2011 Fourth Annual Bel-Air Film Festival Announces Film Panel


“How to Make Films that Make Money and are Seen”, told from the perspective of Top Industry Pros, to Highlight The Bel-Air Film Festival

September 19th, 2011 (LOS ANGELES) - The 4th annual Bel-Air Film Festival, which runs from October 12th to October 17th, 2011, announces a much anticipated film panel discussion to its lineup of events to celebrate independent film from around the world. Esteemed entertainment attorney and film legal expert, Mitra Ahouraian, brings together some of Hollywood’s foremost producers, directors, financiers, and experts at the Luxe Sunset Hotel on Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 7:00PM. Ahouraian, in classic journalistic style, will moderate the panel to bring out the wealth of experience and knowledge gained by these experts throughout their years in Hollywood and their rise to the top. The panel, “Film Distribution in 2011 and Beyond,” will feature inside information told directly from the mouths of those who have achieved enormous success in what is often considered the toughest industry in the world--an industry that has become even tougher as studios are producing less and less films. This trend has left a wide-open space for independent filmmakers to fill, and has resulted in notable changes in film distribution models.

Confirmed panelists at this year’s event include veteran filmmaker Howard Rosenman who produced Father of the Bride and Family Man, amongst many others, and made his acting debut in the Academy Award-winning Milk, starring Sean Penn and Josh Brolin; Palak Patel, President of Production of Joe Roth’s production company, Roth Films, who produced Alice In Wonderland for Disney (grossing $1 billion world-wide at the box-office) and Knight and Day for Twentieth Century Fox, and is currently producing Oz The Great and Powerful, (starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michele Williams) and Snow White and the Huntsman (starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, and Chris Hemsworth); Prolific filmmaker Demian Lichtenstein, whose film credits include writing, directing, and producing 3000 Miles to Graceland for Warner Brothers (starring Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell, Christian Slater, and Courtney Cox), and most recently, the international documentary Discover the Gift, featuring the Dalai Lama and Jack Canfield (author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”). Robert Cain, whose 20 year expertise in Hollywood includes international production, finance, strategy and corporate development for most of Hollywood’s major studios and talent guides, and managing international entertainment projects in China, Russia, Mexico, Canada, India, the U.K. and the U.S. Cain’s film experience extends from finance and distribution management to creative duties on more than a dozen successful films, including such critical and commercial successes as The Usual Suspects, Breakdown, Bound, Blade 2, Cabin Fever, and the Academy Award nominated foreign film Mongol. Ken Markman, CEO of KKM Global Brand Strategies, whose wide range of expertise includes marketing entertainment, and advertising and licensing consumer products, including the marketing of over 450 motion pictures, and generating brand revenue in excess of $2 billion. Markman served in senior management positions at major corporations including Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and Mattel, amongst others, where he created the marketing campaigns for many successful films including The Empire Strikes Back, ET, Scarface, and Sophie’s Choice.

Hollywood has always been a tough market to break into. With tens of thousands of people trying to break into the entertainment industry with screenplays, short films, YouTube videos, and talent showcases, it has become only tougher now that studios are putting out out only a dozen or so films a year, and focusing more on tent-pole films. This panel discussion, (which will close with a question and answer session), will be indispensable to those trying to figure out the best way to gear their work towards monetizing in light of the changes in distribution models, allowing them to rise above the pabulum. Topics will include everything from recent trends and changes in film distribution models, what filmmakers can expect in the future, and how to choose or direct projects to maximize profits in light of new forms of film distribution. The panel will specifically address trends in foreign vs. domestic distribution, doing business in China, online distribution, 3D films--fad or here to stay, what Netflix, Redbox, and Google TV mean for film makers, and the narrowing windows from theatrical to VOD, dvd, and other formats.

“The panelists, with all their years of experience and success, will truly be able to dispense practical, need-to-know information that you really can’t learn from any book or website. This event is about acknowledging the increasing difficulty of achieving and maintaining financial success in filmmaking. Our panelists this year are unique in that they have been in the film market for some time, with undeniable successes, and are able to share their knowledge and insight into the changes they’ve seen in the last few years,” Ahouraian adds with great enthusiasm.

Mitra Ahouraian is a noted entertainment attorney and legal expert whose firm assists individual and corporate clients worldwide in the feature film, music and publishing arenas. “The Bel-Air Film Festival, often compared to the Hamptons Film Festival in New York, highlights everything that is great and relevant about global independent film,” notes Ahouraian. “It not only creates conversation regarding films that deserve to be seen, but also, assists those in the local and national film community to create a voice for themselves in a market where it is very hard to break through.”

Mission Statement:
The Bel-Air Film Festival promotes the appreciation and knowledge of film, and seeks to recognize the most creative films and individuals in the film industry each year. The Festival’s goal is to inspire filmmakers and help provide them with the resources needed to further their knowledge.

Sponsors: Jet Blue, Gridlock Denim, Luxe Sunset Hotel, UCLA James Bridges Theatre, Open Air Productions, Real TV Films

For more information please visit: http://www.belairfilmfestival.com