Panelists

Joan Graves

Senior Vice President of the Motion Picture Association of America and Chairwoman of Classification and Rating Administration

Joan Graves is Senior Vice President of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Chairman of the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA).  She joined CARA in 1988 and held previous positions as Administrative Director, Vice Chairman, and Co-Chairman of CARA, until assuming her current position as Chairman in 2000.  Prior to joining the MPAA, Graves worked in real estate development, stock brokerage and administrative management consulting.  She then took a hiatus to raise her two daughters.

Graves is a graduate of Stanford University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts.  She currently lives in Los Angeles.

Nne Ebong

Senior Vice President, Drama, ABC Studios

Nne Ebong was named senior vice president, Drama Development, ABC Studios, in July 2013.  In this position she manages a team to recruit talent in the form of writers, directors and producers and shepherds the creative development of new one-hour drama series.  Ms. Ebong was previously vice president, Drama Development, ABC Studios, since August, 2008.  She has worked with some of the industry’s top writers and producers, including Shonda Rhimes, Joss Whedon, John Ridley, Guillermo del Toro, Richard LaGravenese, Damon Lindelof, and Greg Berlanti.  Series she has developed include “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “American Crime,” “Quantico,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Once Upon A Time,” “Revenge,” “Secrets & Lies,” “Designated Survivor,” and “Code Black.”

Ms. Ebong joined ABC Studios in 2006 as director of Current Programming, where she oversaw the creative process on “Lost,” “Brothers & Sisters” and “The Ghost Whisperer.”

Prior to ABC Studios, Ms. Ebong was head of Series Development for Shaun Cassidy Productions, serving as a producer on the company’s ABC drama, “Invasion.” 

Ms. Ebong began her career as a screenwriter after selling a feature film pitch to Fox 2000 while still a film student at the University of Southern California.  She quickly transitioned from film to her first love, television, where she worked as a creative executive at USA Cable Entertainment (now Universal Cable Productions) on series including “Touching Evil” for USA Network and “Battlestar Galactica” for the Sci-Fi Channel.

Ms. Ebong holds a BFA in Filmic Writing and a BA in Print Journalism from the University of Southern California.

Francesca Harewood

Vice President, Business Affairs, NBCUniversal

Francesca Harewood is Vice President, Business Affairs for NBCUniversal where she negotiates agreements for NBC prime-time scripted series and specials. Francesca serves as the network business contact for outside studios producing NBC series, from the start of development, through pilot production and series. Francesca is also the business affairs executive for NBC annual specials, including “New Year’s Eve”, “Red Nose Day”, “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks” and “Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade”; and musical specials for artists such as Adele, Miley Cyrus and One Direction.

Before joining NBC, Francesca was Director of Business Affairs for Disney/ABC, negotiating talent and production deals for daytime soap operas, talk shows and syndicated programs.

After graduating from Wesleyan University, Francesca began her career in entertainment working in radio and television ad sales in Boston, MA. A few years later, USC Law School gave her the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and work in Hollywood. During her third year at USC, Francesca worked on“Entertainment Tonight” while interning on the Paramount lot. Following graduation, Francesca became a real estate attorney at Jones Day Reavis and Pogue in LA, and later a corporate securities attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati in Silicon Valley. At WSGR, Francesca advised clients ranging from small start-ups to large public corporations on corporate and compliance matters, and worked on numerous IPOs, mergers and private equity financing transactions.

In 2003, Francesca transitioned to entertainment law as a production attorney for Disney/ABC syndicated programs, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and “The Tony Danza Show.” She has also held positions as General Counsel of an internet marketing company in San Diego, CA, and Head of Business and Legal Affairs for SiTV (now Nuvo TV) cable network. Francesca serves on the Board of Directors of the Fort Greene Council, the non-profit organization in Brooklyn, NY that her mother ran for over 30 years. She is also a founding member of Angelenos for LA, a private giving circle making annual grants to nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles.

Francesca was born in Brooklyn, but grew up in Dover, Christ Church, Barbados where she maintains a family home and visits as often, and for as long as, her schedule permits.

Alissa Miller

Senior Counsel, Akin Gump Straus Hauer & Feld, LLP
Alissa Miller is a member of  Akin Gump’s entertainment and media practice. She represents financial institutions and other financiers with respect to their film and television lending.
 
