Tifanie J. Acosta is the Founder and the Managing Partner at Entertainment Law Partners, PC, where she specializes in representing entertainment, corporate, entrepreneur clients as well as individual actors, performers, writers, authors, directors, executive producers, musicians, agents, PR agencies, managers, and producers in all aspects of the corporate, business, and entertainment industry.
She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder and her J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
Tifanie began her career as head of Business and Corporate Affairs for the prestigious personal management company of Royal and Associates in Beverly Hills, California, representing entertainment talent (mainly for Nancy Cartwright of the SIMPSONS) as well as corporate interests in the industry. From Royal, Tifanie was recruited by TFN, The Football Network, as General Counsel, to manage corporate governance, talent negotiations, development and acquisition of programming including options, live and taped sporting events, documentaries, home video/DVD and digital distribution, news shows, reality, Internet content development and syndication. Then, Tifanie maintained her own practice before she joined MindFusion Law, LLP as partner in the Entertainment and Business Affairs Department. Last, she also served as Senior VP of Business and Legal Affairs for Saddle Ranch Productions where she Executive Produced 3 feature films and conducted production legal on various projects.
Tifanie is a voting member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, a certified mediator, past columnist for InsideFilm. She has lectured at NXTComm, Hollywood Black Film Festival, Film Break, the Slamdance Film Festival, Southern Law School, Film-Com (Nashville) and Louisiana State University and has served on several panels discussing various issues in the entertainment industry. She is a contributing writer for HOLLYWOOD AND VINE magazine under a column entitled “Showbiz, Esq.”. She also serves on the board of directors for the Romance in a Can Film Festival. And, in 2011, Tifanie was named a “VivMagnificent Woman” by Viv Magazine.
Adrian Ward joined the Banc of California family as Market Executive, in April, 2019, where he is currently responsible for leading Banc of California's Entertainment Banking group, which includes music, digital, film and television production banking.
In 1991, Ward joined the pioneering entertainment lender The Lewis Horwitz Organization (LHO), where he was involved in the development and structuring of some of the first bank production loans based on international sales contracts. In the following years he was instrumental in the risk analysis that led to the first ever gap finance transactions and rapidly became one of the leading lenders within the unit.
In 1998 Adrian returned to his hometown of London, England as LHO’s European Representative, where he specialized in packaging multi-party co-production transactions involving many of the available European tax incentives. Returning to Los Angeles in 2005 as the Portfolio Manager for ICB Entertainment Finance, he was responsible for oversight of production loans with an aggregate value of approx. $200,000,000. Titles funded at LHO/ICBEF included, “Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Monster,” and “The Tudors.”
In April 2008, he became Senior Vice President of National Bank of California’s Entertainment, Sports & Media Department and provided financing for over 60 films, representing over $175,000,000 in production budgets, in over four years including “The Tempest,” “Red Dog” and “The Ward.”
In January, 2013, Adrian joined Pacific Mercantile Bank (PMB) where he is tasked with building upon the bank’s existing entertainment portfolio to take advantage of the numerous relationships he has built over 23 years in the business. Adrian’s breadth of knowledge, amassed over approximately 700 film and TV transactions, gives PMB the ideal platform to become an industry-leading institution in the increasingly complex world of entertainment finance.
In April, 2019, Ward joined the Banc of California family as Market Executive, where he is currently responsible for leading Banc of California's Entertainment Banking group. This includes music, digital, film and television production banking.
Originally from the UK, Adrian is now a resident of Los Angeles and enjoys time with his family and on the golf course.
STEPHEN HAYS started 120dB Films in 2004 after 18 years in the securities industry. He was co-founder and General Partner of Seneca Capital, a New York-based hedge fund specializing in risk arbitrage, event-driven and distressed securities (1996-2003). Prior, he was a Managing Director at Furman Selz, a New York-based investment bank where his focus was proprietary risk arbitrage and related investing (1987-1995).
Stephen's first position on Wall Street was at Laterman and Co., an arbitrage-focused hedge fund (1985-87). He graduated from Kenyon College in 1983 and gained a Masters in Accounting and Finance at the London School of Economics in 1985.
Stephen is a Board member at the Green Chimneys School and the Woodstock Film Festival, and serves on the Leadership Council of Oxfam America. He is an active supporter of numerous other charitable and non-profit organizations.
Erica Fishkin is Head of Business & Legal Affairs at Media Guarantors Insurance Solutions, LLC (“MG”) overseeing all aspects of negotiating and drafting the documentation required for closing completion guarantees and ensuring the completion and delivery of film and television projects, including Completion Guarantees, Producer’s Completion Agreements, complex Interparty and Intercreditor Agreements, Undertakings with directors, producers and various production staff and Notices of Assignment with international and domestic distributors. In addition, she works closely with MG’s underwriters to undertake and maintain compliance with global insurance requirements for MG and the productions MG bonds.
Prior to joining MG, Erica represented a variety of clients in the entertainment industry including leading financial institutions, equity investors, borrowers, independent production companies and other entertainment-related individuals and companies, focusing on the financing, production and distribution of film and television projects at the boutique entertainment law firm Babok & Robinson, LLP. Previously, Erica worked on numerous film and television productions ranging from small to mega-budget independent and studio projects at international bond company Film Finances, Inc., negotiated and documented production, talent, acquisition and distribution deals at Mandate Pictures and drafted commercials contracts and software licensing agreements at Digital Domain.
Clay Epstein began his career working as a Production Manager for local television before graduating from California State University, Northridge. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts, majoring in Film Production and minoring in Italian Language. He landed his first job in Distribution with Kushner-Locke and worked his way from Production Assistant to Worldwide Sales Coordinator. In 2001, he was hired as Sales Director at Overseas Filmgroup. While there, he helped transition the sales division from Overseas Filmgroup to First Look Studios. He was promoted to Director of Operations and then Sales Executive where he oversaw the sales of 300 titles. In 2006, Clay joined the newly created sales and production company, The Little Film Company as VP Sales & Acquisitions.
He helped grow the company into a leading boutique sales agency representing such prestigious titles as TSOTSI (2006, Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Language), THE LAST STATION (2010, Academy Award Nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role) and EYE OF THE STORM (2012, AACTA Winner for Best Lead Actress) In 2012, Clay joined Arclight Films, as Senior Vice President Sales & Acquisitions responsible for all aspects of Marketing and Distribution. While there, he represented such feature films as Paul Schrader ’s DOG EATDOG starring Nicolas Cage, PAPER PLANES starring Sam Worthington, PREDESTINATION starring Ethan Hawke and LAST KNIGHTS starring Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman. Clay launched Film Mode Entertainment in 2016, a fully independent world wide sales agent and production entity. Clay has been an instructor at the New York Film Academy, and is a frequent guest speaker at film festivals and Film Schools.
He currently sits on the Executive Committee of the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA) Board of Directors and is a member or BAFTA LA and the Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts (AACTA).
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