Marriott Burbank 2500 N. Hollywood Way
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Schedule & Sessions

AFCI Global Production & Finance Conference (April 6-7), offers unique insights into co-production, new incentives / tax reliefs and changes in the film financing landscape. View the complete speaker roster here.

Global Production & Finance Conference registration rates:

$299 USD On-site (Apr. 6 - 8)
Registration includes complimentary access to Locations Show

Register to Attend

See the complete schedule below:

Thursday, April 6, 2017
Title  Description  Date 


  • Rick Ambros, Partner, Lightsource Asia Media Group
  • Robert Cain, Partner, Lightsource Asia Media Group
  • Kevin Clark, Executive Director, AFCI
Thursday, April 6, 2017
9:20AM to 9:30AM 

Around the World in 90 Minutes

(Part 1): 
Opportunities, Options & Outcomes

From the smallest independent producers to the largest film & television projects, putting together a financing plan is one of the most important roles for producers today. Along with equity, debt, and pre-sales, it would be financially irresponsible for a producer not to consider production incentives -and often it is Production Incentives that becomes the key factor for locations and content, which drives film, television and even digital/new media project decisions.

In this session, Joe Chianese and John Hadity of Entertainment Partners, along with a panel of producers and film commissioners will examine the current state of incentives around the world.

How are these incentives influencing production decisions? What are the steady bets and who are the new players on the map for competitive incentives.

Learn what’s new, what’s changing, and what may be changing, and what else you need to know!

Michael Flannigan, Head of Production,  twofour54 

Panelists include: 

  • Ana Aizenberg, Executive Director, Argentina Film Commission
  • Sophio Bendiashvili, Head of Film in Georgia – Cash Rebate Program, Enterprise Georgia
  • Melanie Chebance, Film Commissioner, Film France
  • Tomasz Dabrowski, Film Commissioner, Film Commission Poland
  • Michael Flannigan, Head of Production,  twofour54
  • Jack Gerbes, Director, Maryland Film Office
  • Jay Hall, Executive Director, Kentucky Office of Film and Development
  • Kattie Kotok, EVP of US Production, British Film Commission
  • Amy Lemisch, Executive Director, California Film Commission
  • Kate Marks, EVP of International Production, AusFilm
  • Heather Page, Director of the Texas Film Commission
  • Sarah Platt, Director of International Engagement and Outreach, Wanda Studios Qingdao
  • Christianne Raab, Film Commissioner, German Federal Film Fund
  • Ralph Singleton, Savannah Film Commissioner
  • Einar Tomasson, Film Commissioner, Film in Iceland
  • TBD Representative of the Korean Film Council
  • Bas Van Der Ree, Netherlands Film Commissioner
  • Migde Velazquez, Head of International Operations, Cinecitta Studios
  • Sarah Westman-Liu, Senior Financial Analyst, Canada Film Capital

Sponsored by

Thursday, April 6, 2017
9:30AM to 11:00AM

Film Financing:
Types, Definitions & Risks

Dicey Presales, Dubious Chinese Cash, and Other Question Marks:
How Independents Currently Fund Their Projects

The old presale just ain’t what it used to be, and Chinese financiers keep failing to deliver on commitments to fund American entertainment. In a rapidly shifting money landscape, how are independent productions financed these days? Our panel of lenders, attorneys and production experts will share their insights.

Panelists include:

  • Rob Cain, Partner, Lightsource Asia Media Group (moderator)
  • Steve Berman, SVP of Production, Film Finances, Inc. 
  • Jeff Geoffray, Managing Partner, VX119 Media Capital, LLC
  • Bennett Pozil, ExecutiveVice President, EastWest Bank
  • Susan Zuckerman Williams, Partner, Loeb & Loeb


Sponsored by 

Thursday, April 6, 2017
11:15AM to 12:15PM

Global Film, Television and Digital Marketplace 

How do content creators, producers, independent production and distribution companies and studios adjust to the rapidly changing realities of the global film, television and OTT landscape.

Hear from top executives and producers how they structure and finance their projects through co-productions, soft money, international pre-sales and output deals.

Topics addressed include what territories are crucial for a film's success, how to find the right partners and how to navigate foreign markets. Additional talking points will address the latest disruptors affecting the traditional business model: growth of digital (OTT) as both content creators and distribution platforms, rise in local language production, emergence of new high growth territories and new cross-border and cross-cultural alliances.

