CAA Media Finance Co-Organized Creative Investors’ Conference at San Sebastian Fest to Feature Podcast and One-on-One Lunches with Spanish Producers

San Sebastian Festival’s 2nd Creative Investors’ Conference (CIC), co-organized once more with CAA Media Finance, has lured some of the most prominent names in the international entertainment business, led by CAA Media Finance’s Roeg Sutherland, Goodfellas’ Vincent Maraval and Cinetic Media’s John Sloss.

Sutherland, Nick Ogiony and Sarah Schweitzman from CAA Media Finance will participate in the Conference, held on Sept. 26 and 27 at the Tabakalera, and moderate some of the activities, as will Wendy Mitchell, delegate and advisor of the San Sebastian Festival.

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Variety has learned that the VIP international guests will hold private networking lunches/meetings with about 25 leading Spanish producers, includING Mariela Besuievsky of Tornasol Media; Eduardo Carneros, Euskadi Movie AIE; Valérie Delpierre, Inicia Films; Ignasi Estapé, Arcadia; Belén Atienza, Perdición Films; Fernando Bovaira, MOD Prods; Morena Films’ Juan Gordon and Elastica Films’ María Zamora.

Another added bonus is a podcast, jointly produced/hosted by San Sebastian and Berlinale EFM Industry Insights, which will include a special edition featuring some of the conference attendees, to be published at the end of the festival.

Some of the key topics up for debate are an examination of how the U.S. market is faring post pandemic and with the WGA strike likely ending this week. It will also explore how the U.S. market is looking internationally and vice versa.

Furthermore, the two-day conference will look at how streaming vs theatrical models are impacting the financing models, how the rise of episodic is impacting the indie film world, and more. “While all discussions will not be strictly about financing, the talks will inevitably lead back to this to this ecosystem that starts with what gets financed,” said a festival spokesperson.

Thanks to the 71-year-old Spanish festival’s broad contacts with experts and executives around the world, and of course, CAA’s deep relationships worldwide, the conference has lured some high-powered U.S. execs and industry movers-and-shakers to attend, including Netflix’s Teresa Moneo, Amblin Partners’ Jeb Brody and Anonymous Content’s David Davoli as well as K&S’s Matías Mosteirín and Infinity Hill’s Axel Kuschevatzky, as the Conference opens up to Latin America.

Execs at Anonymous Content, Blueprint Pictures, HBO, Killer Films, MK2, MUBI and Neon, among others, have also confirmed attendance.

The caliber of attendees attracts other experts to attend, and knowing they are coming to a city and destination like San Sebastian, with its spectacular conch-shaped bay and world-class cuisine and venues, is certainly an easy sell to most people. Furthermore, any international executive will know that content from Spain and Latin America is really booming globally, so it’s a smart trip for them to get to meet more colleagues from Spain and Latin America as well.

Last year’s Conference brought an unusually candid take on the state of the film and TV industries, and possible ways forward.

From a festival perspective, it relished having such esteemed global experts in town holding smart, top-level discussions and some of them experiencing this festival and this city for the first time.

“We learned a few things to tweak for how we organized the second conference to be even more strategic and make the most of everyone’s time – for example we don’t have public pitches of specific new Spanish films but instead have organized the networking lunches that will better introduce the investors to top Spanish producers where they can informally talk about their whole slates,” said the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the Spanish Screenings: Financing & Tech forms one of the axes of Spanish Screenings XXL: an international market platform for Spanish production.

The Screenings are backed in turn by Spain’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR) to boost its role as Europe’s audiovisual hub, promoted by the Ministry of Culture and Sport through ICEX (España Exportación e Inversiones), the Malaga Festival and the San Sebastian Festival.

Updated Conference Attendees 

(As of Sept. 25): 

Bobby Allen, SVP, production at MUBI;

Elisa Alvares, founder of Jacarada Consultants, senior advisor for IPR.VC;

David Arroyo, partner of Suma Capital;

Jeb Brody, president of production, Amblin Partners;

Sarah Colvin, director of acquisitions, Neon;

Peter Czernin, co-chairman, Blueprint Pictures;

David Davoli, president of international, Anonymous Content;

Marc Dujardin, president, Le Collectif 64;

David Flynn, head of global drama, WIIP;

David Grumbach, president, BAC Films;

Anna Higgs, managing director, Casarotto Ramsay & Associates;

Kiska Higgs, president, production & acquisitions, Focus Features;

Phil Hunt, CEO of Head Gear Films, co-managing director, Bankside Films;

Fionnuala Jamison, managing director, MK2;

Michelle Knudsen, manager, producer, 42 Production;

Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon, co-founders, Killer Films;

Axel Kuschevatzky, CCO, co-founder, Infinity Hill;

Jean Labadie, president, Le Pacte;

Genevieve Lemal, CEO-Producer, Scope Invest, Belgium;

Vincent Maraval, president, Goodfellas;

Teresa Moneo, director, international original film, Netflix;

Matías Mosteirín, producer, director general, K&S Films;

Tendo Nagenda, producer, 10 by Ten;

Diego Najera, producer, Participant Media;

Lisa Nishimura, producer;

Nick Ogiony, agent, CAA;

Maren Olson, EVP, film, 30West;

Nick Shumaker, manager, producer, Anonymous Content and head of AC Independent;

John Sloss, president of Cinetic Media and Founder/Partner at Sloss Eckhouse Dasti Haynes LawCo;

Whitney Sudler-Smith, co-founder, Vainglorious Productions;

Gabrielle Tana, producer, co-founder, Brouhaha Entertainment;

Robert Walak, president, film and TV, Iconoclast.

Michael Weber, managing director, The Match Factory.

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