S481 Screen Talks: The Art of Packaging and Financing

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Screen Skills Ireland is delighted to announce the next S481 Screen Talks webinar on the Art of Packaging and Financing, with producers Laura Rister and Laura Lewis, moderated by Katie Holly, in partnership with Blinder Films.

This webinar will provide an exciting opportunity to hear from Emmy-nominated Laura Rister who heads up production for Untitled Entertainment, and former film finance and sales agent turned producer, and founder / CEO of Rebelle Media, Laura Lewis, on their approach to putting a package together and getting a project financed.  What to do when taking out a project, the importance of nurturing relationships with agencies and distributors, and the changing nature of film sales, finance and distribution.

It will also be an opportunity to hear from the female producer trio behind the recently wrapped upcoming feature Mr Malcolm’s List.

This Screen Talks is aimed at writers, directors, and producers who would like to hear first-hand from key players in the US market how they approach the business, and the webinar will also provide rare insight into how Mr Malcolm’s List was put together and the journey to – and through – production.

The webinar will take place at 5pm on Thursday 13 May. You can register free via this link: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/136/k6l9luk7

Katie Holly

Katie Holly is the owner and Managing Director of Blinder Films, where she has produced several award winning and critically acclaimed features including FRENCH EXIT (Azazel Jacobs, 2020), THE RACER (Kieron J. Walsh, 2020), COME TO DADDY (Ant Timpson, 2019), EXTRA ORDINARY (Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, 2019), A DOG CALLED MONEY (Seamus Murphy, 2019), VITA & VIRGINIA (Chanya Button, 2018), GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI (Sophie Fiennes, 2017) and LOVE & FRIENDSHIP (Whit Stillman, 2016).  She is currently in post-production on JOAN VERRA, a French / German / Irish co-production directed by Laurent Larivière and starring Isabelle Huppert, Lars Eidinger, Swann Arlaud, Freya Mavor and Stanley Townsend; and has acted as Executive Producer on projects such BOYS FROM COUNTY HELL (Chris Baugh, 2020) and A MOTHER BRINGS HER SON TO BE SHOT (Sinead O’Shea, 2017).  She is a graduate of EAVE, Inside Pictures, was a former Producer on the Move at Cannes, a  former board member of Screen Ireland and former co-Chair and a founding member of Women in Film and Television Ireland.  She is a member of the Irish Film and Television Academy, BAFTA, BIFA and the European Film Academy.  She is also founder and co-creative director of X-Pollinator, a cross-disciplinary training and networking initiative for female creative talent.  

Laura Rister

Laura Rister is an award-winning Los Angeles based film and television producer at Untitled Entertainment.  She also heads up film production for the company.  Laura was recently nominated for Emmy, Critic’s Choice and Independent Spirit awards for the landmark cine-memoir THE TALE starring Laura Dern, distributed globally by HBO Films.  An early love for journalism translated to a particular taste for nonfiction, and socially and politically relevant material.  Among Laura’s credits (in alpha order) are the films ALL IS LOST (Oscar nomination), BREATH (9 Australian Academy nominations), ELVIS AND NIXON, THE FREE WORLD, THE ICEMAN, LAWLESS, LOVELACE, LOVESONG (Independent Spirit nomination), and the Oscar nominated and Independent Spirit Award winning MARGIN CALL.  Laura recently collaborated with Japanese auteur Sion Sono on his first English language film, which made a splash at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival.  She is currently in production on MR MALCOLM’S LIST, a period romantic comedy drama in the spirit of Jane Austen, in collaboration with Bleecker Street, Universal International and Screen Ireland.  She previously served as VP of Production, Development & Casting at Miramax Films in New York and Los Angeles, working on films & TV series including CHICAGO, BLUE CAR, FINDING NEVERLAND, and PROJECT GREENLIGHT.  She got her start in media at CNN in Washington, DC working on the political news programs.  Laura is a proud member of the Producers Guild, the Television Academy, Women in Film, and the political action group, The LA Women’s Collective.

Laura Lewis

Laura Lewis is the CEO and Founder of Rebelle Media. Laura has twenty years of experience in film and television development, production, strategy, sales and financing. She recently produced the feature film Long Weekend (Sony, 2020) and is currently in production on the upcoming Mr. Malcolm’s List (Bleecker Street / Universal). Previous credits include Executive Producer on An Acceptable Loss starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Tika Sumpter and Co-Executive Producer on All About Nina, written and directed by Eva Vives, and Little Woods, written and directed by Nia DaCosta. Prior to launching Rebelle, as a film finance and sales agent at Creative Artists Agency, Laura packaged and sold films such as On the Basis of Sex, The Wife, Jackie, Dallas Buyers Club, The Imitation Game, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Maggie’s Plan, Begin Again, Mud, and Still Alice, amongst many others. Her focus has always been on finding ways to push against the “no” and getting stories, across all genres, about women and other marginalized voices made and seen. Prior to CAA, she consulted with financiers on slate and individual picture film financing and worked as a development and production executive at Twentieth Century Fox and Edward Saxon Productions on films ranging from Away We Go to What Happens in Vegas. Laura has a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. She is a founding member of Time’s Up, an executive member and former board member of Women and Film, a member of the Los Angeles Women’s Collective, and a proud member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.