area Townhall in San Francisco, CA & November '07 New England Townhall in Norwalk, CT | October '07 Los Angeles Townhall in Santa Monica, CA, October '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan & October '07 New England Townhall in Boston, MA | September '07 Los Angeles Townhall in Santa Monica, CA & September '07 New England Townhall in Norwalk, CT | August '07 Los Angeles Townhall in Santa Monica, CA & August '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan | July '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan & July '07 Los Angeles Townhall in Santa Monica, CA | June '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan | May '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan & May '07 Bay Area Townhall in Mountain View, CA | April '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan & April '07 Bay Area Townhall in San Francisco, CA | March '07 New England Townhall in Stowe, VT, March '07 Bay Area Townhall in San Rafael, CA & March '07 New York Metro Townhall in Manhattan | February '07 Townhall West in San Francisco, CA & February '07 Townhall East in New York City | January '07 Townhall in Santa Cruz, CA | December '06 Townhall East in New York City & December '06 Townhall West in San Francisco, CA | October '06 Townhall in New York City | September '06 Townhall in Oakland, CA | July '06 Townhall in Palo Alto, CA | June '06 Townhall in San José, CA | May '06 Townhall in San Francisco, CA | April '06 Townhall at Stanford business school) have reliably delivered useful insights into the business of film, provided valuable networking opportunities, and managed to draw large and enthusiastic crowds.
Who should attend? Entrepreneurs, technologists, attorneys, bankers, investment managers, venture capitalists and other non-film professionals are cordially invited to learn more about independent film. Are you considering taking an active role in film or would you like to expand your current involvement? Don't miss this opportunity to connect with the like-minded… Established and aspiring filmmakers are, naturally, more than welcome to join us as well!
The evening's five presentations plus panel discussion will address key issues relevant to filmmakers, financiers, and anyone interested in the economics, business mechanics, and financial dynamics of film. They will be followed by Q&A time. Attendees will also have ample opportunity to interact & network with our distinguished presenters and panelists and amongst themselves.
An informal après-meeting celebration will take place at an area restaurant!
The event will be moderated by Thomas Trenker (LinkedIn profile | full bio | brief bio) who founded the Institute for Int'l Film Financing (IIFF) and runs FilmAngels, the world's first professional angel investor group for independent film. Besides that and organizing a variety of events and initiatives at the junction of filmmaking, entrepreneurship and venture capital, Thomas is always on the lookout for worthwhile and intriguing new indie film projects that are seeking investor financing. Don't hesitate to connect with him on LinkedIn or in person at this or another upcoming IIFF meeting.
Academy of Art University (AAU) – School of Motion Pictures & Television
466 Townsend Street (btw. 5th & 6th St.)
Room #230 – 2nd floor
San Francisco, CA 94107
Driving & parking directions: Our meeting venue is easily reachable by car from the South Bay via nearby Highway 101 North (US-101 N) or nearby Interstate 280 North (I-280 N), and from the East Bay via nearby Interstate 80 West (I-80 W). Find a comprehensive overview of directions to 466 Townsend St. from different parts of the Bay Area here. Personalized driving directions can also be obtained from the above-listed online mapping services; just follow the link of your choice and enter your start address where required. Curbside parking is generally available at and around 466 Townsend St.; a map of parking facilities in the vicinity of our venue can be found here.
Nearest public transportation stop & walking directions (ca. 0.3 miles or 7 mins): San Francisco Caltrain Station at 4th & King St. is just a short walk from our venue at 466 Townsend St. Take Caltrain or Muni Metro line N Judah to 4th & King St. (San Francisco Caltrain Station), then walk northwest on 4th St. toward Townsend St.; turn left onto Townsend and proceed approx. 2 blocks to the last building on the right-hand side of the second block, a large warehouse-like facility, where our meeting takes place – look for Academy of Art University's signature red, white & black logo above the entrance!
This month's Film Financing Townhall in the Bay Area is graciously hosted by Academy of Art University (AAU), a leading private university founded in 1929 in San Francisco. With nearly 10,000 students that occupy its 30+ buildings in downtown San Francisco, AAU is considered the largest private school of art and design in the United States. It offers both traditional on-campus and online distance-education degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of fine arts-related majors, including Motion Pictures & Television and Animation & Visual Effects. In May 2007, AAU was granted regional accreditation by the Senior Commission of the prestigious Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC), one of the six major regional accreditation commissions recognized by the US Department of Education.
