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Film Financing Experts gather to share insight and knowledge on the global film industry

Nov 19, 2012

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Panelists offer practical advice on opportunities for financiers to become investors in film

Doha, Qatar; November 18, 2012: DFI Head of Film Financing Paul Miller and media finance advisor Hal Sadoff chaired a panel discussion on Investment Strategies in the Global Film Industry Sunday (November 18), hosted by Miramax, to discuss how films are financed and the changing nature of Studio verses Intendment film production.

The lunchtime industry session at the St. Regis Doha was held to engage Qatar’s most prestigious business leaders, to inform and inspire them regarding new ways of becoming involved in the growth of Qatar’s national film industry.

In opening remarks, H.E. Sheikh Hamad Bin Faisal Bin Thani Al-Thani, one of Qatar’s most influential business figures and Chairman and Managing Director of al khaliji, said: “There is a deep interest in cinema and the development of the film industry in Qatar. DFI is fulfilling the vision of developing a local film culture,” he said.

Going on to discuss how Qatar is looking to diversify the economy in the region, Sheikh Hamad Bin Faisal Bin Thani Al-Thani also stated that a unique opportunity for media stakeholders exists in the region due to the acceleration in growth of the global film market. “I’m positive the panel will inspire businesses to invest in local, regional and global films but its not just about business. Film can also inspire and drive social change and address important issues and subjects that can influence culture.”

DFI CEO Abdulaziz Al-Khater added: “DFI is focused on working with partners from across the spectrum of creative industries to help build a sustainable film industry in Qatar. This is about revitalising the cultural story of the Middle East and Arab world. Cinema is a powerful platform for telling stories, and through our financing initiatives we are extending our support to the regional talent.”

Paul Miller, head of film financing for DFI said: “This is about understanding and realising the film industry as potentially lucrative and a business to invest in. DFI cannot fulfil its mission alone without the support of financiers, banks and lawyers. Together we can help shape the Doha film industry. “

Hal Sadoff gave an overview of the Hollywood studio sector and the independent film sector and said it was a very exciting time for the independent film business. “Actors and directors are not working as much as Hollywood is focussing on big tentpole movies with fewer releases each year. So more actors and directors are available to the independent film sector and want to work. This means we can make more commercial movies at a lower cost with a higher value of talent.”

Key Findings from the Session Included:

  • The global movies & entertainment market had total revenues of $90.1 billion in 2011
  • Box office sales were the most lucrative for the global movies & entertainment market in 2011, with total revenues of $33.6 billion, equivalent to 37.3% of the market’s overall value
  • The performance of the market is forecast to accelerate, with an anticipated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.6% for the five-year period 2011 – 2016, which is expected to drive the market to a value of $93 billion by the end of 2016.
  • There is an anticipated 5% growth rate in the Middle East region
  • There is significant growth in the film sector in such emerging markets as China, India, South America and the Middle East
  • New technology is creating new forms of distribution for film outside of traditional cinema exhibition
  • The development of cable and satellite services and the VOD market makes it easier for consumers to access content in new and engaging ways

Panelists included:

Sam Kozhaya, Associate at Liner Grode Legal, USA
Specialises on equity and debt financing, mergers and acquisitions and bankruptcy matters

Oliver Simon, Founder and President of K5 Media Group UK
A sales agent and former producer who has made 11 feature films including Happy As One and Get Low.

Judith Chan, Senior Business Development Manager at Coutts UK
Director in the Media Banking division of Coutts, responsible for originating new business and developing new products for the bank specialising in film and TV transactions

Kurt Wollner, President of Film Finances Inc., USA
Woolner is co-chairman of Film Finances In, the world-leading company in completion guarantees for film and TV production

Pierre du Plessis, Deputy Managing Director at Pathe, France
Manages all of Pathe’s business affairs and legal functions, from development through to production financing

Robert Aarts, Chief Executive Officer at Fintage House, USA
Aarts is Co-Owner and Co-CEO Fintage House is a privately held global company that deals with film, TV and music rights.