Ms. Miller advises a variety of clients in the entertainment industry including borrowers, distributors, studios, independent production companies, equity investors, high-net-worth individuals, completion guarantors and others involved in a broad range of entertainment-related transactions, with a focus on media finance and distribution. She also advises film and television clients in connection with tax-advantaged financing and co-production arrangements.
 
She is a member of the California Bar and the Entertainment Law Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. She is also a board member of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Teen Impact.
 

Ms. Miller received her B.A. magna cum laude from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1998 and her J.D. in 2001 from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law.

Judith Falloon-Reid

Screenwriter, Filmmaker and Speaker
Judith Falloon Reid is an author, a screenwriter, filmmaker and speaker.
 
Born and raised in Jamaica, Judith is writer/director of the award-winning Jamaican Gospel movies, Just Another Friday and The Gift Everlasting as well as recently released, 70 X Seven, produced by BarriVision Films which she co-owns with her husband Michael Brown.
 
A published author of several books and an accomplished poet, she has hosted television and radio programs and has had an enviable career in writing everything from news to travel writing over the past 30 years.
 
Please visit barrivision.com for more information on Judith and her work.

Maitreya Yasuda

Lionsgate

Maitreya (Trey) Yasuda is Executive Vice President of International Business & Legal Affairs for Lionsgate, where he oversees all international business and legal matters for the studio’s motion picture group.                                                

Prior to joining Lionsgate, Trey spent 9 years at Summit Entertainment, where he was responsible for closing over $1 billion in international film licenses.  Trey played an integral role in Summit’s biggest films, including the TWILIGHT franchise, the STEP UP franchise and RED and KNOWING.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Trey earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and his juris doctorate from Southwestern University.  Prior to joining Summit, Trey held positions at BMG Music Publishing and Intermedia Films.

Emily Best

Founder & CEO, Seed & Spark

Emily Best is the founder and CEO of Seed & Spark, a subscription video streaming and crowdfunding platform that gives filmmakers the power to take control of their careers.

In 2011, she produced the feature film, Like the Water, starring Caitlin FitzGerald (Masters of Sex, Rectify). Since then she has served as executive producer on a host of film and virtual reality projects that have played at festivals from Sundance to SXSW to Tribeca and beyond. Most recently she co-created and co-directed the web series F*ck Yes!, which Refinery 29 called, “The sex education you wish you had in high school.”

Emily was named a 2013 Indiewire Influencer, a 2014 New York Woman of Influence, was included on the 2015 Upstart 100 list, and graduated from the 2016 class of Techstars Boston.

She has raised millions of dollars in traditional funding, equity crowdfunding, and rewards based crowdfunding, and contributed to over 300 crowdfunding campaigns to date.

D’Arcy Conrique

Barnes & Thornburg

D’Arcy Conrique is senior advisor for entertainment contracts in Barnes & Thornburg’s Los Angeles office, where he supports the Entertainment, Media and Sports Practice Group.

Working closely with attorneys, Mr. Conrique uses his extensive background in film production and distribution to assist in entertainment finance transactions for clients.

As a 27-year veteran of the international film industry, he offers a diverse background in and complex understanding of film and television production and finance to his clients, specifically in the areas of agreements for single-picture production loan financing and credit facility transactions.

Mr. Conrique has developed relationships with key industry players and works with entertainment partners in strategizing and cultivating key potential deals for clients. He acts as a liaison to clients ranging from major bankers to major slate and investment financiers in the entertainment industry, and works with key finance and international distribution sales executives on the distribution and sales activities utilized to collateralize the production finance of motion picture films and television series.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Conrique worked for a Los Angeles-area law firm and was president of production and distribution for Arcadia Film Group, a production and distribution company that handled worldwide distribution and production of motion picture film properties. There, he managed motion picture film production, acquisitions and distribution in all forms of media including theatrical, video and television distribution and marketing.

He also served as a senior sales executive at J&M Entertainment, a London-based production and distribution company and senior vice president of The Kushner-Locke Company, a mini-major studio.

Active in the industry, Mr. Conrique is a member of the Producers Guild of America – Diversity Committee, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers and an active participant in the Independent Film and Television Alliance.

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