Los Angeles, CA – October 4, 2021 - The Independent Film & Television Alliance® (IFTA®) today announced the results of its annual elections to select the Chairperson and Board of Directors for the organization for the 2021-2023 term.  The elections took place by electronic ballot and the results were unveiled during IFTA’s Meeting of the Board of Directors on September 30.

Clay Epstein, President of Film Mode Entertainment, has been elected Chairperson.  The following seven individuals have been elected to serve on IFTA’s 15-person Board of Directors: J.D. Beaufils (VMI Worldwide), Jason Buckley (Lakeshore Entertainment), David Fannon (Screen Media), Lisa Gutberlet (Blue Fox Entertainment), Nat McCormick (The Exchange) Michael Ryan (GFM), and Rob Williams (Participant Media).

These newly-elected executives join those currently serving the second year of their two-year term as IFTA board members: Scott Bedno (Myriad Pictures), Jody Cipriano (MarVista Entertainment), Patrick Ewald (Epic Pictures Group), Will Machin (Metro International Entertainment), Wendy Reeds (Lionsgate), Lise Romanoff (Vision Films), and Nick Spicer (XYZ Films).

“I am honored to be entrusted by our membership to lead them as Chairperson,” said Epstein. “The future of our industry relies on the talent and energy of the independent community. IFTA is the only unified voice for the Independents and it has never been more important to ensure opportunity and success for our members, colleagues, filmmakers, and the global industry.”

Epstein, who was first elected to the IFTA Board in 2008 and also has served regularly on its Executive Committee, will succeed long-time outgoing Chair Michael Ryan.  Ryan will continue on as a board member.  One of the founding members of IFTA and the American Film Market, Ryan has served as Chair for three consecutive terms since 2015 as well as two terms between 2003 and 2007.  

Ryan commented, “Clay has already contributed significantly to IFTA and the industry for years.  His knowledge of the issues the Independents are facing and his ability to lead this Board of experienced and dedicated executives will be essential as the organization tackles these global hurdles.”

Epstein launched Film Mode Entertainment, a worldwide sales and distribution entity, in 2016.  Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, Sales & Acquisitions at Arclight Films where he was instrumental in acquiring and representing high-profile films including Paul Schrader’s

DOG EAT DOG and PREDESTINATION.  Earlier in his career, he is credited with representing prestigious Academy Award winner TSOTSI and THE LAST STATION, among others.

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About the Independent Film & Television Alliance
IFTA is the global trade association for independent film and television production, finance, distribution, and sales companies. The organization represents the independent sector before governments and international bodies and provides significant entertainment industry services to its member companies in 22 countries consisting of independent production and distribution companies, sales agents, and financial institutions engaged in production finance. 

Each November, it produces the annual American Film Market®, the world’s largest motion picture event, drawing more than 7,000 industry leaders from 70 countries and leading to more than $1 Billion in distribution and film financing deals.  AFM 2021 will take place online for five days November 1-5.

IFTA also develops and publishes the IFTA® Model Agreements which articulate the standards and key definitions for licensing international rights in motion pictures and television programming and manages the IFTA® Arbitration Tribunal which is a key forum for resolution of disputes arising from international licensing transactions.  For more information on IFTA, visit

Media Contact:
Jennifer Garnick |VP, Communications
Independent Film & Television Alliance| +1.310.446.1006