Soft Money: Tax Subsidies, Grants, Crowd Funding and More

This panel will explore ways to build financing from several different sources including Tax Subsidies (Refunds, Rebates, etc), traditional crowd funding, in-kind donations and product placement/sponsorship deals. Discussion will alsoexamine the balance between using grants with other types of financing, and how sometimes this can become tricky once private equity investors get involved.

Erica Anderson is Seed&Spark's Director of Crowdfunding & Community and one of its founding members. Seed&Spark is a curated crowdfunding and integrated distribution platform that was developed specifically for film and film related projects. Erica has advised over 200 crowdfunding projects and splits her time advising and traveling the country teaching entrepreneurship for creative professionals on the #StayIndieTour. As a producer, educator, and actress, Erica brings 15 years film, theatre and commercial experience to her role working with filmmakers to build audiences at Seed&Spark, where she is responsible for the highest crowdfunding success rate in the business (84%!)

Matt Fretz
is the Business Affairs Manager at NeeD Financial Services, a leading provider of outsourced business and accounting solutions for entertainment companies. He has helped clients pursue credits in many states, including New York, California, Illinois, Georgia and North Carolina. Additionally, he works with clients on issues including union audits, litigation, wage law, risk management and immigration. Prior to NeeD, Matt was the Operations and Business Manager for Epoch Films. He has also previously served as Volunteer Coordinator for the Waterfront Film Festival and a House Manager for DOC NYC.

Richard Stern
, CPA, is a Partner at Marks Paneth LLP. He advises clients in theater, media and entertainment, including the commercial, film and television industry, film equipment rental companies, and directors, editors and music producers. Stern represents the firm as a member of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) and the New York Production Alliance (NYPA). He also deals with production tax credits available for the film, television and commercial industry in certain states, including New York where Marks Paneth is an approved qualified CPA firm to prepare agreed-upon procedures for film and television production tax credit applications.

Terry Lawler
(Moderator) is Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television. She is a Vice President/Board of Directors of the New York Production Alliance. She also serves on the Boards of the Manhattan Neighborhood Network and the Katahdin Foundation. Prior to joining NYWIFT, Lawler was Director of Development and Production at Women Make Movies and National Director of Film and Videomakers Services at the American Film Institute. She has served on the advisory committee of Reel New York, an independent film and video series broadcast on WNET/13. She has been a media consultant for foundations and non-profit groups including the MacArthur Foundation, the Astraea Foundation, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Goethe Institute, among others. She was production executive on several network television specials. She also was Executive Producer of Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1992), which won Best Documentary awards from the American Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Circle in 1992, and Hollywood Mavericks, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1990.

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts