Board of
Directors

Our Board of Directors is representative of the true global breadth of IFTA’s Membership and the diverse film and television programming they finance, produce, sell, and distribute.

The Chairman and Board are nominated and elected by the voting members of the organization and serve two (2) year terms.

Chairperson

Clay Epstein

President, Film Mode Entertainment

Clay Epstein is the President and owner of Film Mode Entertainment, a worldwide sales and distribution entity with a producer friendly initiative. The company has quickly become competitive with such films as CRYPTO, LITTLE PINK HOUSE, and the upcoming SLAYERS (Thomas Jane, Malin Ackerman and Abigail Breslin).

Previously, as SVP Sales & Acquisitions at Arclight Films, Clay was instrumental in acquiring and representing high profile films such as Paul Schrader’s DOG EAT DOG and the Spierig brothers’ PREDESTINATION. Earlier in his career, he represented prestigious titles including Academy Award winner TSOTSI and THE LAST STATION.  

Clay earned a BA in Fine Arts, from California State University, Northridge.  Currently, he is Chairperson of IFTA (2021-2023 term) and a member of PGA, FIND, and BAFTA LA.

Board of Directors

J.D. Beaufils
VMI Worldwide

JD Beaufils started his entertainment career 20 years ago at the now defunct, yet greatly influential Overseas Filmgroup under the leadership of Robbie Little.

Learning the trade, filling Sales & Distribution Executive positions at Bauer Martinez International, Porchlight Entertainment, Epic Pictures and Under The Milky Way, he has these last five years enjoyed a rewarding role as President of Sales for leading production and distribution outfit VMI Worldwide; financing, pre-selling and licensing high profile feature films starring prominent cast.

He is an immense fan of American popular culture and praises every day spent under the California sun.

Scott Bedno
Myriad Pictures

Scott Bedno is currently Senior Vice President of Distribution & Acquisitions at Myriad Pictures. Prior to Myriad, Scott was Vice President of Sales at Voltage Pictures for nearly three years.

During Scott’s 20-year tenure in the international film & television sector, he has held executive positions on both the buying and selling side, giving him a unique perspective and insight on the global media marketplace.

Jason Buckley
Lakeshore Entertainment 

Jason Buckley is the Head of International Sales and Acquisitions of Lakeshore Entertainment, where he focuses primarily on sales and strategic planning throughout the foreign and US marketplaces. 

For over 15 years, Jason has sold high profile theatrically lead features such as PEPPERMINT, THE BOY, THE AGE OF ADALINE, and THE LINCOLN LAWYER. He has helped continue the International success of the Underworld franchise and played an integral role in the launch of the digital film studio, Off the Dock.

Currently, he oversees the 250-title Lakeshore catalogue as well as the owned and operated libraries for Vine Alternative Investments (Pandora, Qualia, Manchester/Relativity, Greenestreet).

Jody Cipriano
MarVista Entertainment LLC.

Since 2018, Jody Cipriano, a 20-year industry veteran, has served as Head of Global Distribution & Acquisitions for MarVista Entertainment, a leading global independent entertainment studio that produces, acquires and distributes premium film and television content with approximately 60 new movies per year. 

Jody is responsible for spearheading all cross-platform content sales and acquisitions worldwide.

Prior to joining MarVista, Jody served as senior vice-president of worldwide distribution at Cinetel Films.

Patrick Ewald
Epic Pictures Group

Since 2007, Patrick has been the CEO of Epic Pictures Group with the goal of bringing original and visionary storytelling to a worldwide audience.  His career in the film business spans over 25 years as a senior level executive and he has been involved in the development, financing, production, marketing, and distribution of numerous independent films. A few of these are: Turbo Kid, The Lodgers, Extra Ordinary, and The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot. He is currently producing Sea Fever, The Winter Lake, The Ballad of Audrey Earnshaw, and Lucky.

In addition to running Epic Pictures Group, Inc., Patrick heads DreadCentral.Com, a leading horror website and the recently branded genre label for Epic’s horror films.