At AAU's School of Motion Pictures & Television, students learn the ins and outs of "Lights, Camera, Action!" in a real-world movie studio setting with state-of-the-art equipment and guidance by top industry professionals. The School fosters creativity and independence in filmmaking as an art while also providing instruction in the commercial aspects of filmmaking as a business. The School's educational approach is dedicated to practical, hands-on training in a collaborative framework. Students are immersed in a broad range of filmmaking skills, including producing, directing, cinematography, lighting, sound, editing, and screenwriting. Ultimately, they concentrate on one area and train to become highly employable specialists in their chosen field.
6:30 PM ... Kick-Off & Welcome
6:30-7:30 PM ... Three Featured Presentations with Q&A (3x 20 mins)
7:30-7:45 PM ... Networking Break I (15 mins)
7:45-8:45 PM ... Two Featured Presentations with Q&A (2x 30 mins)
8:45-9:00 PM ... Networking Break II (15 mins)
9:00-9:30 PM ... Moderated Panel Discussion with Q&A (30 mins)
9:30+ PM ... Community time at area restaurant
— by DAVID WILLIAMS (bio), Founder, Williams Capital Advisors; Seasoned Investment Banker and Venture Capitalist; Most notable clients are billion dollar companies such as Samsung and Baidu, China’s number one search provider and the 8th most popular website on the internet; Formerly Director of Global Venture Banking and Head of Asia Venture Banking for Merrill Lynch ... »
— by ARNOLD LEE (bio), Managing Director at Aria Capital; Visionary investor and venture capitalist; Has worked in 11 countries around globe, providing investment analysis strategies and shareholder-value platforms; Clients included Coca-Cola, American Express, Philips Electronics, and Fosters Brewing ... »
— by jamie mcgurk (bio), Director of Media and Communications at ThinkEquity; Specialist in venture capital investments in technology and media; Previously worked for several high profile financial companies, such as HSBC, Coqui Capital Partners, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley; Acted as principal on over 20 financing, restructuring, and merger & acquisition transactions ... »
— by BILL GUTTENTAG (bio), Prolific documentary producer; Has won two Academy Awards and two Emmys for documentary film producing; Created and exec-produced the NBC TV series, “Crime and Punishment” ... »
— by THOMAS TRENKER (bio), Wall Street investment banker & Silicon Valley high-tech executive turned social entrepreneur & film financier; Founder & Chairman at Institute for Int'l Film Financing (IIFF), created to bridge gap between filmmaking & finance communities; Managing Director at FilmAngels, world's first professional angel investor organization for film; fmr. CFO at pioneering web video startup Eveo; fmr. technology investment banker at Deutsche Bank ... »
– DAVID WILLIAMS (topic): David Williams is a seasoned Investment Banker and Venture Capitalist, currently at the helm of Williams Capital Advisors, LLC. He has provided his expert opinion on venture capital funding and investment banking for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, and Asiaweek. As Founder & CEO of Williams Capital Advisors, David advises North American, European, and Asian clients on mergers, acquisitions, corporate finance, and capital raising. Among Williams Capital’s most notable clients are billion dollar companies such as Samsung and Baidu, China’s number one search provider and the 8th most popular website on the internet. Prior to founding Williams Capital Advisors, David was Director of Global Venture Banking and Head of Asia Venture Banking for Merrill Lynch. There, he forged relationships with Asia’s most successful venture capital and portfolio firms. During an earlier stint at Merrill Lynch, David founded Asia’s first ever dedicated Internet Technology investment banking group. He took the group from inception to a #1 ranking in guiding greater China and India’s most prominent tech firms to NASDAQ IPOs, and later mergers & acquisitions. David’s career in the realm of venture capital and investment banking has found him also working for the likes of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Salomon Brothers, and Dean Witter Reynolds. David received his BS in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1990), and his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (1996). »
– ARNOLD LEE (topic): Arnold H. Lee is the Managing Director of Aria Capital Management. He is an advisor providing financial and strategic advice to a variety of start-up and privately-held companies. He has significant experience in entrepreneurship, investment management, strategy development, corporate finance, and operations management in a wide range of industries both domestically and internationally. He has substantial industry experience in the technology, venture capital, financial services, management consulting, consumer products, business services, and media industries. Arnold has experience as an entrepreneur as the Co-Founder & CEO of Bigfoot Media (a newspaper publishing company). He is also experienced in venture capital having worked as a Principal at Tandem Computers in Corporate Venture Capital & Strategy. Arnold is a former strategy consultant with A.T. Kearney (a global management consulting firm) where he was a co-founder and Manager of the firm's Corporate Strategy and Shareholder Value Practice. He also worked with Marakon Associates (a management consulting firm) which pioneered the use of shareholder value-based management principles and practices. He led many engagements in which he identified significant shareholder value creation opportunities with leading global companies: e.g., The Coca-Cola Company, American Express, Fosters Brewing, and Philips Electronics. Arnold has an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business where he contributed research to the best-selling management book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. Arnold also has a B.A. from Oberlin College where he was nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship. »
