Panel - The State of the Industry



Rafael 3 Sat, Oct 17, 2015 1:00 PM
Film Info
Section:Behind the Screens
Running Time:90 min


What do today’s new technologies and DIY distribution models mean for the independent filmmaker? How can you connect with your audience in an increasingly crowded entertainment landscape? The rules are currently being rewritten, and there’s never been a better time to explore new sustainable business models that enable filmmakers to thrive.

Reception to follow at Vin Antico, 881 Fourth St, San Rafael

Additional Information


ED ARENTZ is co-founder and managing director of Music Box Films, one of the US’s leading art house distributors. In a 25-year career in specialty distribution he has acquired and released over 100 features. Prominent past releases include the original Swedish version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; the Emmy award-winning French TV series Les Revenants (The Returned); Pawel Pawlikowski’s Best Foreign Language Oscar winner Ida and, most recently, the Sundance Audience Award-winning Meru. Ed also programmed one of Manhattan’s oldest art cinemas, Cinema Village, from 1993 to 2014.

RUSS COLLINS is the CEO of a non-profit family of cinema and historic preservation businesses. Since 1982 he has been in charge of operating and programming a beautifully restored 1920s-era movie palace, the Michigan Theater, in Ann Arbor; in 2014 his organization took on the programming and improvement of the State Theatre, a 1940s cinema-style theater also in Ann Arbor. He is the founder and conference director of the Art House Convergence, a conference presented in Utah in association with the Sundance Film Festival; and the founder and artistic director of the Cinetopia Festival, Detroit’s International Film Festival. IndieWire named Collins to the first class of American independent film “Influencers.” He served as a Professional Theatre Program Fellow of the University of Michigan, an Arts Administration Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts and was knighted by the Republic of Italy as Calvaliere nell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana for his promotion of Italian film culture in the US. He regularly teaches university film studies and arts administration classes.

ETHAN WILEY started his career as a special effects artist on blockbuster films such as Return of the Jedi and Gremlins. Next he became a screenwriter, director and producer for twelve feature films to date, including the hit cult classics House and House 2, Children of the Corn 5, and family comedy Elf-Man. In 2005, Wiley started his own production company, Wiseacre Films, specializing in micro-budget and low-budget film productions. Wiseacre's latest movie is the Chinese co-production Journey to the Forbidden Valley, filmed entirely in mainland China. All six films released by Wiseacre Films have received independent U.S. domestic and worldwide international distribution. In 2015, Wiley launched Lagunitas Films with producing partner Bous de Jong, specializing in documentary production. He is currently directing Dude Ranch Dada, about the San Francisco art scene in the 1960s.

IRA DEUTCHMAN has been making, marketing, and distributing films since 1975 and has worked on over 150 films. He was one of the founders of Cinecom and later Fine Line Features. Currently Deutchman is a consultant in marketing and distribution of independent films. His clients include Emerging Pictures, a New York-based digital exhibition company that he co-founded in 2002. He is professor of Professional Practice in the School of the Arts at Columbia University, where he was the Chair of the Film Program from 2011-2015. Among the over 60 films he acquired and released at Fine Line were An Angel at My Table, My Own Private Idaho, Night on Earth, The Player, Short Cuts, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, Naked, and the award-winning Hoop Dreams. Other films he has worked on include Sex, Lies, and Videotape, To Sleep with Anger, Metropolitan, A Room with a View, Stop Making Sense, El Norte, and The Brother from Another Planet.

KOMAL MINHAS is an Indo-Canadian film producer, writer, and investor who started her first company, KoMedia, when she was 23. She has been deeply committed to improving the lives of women and girls globally and aims to champion this work through her continued investments and work in film and storytelling. Minhas is the producer of Dream, Girl, which explores the stories of successful and ambitious female entrepreneurs. Her future projects include Without Love It Ain’t Much and an untitled documentary about female genital mutilation in West Africa. Komal writes for The Huffington Post and enjoys creating original YouTube content as she travels the world working with women and girls. She has won awards for her gender and film-related work from the government of Ontario and was selected as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum in 2012.

Moderator MARK FISHKIN is the founder and executive director of the California Film Institute, a not-for-profit institution that produces the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, and CFI Education. Fishkin been recognized by the Mill Valley Arts Commission with a “Milley” Award for Contribution to the Arts and in September 2003 received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Dominican University of California. In 2013 he was appointed to the San Francisco Film Commission. Fishkin participates on panels in the US and abroad, in locales such as Cannes, France, Australia, Hong Kong, China, and Florida.