Clay Epstein elected President of the Independent Film & Television Alliance


The Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®) announced the results of its annual elections to select the organization’s president and board of directors for the 2021-2023 term.

Clay Epstein, president of Film Mode Entertainment, has been elected president of IFTA. The following seven people were elected to serve on the 15-person IFTA Board of Directors: JD Beaufils (VMI Worldwide), Jason Buckley (Lakeshore Entertainment), David Fannon (Screen Media), Lisa Gutberlet (Blue Fox Entertainment) , Nat McCormick (The Exchange) Michael Ryan (GFM) and Rob Williams (Participant Media).

These newly elected executives join those currently serving the second year of their two-year tenure as IFTA board members: Scott Bedno (Myriad Pictures), Jody Cipriano (MarVista Entertainment), Patrick Ewald (Epic Pictures Group), Will Machin (Metro International Entertainment), Wendy Reeds (Lionsgate), Lise Romanoff (Vision Films) and Nick Spicer (XYZ Films).

“I am honored that our members have asked me to lead them as president,” said Epstein. “The future of our industry depends on the talent and energy of the independent community. IFTA is the only unified voice of independents and it has never been more important to ensure opportunity and success for our members, colleagues, filmmakers and the global industry.

Epstein, who was first elected to the IFTA board in 2008 and has also served regularly on its executive committee, will succeed longtime outgoing president Michael Ryan. Ryan will continue as a member of the board of directors. One of the founding members of IFTA and the American Film Market, Ryan has served as president for three consecutive terms since 2015 as well as two terms between 2003 and 2007.

Ryan commented, “Clay has already made a significant contribution to IFTA and to the industry for years. His knowledge of the issues facing independents and his ability to lead this board of experienced and dedicated executives will be essential as the organization tackles these global obstacles. ”

Epstein launched Film Mode Entertainment, a global sales and distribution entity, in 2016. Previously, he was sure. Vice-President, Sales and Acquisitions at Arclight Films, where he was instrumental in the acquisition and representation of leading films, including that of Paul Schrader Dogs eat dogs and Predestination. Earlier in his career, he is credited with representing the prestigious Oscar winner Tsotsi and The last station, among others.

IFTA is the global trade association of independent film and television production, finance, distribution and sales companies. The organization represents the independent sector to governments and international bodies and provides important entertainment industry services to its member companies in 22 countries, consisting of independent production and distribution companies, sales agents and financial institutions engaged in the financing of production. Each November, it produces the annual American Film Market®, attracting more than 7,000 industry leaders from 70 countries and leading to more than $ 1 billion in film distribution and financing agreements. AFM 2021 will take place online for five days from November 1-5. IFTA also develops and publishes the IFTA® Model Agreements which articulate key standards and definitions for the licensing of international rights in motion pictures and television programs and manages the Arbitration Tribunal of the ‘IFTA®, which is a key forum for the resolution of disputes arising from international license transactions.


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