– JAMIE MCGURK (topic): Jamie McGurk is a proven specialist in venture capital investments in technology and media, and currently serves as Director of Media & Communications at investment banking firm, ThinkEquity. He also currently serves as Director of cutting-edge online advertising company, Appssavvy. Jamie’s experiences prior to ThinkEquity includes work at powerhouse financial corporations such as HSBC, Coqui Capital Partners, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley. While at Coqui Capital Partners, Jamie acted as principal on over 20 financing, restructuring, and merger & acquisition transactions throughout the investment cycle. He was involved in advising and participating in board meetings with 13 different portfolio companies, leading management to successful strategy and operations solutions. His mergers & acquisitions knowledge was put to work for high-profile firms while at JPMorgan, and provided his fixed-income expertise at Morgan Stanley. Jamie received his BS in Finance from Marist College, and MBA from Georgetown University. »
– BILL GUTTENTAG (topic): Bill Guttentag is an acclaimed two-time Oscar-winning documentary and feature film writer-producer-director. “Live!,” a dramatic feature he wrote and directed starring Eva Mendes, Andre Braugher, David Krumholtz, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, was produced by Chuck Roven/Mosaic Media Group. The film was distributed domestically by The Weinstein Company, and its international distribution includes Lionsgate. He also wrote and directed “Nanking,” a documentary which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. The film includes a stage reading he wrote which features Woody Harrelson, Mariel Hemingway, and Jürgen Prochnow. Nanking had national theatrical distribution by THINKFilm. In 2003 Bill Guttentag won an Oscar for the documentary “Twin Towers” (Universal). He has also has received a second Oscar, three additional Oscar nominations, a Peabody Award, three Emmy Awards, two additional Emmy nominations, two Writers Guild Award nominations, a Producers Guild Award nomination, and a Robert Kennedy Journalism Award. His films have been selected for the Sundance Film Festival three times, and have played and won awards at numerous American and international film festivals. They have also received a number of special screenings internationally and in the US, including at the White House. His most recent film, “Soundtrack for a Revolution” (Wild Bunch) had its international premiere at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and US premiere at Tribeca. The film features updated renditions of classic civil rights songs, and musicians performing in the film include John Legend, Joss Stone, The Roots, and Wyclef Jean. The film, which will be released theatrically this year, was nominated for WGA and Producers Guild awards, has won awards at a number of US and international film festivals, and was short-listed for the 2009 Academy Awards. Bill Guttentag created and executive produced the NBC series “Crime & Punishment,” which ran for three seasons (2002-2004). The series was part of theLaw & Order family of shows, and was created with Dick Wolf, who was also an executive producer. Over the series’ run, nearly every show was in the Nielsen top 20. His recent film, Nanking, won awards at a number of US and international film festivals (including Sundance), had a national theatrical release, and later aired on Cinemax. Guttentag was nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for Nanking, the film was short-listed for an Oscar, and won a Peabody Award and Emmy Award. Nanking was also released in China and became the highest grossing theatrical documentary in Chinese history. Guttentag has directed films for HBO, ABC, CBS, TNT, and others. His films include The Cocaine War, an ABC News/Peter Jennings Reporting special on the drug war in South America, and You Don't Have to Die, a film he made for HBO, for which he also won an Oscar. Since 2001 he has been teaching a class on the film and television business at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. »
– Thomas Trenker (topic): A Wall Street investment banker and Silicon Valley startup executive turned independent film financier, Thomas Trenker (LinkedIn profile | full bio) serves as Chairman of the Institute for Int'l Film Financing (IIFF), an innovative, independent social-impact organization that endeavors to bridge the gap between the worlds of filmmaking and finance for the benefit of all stakeholders, including the public at large. IIFF was founded in 2003 and incorporated in California as a not-for-profit, public benefit corporation. Headquartered in San Francisco, IIFF has active chapters in multiple cities across the US and continues to grow and expand rapidly. Trenker is also Managing Director of FilmAngels, the world's first professional angel investor organization for film. Modeled after the way successful angel groups function in Silicon Valley, and adapted to the unique characteristics of the movie industry, FilmAngels focuses exclusively on the financing of independent films and film-related ventures. FilmAngels was founded by a group of accomplished Silicon Valley professionals with backgrounds in venture capital, investment banking, corporate law, real estate, software, and angel investing. The founding team developed the FilmAngels process and established the FilmAngels organization to address the unfilled need for a structured, highly efficient and, ultimately, more effective environment for the screening and financing of high-risk independent film projects. In addition to his leadership roles at FilmAngels and IIFF, Trenker organizes a variety of events and initiatives at the junction of filmmaking, entrepreneurship and venture capital. He is always on the lookout for worthwhile and intriguing new indie film projects that are seeking investor financing; don't hesitate to connect with Trenker on LinkedIn or at an upcoming IIFF meeting. »
Early bird registration (ends 3 weeks before event):
IIFF Member ... $25
Non-member ... $45
Regular registration (ends 1 week before event):
IIFF Member ... $35
Non-member ... $55
Last minute registration (ends 1 day before event):
IIFF Member ... $45
Non-member ... $65
On-site registration (at the door):
IIFF Member ... $55
Non-member ... $75
To learn more about membership with IIFF, email our Membership Bureau, or approach an IIFF team member at or after the event.