Prior to Epic Pictures Group, Inc. (between 2005-2007), Patrick was President of Renegade Pictures, a production and sales company that sold independent genre films worldwide.  Between 1999-2005, he was Executive VP, Development and Production at Crystal Sky Pictures and Jon Voight Entertainment.  From 1995-1999, he owned Rogue Entertainment, a development and production services company that was eventually acquired by Universal.

He is a three-time Saturn Award winner as well as a member of the Producers Guild of America. A graduate of Duke University, he was the first student there to earn a degree focused on film studies.

David Fannon
Screen Media

David Fannon is president of Screen Media Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and one of the largest suppliers of independent film and television content throughout the world.

Fannon joined Screen Media in 2005, and over the course of 16 years Screen Media has matured from an independent brick and mortar home video distribution company into a leading global digital distributor.

Screen Media has a library of more than 1,500 films and series and is the exclusive provider of content to the Crackle Plus Network. Screen Media releases approximately 18 independent films each year. 

Lisa Gutberlet
Blue Fox Entertainment 

Originally from Heidelberg, Germany, Lisa Gutberlet has been working in the world of independent features for nearly two decades.

Currently serving as the Executive Vice President of International Sales & Acquisitions at Blue Fox Entertainment, she’s worked on acclaimed titles such as MY ZOE from director Julie Delpy, LANGUAGE LESSONS starring Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales, and the hit romance THE LOST HUSBAND starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb. 

Prior to joining Blue Fox, Lisa was the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales & Distribution at Myriad Pictures. She began her career in Hollywood at The Weinstein Company.

Before moving to LA, she held positions at Turner Broadcasting International and The World Bank.

Will Machin
Metro International Entertainment

Prior to becoming a partner in Metro International Entertainment, Will was head of Ealing Metro International, created through a merger between Ealing Studios International and Metropolis Film Sales. Before the merger, he was Head of Distribution at Ealing Studios International, responsible for international distribution and day to day operations at the company.

He was previously head of the Capitol Films specialist division, Thinkfilm International where he was responsible for a diverse slate of films. Between 2003 and 2007, Will worked at UK production company, Carnaby Films PLC where he launched the international sales arm before taking on additional duties including financing, business affairs and overseeing production on Carnaby titles.

Between 1999 and 2003, Will worked for Lolafilms, then owned by multinational Admira (formerly Telefonica Media). As Co-President of International Sales, he was responsible for world-wide sales and acquisitions as well as English language co-productions.

Having worked in Canada and the UK in production, Will began his career in film sales and distribution in 1996 as a sales executive at Capitol Films. His production credits include films such as Agatha Christie’s Crooked House directed by Gilles Paquet Brenner, RC Sherriff’s Journey’s End directed by Saul Dibb, Zoo, Never Grow Old, Creation Stories and Australia’s highest grossing doc of all time That Sugar Film to name a few.

Will served on the board of Ffilm Cymru Wales (formally the Film Agency for Wales) from 2008–2017 and is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television. He is regularly invited to speak at festivals and industry forums on a variety of subjects relating to film finance, production, sales and distribution.

Nat McCormick
The Exchange

Nat MvCormick is EVP, Worldwide Distribution at The Exchange where he oversees all sales and distribution activity for the company.

Previously, as Director, International Sales & Operations at IM Global, McCormick handled sales on such films as SINISTER, HUMMINGBIRD, and Lee Daniels’ THE BUTLER as well as managed the physical sales operation, and tracked international release plans.

He handled prestigious films DRIVE, CASA DE MI PADRE, and BEASTLY as Director, International Sales & Acquisitions at Affinity International while working closely with the agencies, leading producers and financiers.

Earlier in his career, McCormick worked for Odd Lot International handling sales for RABBIT HOLE, THE OPEN ROAD, and THE SPIRT and also held positions with the company in development & production, and business & legal affairs. His numerous TV credits include unscripted producer for A&E and SPIKE TV.

Wendy Reeds
Lionsgate
A 30-year veteran of international film distribution, Wendy Reeds is responsible for heading the licensing of Lionsgate’s films for all of international and expanding global operations.
 
