Risky Business: Financing and Distributing Your Independent Film
Feb 2015

Risky Business: Financing and Distributing Your Independent Film

This comprehensive seminar —for new attorneys, attorneys transitioning to entertainment law, and filmmakers— explores how independent films are financed and distributed.

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. Extensive handouts will be distributed via email in advance of the program, including a distribution contract, articles, and a self-defense checklist. Finally, the lunch hour will provide a great opportunity for networking.

Mark Litwak
is a veteran 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.

*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 29, 2016, 9:30 AM – 5 PM – CLE*
Space is limited! Please register early.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
51 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019

This class will be taught by Mark Litwak, Esq.,
Law Offices of Mark Litwak and Associates.

Lunch, coffee and beverages will be served.


Register now!


Filmmakers, Artists, or Non-Law Students:
$150 for VLA members
$200 for non-members

Attorneys or Law Students:
$400 for VLA members
$500 for non-members

$300 for Young Associate Members (YAM’s)

To apply for a full or partial CLE scholarship, please view our Financial Aid Policy Guidelines here.

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

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