By Peter Belsito | SydneysBuzz
December 15, 2015 at 2:00PM
Winston Baker, a leading global producer of entertainment finance conferences, hosted its successful inaugural Asia Pacific Entertainment Finance Forum in conjunction with the Hawaii International Film Festivalfrom November 18 – 20, 2015.
Winston Baker has long recognized the growing alliance between Hollywood, China, and Silicon Valley. Co-founders Katherine Winston and Amy Baker designed and produced the APEFF – the first event of its kind – to help creative masterminds and forward-thinking financiers take advantage of the unique opportunities this partnership offers, particularly in the face of the rapid innovations sweeping the entertainment business. The event was an impressive success, drawing power players from all sectors of the international media industries. Forum participants joined industry juggernauts such as Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee and AMC/Sundance Channel Global Network’s Bruce Tuchman at Winston Baker’s collaborative forum in the middle of paradise.
The APEFF included a range of speaker sessions, discussion panels, and keynote addresses that explored the investment possibilities, challenges, and strategies for success in the international film, TV, digital media, and gaming businesses. In addition to a keynotes address from seasoned entertainment executive Nina Yang Bongiovi and a keynote conversation about “Redefining the Television Landscape,” the APEFF also featured a panel on “Capitalizing on Gaming IP Development” composed of David Stelzer, a consultant at Epic Games; Clinton Foy, the managing director at CrossCut Ventures; and Sunny Dhillon, the principal at Signia Venture Partners. These experienced professionals considered such trends as e-sports and virtual reality in the multi-billion dollar global gaming industry and offered insight into the unique opportunities that gaming IP can offer.
Acknowledging the growing significance of Hawaii and its International Film Festival in the global entertainment community, another highlight of the APEFF was the session that considered the “Local Challenges and Opportunities of Creating Content in Hawaii.” Experts like Georja Skinner, Chief Officer for the State of Hawaii DBEDT Creative Industries Division, and Chris Lee, the Founder and Director of the Academy for Creative SystemMedia, examined how digital production tools, changes in distribution models, and the growing demand for Asian and collaborative content have shaped the dynamics of producing, particularly in Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region.
Winston Baker’s Asia Pacific Entertainment Finance Forum was a new kind of conference in a tropical paradise, and provided invaluable insight into equity and debt financiers. It proved to be indispensable for producers, developers, and innovators looking for effective approaches to fundraising, marketing, distribution, and profitability.
The successful event was made possible with the generous support of sponsors and partners including IM Global, Digital Film Cloud Network, Vine Alternative Investments, Motion Picture Association (MPA), FTI Consulting, Hyde Park Entertainment, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Creative Industries Hawaii, Hawaii Film Office, Honolulu Film Office, Island Film Group, The Modern Honolulu, Variety, The Chinese Film Market, and FilmFestivals.com.