Panelists include:

  • Rick Ambros, Partner, Lightsource Asia Media Group (moderator)
  • Alexandra Cocean, SVP, International Sales at Voltage Pictures
  • Marissa Roman Griffith, Partner - Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, and Feld
  • Miguel Palos, CFO, IM Global
  • Chris Payne, Head of International Relations, New Zealand Film Commission
  • Michael Uslan, Executive Producer of Batman Films and Chief Creative Officer at Uslan Entertainment

Sponsored by 

Thursday, April 6, 2017
12:15PM to 1:15PM
LUNCH    Thursday, April 6, 2017
1:15PM to 2:30PM

Georgia on My Mind:
Filmmaking in the Peach State

Monarch Private Capital’s Director of Film Finance, Chrissie Merrill, has assembled a diverse panel of film and financial industry executives to discuss the influence Georgia’s film, television and digital entertainment tax credits have had on film production in the state, as well as the state’s economy and future employment opportunities in film and technology fields.

Georgia on My Mind: Filmmaking in the Peach State offers exclusive access to film industry executives and financial experts sharing their expertise and knowledge on the role tax credits play in film location choice. Georgia’s film tax credit incentive has been the leading driver behind the state’s unprecedented growth in film production. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal designated 2017 the Year of Georgia Film, an initiative to expand the state’s camera-ready counties and grow its film production workforce.

Panelists include:

  • Chrissie Merrill, Director of Film Finance, Monarch Private Capital (moderator)
  • Mitch Bell, VP of Physical Production, Marvel
  • Jamila Fairley, Fox Tax Incentives Group
  • Tara Halloran, VP North American Partnerships, Pinewood International
  • Clint Mock, CPA, Frazier & Deeter 
  • Steve Weizenecker, Partner, Barnes and Thornburg - Atlanta

Sponsored by

Thursday, April 6, 2017
2:30PM to 3:30PM

China Working in

The Middle Kingdom

Hear first hand from executives and lawyers at the pointy end of production, financing and deal-making in China. From the basics to the more elliptical:

  • What’s the difference between treaty co-production, co-production and assisted production? What are the biggest misconceptions about doing business in China? 
  • How do sets run differently?
  • How does financing differ?
  • What are the biggest challenges faced when trying to develop content for the Chinese market? You’ll also hear about Wanda’s massive movie metropolis – Wanda Studios Qingdao. 

Panelists include:

  • Jess Conoplia, SVP - US Production & Events, British Film Commission and Partner, Lightsource Asia Media Group (moderator)
  • Gabriel Bloch, Production Executive, Alibaba Pictures Group Limited
  • Jing Cao, Attorney, O'Melveny & Myers
  • Aoni Ma, COO, Film Finance Asia
  • Chris Payne, Head of International Relations, New Zealand Film Commission
  • Sarah Platt, Director of International Engagement and Outreach, Wanda Studios
  • Elona Tsou, Physical Production Executive, Walt Disney Studios

Sponsored by 

Thursday, April 6, 2017
3:30PM to 4:30PM
Visit Locations Show

Global Production & Finance Conference attendees have free access to the exhibit floor.

Connect with more than 70 exhibitors from more than 20 countries!

Thursday, April 6, 2017
4:30PM to 5:30PM

The Social

Join us for The Social, a time Locations Show exhibitors and attendees to network and socialize with our Gloal Production & Finance Conference speakers. Partake in drinks and hors d'oeuvres while you catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Thursday, April 6, 2017
 to 8:00PM

Friday, April 7, 2017

Title  Description  Date 
Global Production & Finance Conference Day 2 Opening Remarks


  • Kevin Clark, Executive Director, AFCI 
  • Jess Conoplia, SVP - US Production & Events British Film Commission and Partner, Lightsource Asia Media Group
Friday, April 7, 2017
9:10AM to 9:15AM

Benefits of Filming in
Abu Dhabi with
Jassim Al Nowais

The Executive Director of twofour54, Abu Dhabi's media & entertainment hub, discusses the facilities, talent, services and incentives available to productions that shoot in Abu Dhabi.

Friday, April 7, 2017
9:20AM to 9:40AM

Island Filming: Shooting in the Dominican Republic, Fiji,Hawaii, and Canary Islands

Filming island style: Locations are important. Island filming is unique. Join Joe Chianese and John Hadity of Entertainment Partners as they lead us through a discussion on island filming.

Highlighted on this panel are: the diverse climates of the Dominican Republic, the largest and most diverse island in the Caribbean region, with a one of a kind 8 acre infinity pool style water tank at the Pinewood Studios. Also hear from representatives from breathtaking Fiji and Hawaii and learn about its strong production history and attractive offerings for filmmakers, and the Canary Islands with its white sandy virgin beaches, millenary leafy forests, breathtaking cliffs and 35% tax rebate for foreign production.

Come along on this island journey, and learn what these islands have to offer with regards to infrastructure, crew, incentives, and other important factors for when you bring your production to paradise. Bring your sunglasses, the prospects are bright & sunny!