Previously, she ran the studio's Asian sales and operations out of Hong Kong. Reeds was instrumental in building Lionsgate’s operations in China, where 17 films have been released and box-office receipts for Lionsgate films have grown 63% since 2016.
 
Currently based in London, Reeds shepherds Lionsgate's international growth initiatives. The studio's feature film slate has generated nearly $2 billion at the global box office, led by the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, Academy Award-winning La La Land, the Now You See Me series and the hit action franchise John Wick.
Lise Romanoff
Vision Films

Lise Romanoff, Managing Director/ CEO of Vision Films, Inc. has been in the distribution business for nearly 30 years. Today, Vision Films is a worldwide Distribution company and a direct VOD Aggregator with a library of over 800 independent feature films and documentaries.

Domestically, the company issues 2-4 new release titles each month and manage all windows, including limited Theatrical, DVD, TVOD, SVOD, AVOD and Television. Under Lise’s leadership, Vision has developed deep relationships across all of the premium Cable VOD services and digital streaming platforms, both domestically and internationally.  The company is an approved content partner to iNDemand, Vubiquity, Dish, Direct TV, Shaw, Rogers, Bell and Telus, FandangoNow, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Netflix, The Peacock, PlutoTV and Tubi, just to name a few.

Internationally, Vision participates in the all the Film and Television and specialty Sales Markets (albeit now virtually), has a staff of three sales people that specialize in different parts of the world

A long-time active member of IFTA, Lise has previously served on the IFTA Executive Committee, and is also involved with IFTA's Legal Committee.  

Michael Ryan
GFM Films / GFM Animation

Michael Ryan started his career working in the TV industry for Sir Lew Grade’s UK company, ITC.  In 1978 he formed J&M Entertainment with a colleague, a distribution sales agent for independent films.  As J&M grew, it developed its business model to also take responsibility for financing new films & providing production finance.

In 1980 Ryan and J&M were founder members of the American Film Marketing Association (AFMA) – later to be renamed Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) – which was formed to provide an annual film market based in Los Angeles.  Michael served two terms as Chairman of IFTA (2004-2008) and another three terms from 2015-2021. 

In 2000, Ryan partnered with Guy Collins.  Between them they have financed, sold and produced over 200 films, including  The Wild Geese, The English Patient, The General, Whats Eating Gilbert Grape, The Osterman Weekend, the Highlander series, Planet 51 and more recently, at GFM Films with Fred Hedman, Toei Animations HarlockAbsolutely Anything starring Simon Pegg and Simon West-directed action thriller Stratton starring Dominic Cooper.   

Nick Spicer
XYZ Films

Nick is a founding partner of XYZ Films, an independent production company, financier and worldwide sales agency based in Los Angeles. 

XYZ specializes in filmmaker-driven elevated genre films with a distinct global outlook. Nick has overseen the production and distribution of films from over 40 countries. In 2019, Nick and his partners launched a talent management division representing filmmakers from all around the world.

XYZ is known for its creative licensing structures and has been at the forefront of digital distribution since its inception.

Prior to co-founding XYZ in 2008, Nick developed and produced unscripted television series and local-language feature films. 

Nick received an MFA from the UCLA Producers Program in 2006. He majored in English, History and French at Rice University, where he was a National Merit Scholar. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2004. Nick was born in Seattle, Washington.

Rob Williams
Participant Media

Rob Williams is VP Sales & Distribution, Participant. He has executive expertise in programming, studio and independent domestic and international sales, acquisitions and distribution, with 15 years’ experience at AFM, Berlin, Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Tribeca, Venice, etc.

He joined Participant in 2014, handling CollectiveAmerican FactoryGreen Book, City So Real, RBG, RomaHuman Flow, etc. Previously, as VP Acquisitions & Distribution for Lantica / Indomina Media, he was responsible for films The Imposter, Art of Rap, Filly Brown and Holy Motors

Prior to this, Rob was Acquisitions Executive for Netflix / Red Envelope Entertainment and Director of Acquisitions for Wellspring Media.