VLA offers a variety of programs and workshops, which are listed below. We also offer a selection of on-demand, online recordings of previously held education programs for those unable to attend or want a refresher. Click here to access and view these presentations.

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Risky Business: Financing and Distributing Your Independent Film (Continuing Legal Education)

April 27, 2018 @ 9:30 am - 5:00 pm

In this full-day seminar veteran entertainment attorney Mark Litwak will take you through the financial intricacies of successfully producing an independent film. 

Topics include financing via pre-sales, debt and equity investors, negotiating tactics, typical contract terms, cross-collateralization, creative accounting, and ethical concerns.

Particular attention will be paid to how producers and filmmakers can protect themselves by investigating distributors; watering down warranties; adding contract provisions covering performance, termination, and alternative dispute resolution; getting errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, and using lab access letters and schedules of minimums.

Other topics will include criteria for selecting a distributor; new media distribution; which contract terms are negotiable; compliance with state and federal laws regarding investors; retaining an attorney, producer reps and publicists; and confirming awards and enforcing judgments.

 *CLE with VLA: Seven (7) New York CLE credits awarded for attorneys: 4 Areas of Professional Practice Credits, 2 Skills credits, and 1 Ethics credit. This program qualifies as “transitional” for newly admitted attorneys.


Friday, April 27, 2018, 9:30 am – 5 pm


Skadden Arps
4 Times Sq # 24, New York, NY 10036

Fees: (Early Bird Discounts before March 30, 2018)

$100 Full-Time Student ($60 before March 30) (must present proof of full-time status with registration)
$100 Artist Over Sixty ($60 before March 30)
$150 Arts Professional VLA Member ($100 before March 30)
$200 Arts Professional Non-Member ($150 before March 30)
$400 Legal Professional VLA Member ($300 before March 30)
$500 Legal Professional Non-Member ($400 before March 30)                                                                                                                                    $300 Young Associate Member (YAM’s) ($200 before March 30)

Membership Discount Code:

Are you a VLA Member trying to register for this class? E-mail or call VLA to get your membership discount code! – registrations@vlany.org or 212.319.2787 x 10. 

For institutional legal members, please contact our office to purchase multiple tickets.

Partial scholarships available for artists, contact us for more information at registrations@vlany.org or call 212.319.2787 x10

For attorneys, you can apply for a partial CLE scholarship, please view our Financial Aid Policy Guidelines here.

To apply for a full or partial scholarship, applicants must submit a written letter explaining their financial situation and which class and date they would like to attend. Requests should be submitted via e-mail to registrations@vlany.org to the attention of Kathryn Wagner, or mail:

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
Attn: Kathryn E. Wagner, Esq.
1 East 53rd Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10022

All registration fees are non-refundable. Please note you are not registered until full payment is received.
For more information on this program, or to register by phone, please contact VLA at registrations@vlany.org or 212.319.2787 x 10.

 This class is taught by Mark Litwak

Mark Litwak is an entertainment attorney with offices in Beverly Hills, California. His practice includes work in the areas of copyright, trademark, contract, multimedia law, intellectual property, and book publishing. Litwak is an adjunct professor at USC Law School, and functions as a Producer’s Rep, assisting filmmakers in the financing, marketing and distribution of their films. Litwak is the author of many books including: Reel Power, Dealmaking in the Film and Television Industry (winner of the 1995 Krazna-Kranz Moving Image Book Award), Contracts for the Film and Television Industry, Litwak’s Multimedia Producer’s Handbook, and his latest book, Risky Business, Financing and Distributing Independent Film.




April 27, 2018
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:


Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
(212) 319 - 2787
View Organizer Website


Event type
CLE Class
Event Cate
CLE Class