The following quotes are samples of what others say about IIFF meetings…
"Wow. Last night was great! I want to thank you again for the inspiring work you do. This is such a big need […] and you're truly doing the work of angels (literally and figuratively)." — Brant Smith, Producer, "Quality of Life"
"I really must say that I found all speakers very interesting, and I was hanging on their every word. IIFF, the mission and content, seems to be a good fit for me, because it is my dream to run a medium size production house. […] Thank you, BIG THANK YOU […], for inviting me to this very quality and important event." — John Henry, Owner, John Henry Filmworks
"Let me again say I think you did a great job putting yesterday's event together – great crowd, smart presentation, lots of enthusiasm." — David Rosen, Executive Producer/Convener, Digital Independence
"Wow! For such a moderate investment, so much information. So much good networking. I hope you are proud of the magic you've created with IIFF." — Kevin Morrison, Writer/Director/Producer of independent film & TV
"I just wanted to say thanks for another great and informative meeting. The speakers were impressive and I made some good contacts." — Jesse Ford, Founder & Executive Director, Group Hug Productions
"IIFF and FilmAngels has really impressed me so far with its focus on the independent film community. I've traveled and interacted with film organizations around the world […]." — Jin Woo Joo, Founder, Cinemasports
"Thanks so much for hosting such an interesting program last week. I am always inspired by the creativity, and most recently, by the commitment to 'a better world'. It keeps my cynic's heart at bay! […] again, my heartfelt thanks for your mission and execution. Well done!" — Teri Cundall, Founder & President, Propville.com
"The event was great, very helpful." — Marc Perez, Co-President & Founding Partner, Sirk Productions
"[…] I greatly enjoyed attending last night's event and found it very informative - certainly something that's been missing in New York so far." — Michael Gunther, Director/Producer, Triboro Pictures
"Great presentation tonight. Lots of energetic discussions and questions." — Campbell Dalglish, Prof. of Screenwriting, MFA in Film & Video at CUNY
"Thanks so much for tonight's event. It was really inspiring and incredibly informative." — Elizabeth Foley, Founding Faculty Member, Producing Dep't at NYFA
"I enjoyed this evening's townhall presentation and found it very informative." — William Doll, Writer/Director, World Stage Pictures
"Your Townhall mtg was stimulating. You managed to attract the right target audience, and I loved your choice of speakers." — Sandra Schulberg, Founder, Independent Feature Project (IFP)
"I attended the New York Townhall Meeting and just wanted to thank you for setting up such an informative colloquium. It was my first IIFF event and I look forward to attending more in the future." — Blythe Frank, Producer, "Kettle of Fish" (Michael Mailer Films)
"Thank you again for a wonderful event last night." — Morgan Pehme, Co-Founder & CEO, Merlion Entertainment
"I'm just writing […] pertaining to the IIFF meeting last night, which I found both entertaining and informative and also promising of great things to come from IIFF in the near future!" — Thomas Woodrow, Producer, Furnace Films
"I attended the IIFF Townhall last week in New York and came away impressed. Thank you for putting together such an excellent panel of speakers. I found [Mr. Trenker's] presentation especially useful. As a former quant at Putnam Investments, I tend to dig into the numbers and [Mr. Trenker's] analysis was illuminating." — Robert Milacci, Executive Producer, Sinestra Pictures
"I very much enjoyed the seminar last Saturday in Stowe, VT. It was a lot of driving in one day (3.25 hrs. each way…), but worth it. […] Thanks again for a very enlightening day." — Marjorie Short, Oscar-nominated Writer/Producer/Director, Short Productions
"Just a note to say Larry Meistrich had a good time last night and was impressed with the quality of the group." — Jeff Silverstein, President of NEHST Access + Learning, NEHST Studios
"As it turns out, my producing partner [producer/director Leszek Burzynski] attended your IIFF meeting in Santa Monica on July 16. He was quite impressed with the presentations." — Terrance Sweeney, Partner & Producer, Winning Team Studios