Panelists include:

  • Joe Chianese, EVP, Entertainment Partners (moderator)
  • John Hadity, EVP, Entertainment Partners (moderator)
  • Donne Dawson, Film Commissioner, Hawaii State Film Commission
  • Carmen Díaz, Director, Gran Canaria Film Commission
  • Queila Delgado, Economic Representative, Canary Islands 
  • Mark Fasano, Partner and President, Production, Nickel City Pictures
  • Dallas Foon, CEO, FIlm Fiji
  • Ricardo S. Galindez, Co-Founder, Island Film Group
  • Albert Martínez, COO, Lantica Pictures

Sponsored by


Friday, April 7, 2017
9:45AM to 10:45AM

Shooting in Multiple Territories:

Logistics, Challenges and How to Access Incentives / Tax Credits Across Different Regions

How do film and television projects handle the challenges of shifting production bases across territories, how do they manage splitting post and VFX work and how do incentives and tax credits play a role?

In this session you'll hear first hand from the people behind some of the most talked about productions.

Panelists include:

  • Jeremy Kay, US Editor, Screen International (moderator)
  • Grant Hill, Producer ("Sense8")
  • Mary Ann Marino, Head of Physical Production, Amazon Studios, Original Movies
  • Greg Spence, Producer ("Game of Thrones")
Friday, April 7, 2017
10:45AM to 11:45AM

Around the World in 90 Minutes (Part 2): 
A Win-Win Proposition

Over the past eight years, Senoia has grown from a sleepy Georgian town to a major tourist destination due the fans of the television show The Walking Dead. Why? Production incentives! With other success stories like GAME OF THRONES, HOMELAND, and the upcoming hit series AMERICAN GODS (premiering on STARZ on April 30th), as well as the expansion of incentives into municipalities here in the U.S., incentives can be a win-win proposition for the producer, as well as the filming jurisdictions (with direct and indirect economic benefits).

More and more, jurisdictions are turning to incentive programs to put themselves on the filmmaking map – providing jobs, fueling new infrastructure, and bringing in "cine-tourism" revenue. From the allocation of tax dollars to film credit programs, jurisdictions expect a return on investment (ROI) and the level of ROI has been the subject of much attention recently.

In this session, please join Joe Chianese and John Hadity of Entertainment Partners, along with producers, film commissioners, financial analysts, and CPAs, who will discuss how production incentives have benefited jurisdictions – what works, what doesn’t, how can jurisdictions generate successful ROI model.

Panelists include:

  • Catherine Bates, Head of Incentives, New Zealand Film Commission
  • Michael Brien, Managing Director, Deloitte
  • Tomasz Dabrowski, Poland Film Commission 
  • George David, Royal Film Commission - Jordan
  • Rich Guay, Producer & Capacity Building Consultant
  • Krystal Jones, Film Commissioner, San Antonio Film Commission
  • Sandy Lighterman, Film & Entertainment Permit Coordinator, FilMiami
  • Chad Robinson, CPA & Principal, Kevin P. Martin & Associates P.C.
  • Steph Scupham, Kansas City Film Commissioner
  • Tava Sofsky, Director, Oklahoma Film & Music Office
  • Bas Van der Ree, The Netherlands Film Commission

Sponsored by

Friday, April 7, 2017
 to 1:15PM
LUNCH   Friday, April 7, 2017
1:15PM to 2:45PM

Sustainable Production:

Think Global, Act Local

How do we make our films?

And what is sustainable production anyway?

Sustainable Production - incorporating practices into the production process that reduce negative environmental impacts, engage positively with the community and align with the overall production budget.

The panel discussion will focus on best practices, incentives and engagement at the local level and how this strengthens the sustainable production movement globally

Panelists include:

  • Zena Harris, President, Green Spark Group (moderator)
  • Julie Bernard, Manager of Production Services, Creative BC
  • Matthew Carlisle, EVP, Physical Production, Paramount Television
  • Lisa Day, Director, Energy Initiative, 20th Century Fox
  • Emellie O'Brien, Founder & President  Earth Angel (NY)  
  • Mike Slavich, Director, Sustainability, Warner Bros. Entertainment 

Sponsored by 

& Supported by


Friday, April 7, 2017
 to 3:45PM
Global Production & Finance Conference Closing Remarks


  • Kevin Clark, Executive Director, AFCI 
Friday, April 7, 2017
3:45PM to 4:00PM
Visit Locations Show

Global Production & Finance Conference attendees have free access to the exhibit floor.

Connect with more than 70 exhibitors from more than 20 countries!

Friday, April 7, 2017
4:00PM to 5:30PM
The Bash

Unwind and mingle with Locations Show exhibitors and attendees Gloal Production & Finance Conference speakers and special invited guests at The Bash! Attendees will enjoy the sounds of industry rock cover band, Second Sight!

Live Performance by


Friday, April 7, 2017
5:30PM to 7:30PM

** Schedule subject to change **