Risky Business: Financing and Distributing Independent Films with Mark Litwak

  • 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Eastern Time (US & Canada)
  • By: Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  • Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
  • Source: Misc Natonal Sites
  • Arts

This comprehensive seminar explores how independent films are financed and distributed.

Topics include:

  • financing via pre-sales
  • debt and limited partnerships
  • negotiating tactics
  • typical contract terms
  • cross-collaterization
  • creative accounting

Particular attention is paid to how producers and filmmakers can protect themselves by watering down warranties, getting added to the E & O policy, adding performance, termination and arbitration provisions, using lab access letter to retain possession of the negative, and adding a schedule a minimums.

Other topics include criteria for selecting a distributor; what is negotiable and what is not; compliance with state and federal laws when seeking investors; retaining an attorney or producer's rep; confirming arbitration awards in Superior Court; and, enforcing judgments. The seminar includes a handout with a distribution contract, articles, a self-defense checklist and other materials.


  • 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 also functions as a Producer's Rep, assisting filmmakers in the financing, marketing and distribution of their films.

For more information about Mark Litwak, please see www.marklitwak.com.

  • CLE Credit Comments: *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.
  • Contact:
    Luis Nieto Dickens
    Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
    212-319-2787 ext 12
  • Website: www.vlany.org