"I just wanted to say thanks again for putting on such a great forum last night. […] I really enjoyed the occasion and especially the presentations. They were extremely relevant and really strong, credible presenters." — Gordon Clark, CEO, The Movie Portfolio Fund
"First, I wanted to say how much I really enjoyed your premier IIFF/LA seminar…!" — Frank Sacks, Founder & Principal, The Frank Sacks Company
"I had a very enjoyable experience. The seminar was extremely professional and well put together." — Adam Tantleff, Founder, President & Executive Producer, Sinestra Pictures
"THANKS […] There are no organizations or groups that I have come across that are doing what you and FilmAngels are doing." — J. Martin, Co-Owner, 24 Bros Entertainment
"I cannot express enough gratitude toward the great job that you are doing to help talented filmmakers realize their dreams. God bless you!" — Mara Vardanyan, Producer, Roman Pictures
"Your seminars are FIRST RATE!" — Rowan Joseph, President, Greenwood Hill Productions
"Thanks for organizing a great event. I thought it was a very interesting group of speakers." — Tricia van Klaveren, Producer/Exec. Producer & Principal, Fully Loaded Pictures
"[T]hank you for a terrific meeting last night…" — Greg Lejnieks, Actor/Filmmaker, Art Dealer & fmr. Pro Soccer Player
"First of all, thank you for hosting the Film Financing seminar. Very, very informative. I hope you have another one very soon." — Richard Beaty, Writer/Producer/Director & Co-Owner, Cielo Azul Films
"Just wanted to say 'thank you' for last night's IIFF meeting. […] The slides look great […]. I look forward to the next meeting." — Robert Pratten, Founder & Writer/Director, Zen Films
"I'm a big fan of all you're doing with IIFF… very inspiring to filmmakers." — Thomas Mignone, Director/Writer, DOOM Incorporated
"Thank you for hosting the [Workshop] last week. It was very informative and [the instructor] was spectacular. I learned a lot and met several fantastic people." — Lisa McTigue, Producer/Director, Three Masked Peeps Productions
"Thank you for inviting us to present to your [FilmAngels] groups in both Palo Alto and San Francisco. The attendees were warm and educated investors. You've done a terrific job gathering people with a passion for film." — Julie Richardson, Producer, "Collateral" (Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx)
"First, I simply must say what an amazingly informative session it was and well carried out by [Workshop instructor] Tricia van Klaveren and her guest speakers. It packed a memorable punch. […] I had never heard of IIFF previously and now look forward to more of the same from you guys." — Teo, CEO, Cool Room Entertainment
"I must thank you for sending [Workshop instructor] Dr. Patrick O'Heffernan down to Los Angeles last month. It was the best $200 I have ever spent on a seminar. [S]ince Patrick has both raised money and invested money, his perspective was simply invaluable!!!" — Rosser Goodman, Director, KGB Films
"It was another great event and I appreciate all your work […]. Thank you." — Paul Oja, Writer/Director, "Bus Trip"
"You assembled an impressive group of speakers (and characters). […] I think we share a strong desire to help filmmakers." — Darren Ehlers, COO, Scenechronize
Would you like to speak out? We want to hear from you! Send us your comments by email.
Link to us:
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- IIFF/SF Townhall on 4/28 ... http://sfb.filmfinancing.org/042810
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Copyright © 2010 Institute for Int'l Film Financing (IIFF). All Rights Reserved.
When & Where
IIFF San Francisco Bay Area
The Institute for International Film Financing (IIFF) is an innovative, independent social-impact organization that endeavors to bridge the gap between the worlds of filmmaking and finance for the benefit of all stakeholders – including the public at large.
Founded by Thomas Trenker in 2003 and headquartered in San Francisco, IIFF has chapters in the Bay Area, New York City, New England, Florida, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, London, the Pacific Northwest, the Lower Midwest, the Southwest and the Great Lakes Region.
Help launch or run an IIFF chapter in your area! We make it easy and worthwhile. Email the chapter development team and tell us about yourself. Or join our online community at http://forum.filmfinancing.org to keep in touch with a growing number of filmmakers and financiers.