Admission: Pre-registration required, $20 / Free for Badge & Pass Holders
3:00PM – 4:30PM
Shooting a film, television, or digital project? Need to incorporate? What about contracts? Insurance? Navigating the business affairs of your production should not be a guessing game. This exclusive meeting gives you access to top entertainment lawyers from Behind The Scenes Services. Priority will be given to projects past the development stage with interest from financiers or financing commitments in place. Pre-registration required at firstname.lastname@example.org. Limited workshop capacity.
Eric Birnberg, Co-President, Business and Legal Affairs, Behind the Scenes Services
Thomas Walden, Co-President, Behind the Scenes Services
Karla Bobadilla, Entertainment Lawyer, Lewis Birnberg Hanet LLP
Workshop Facilitator Bios:
Eric Birnberg, LL.B. is a founding partner in the Toronto-based media, entertainment and telecommunications boutique law firm, Lewis Birnberg Hanet, LLP, providing services to an array of clients from Canadian television series hosts to international production and distribution companies, and broadcasters. A corporate lawyer by trade, Eric spent eight years with Alliance Atlantis, Canada’s then-largest integrated filmed entertainment company, holding senior management positions including Sr. VP, Business & Legal Affairs for the Television Group, and General Counsel to the entire Alliance Atlantis organization. Earlier in his career, Eric was Legal Counsel at Canada’s preeminent pay television network, The Movie Network.
Eric is also a co-founder and partner of Behind the Scenes Services, the 13-year old Toronto-based company that both manages all business and legal affairs on several film, television and digital media projects annually, and handles specialized business administration services, for many small and large Canadian production houses.
Complementary to these activities, Eric regularly serves in producing roles on film and television projects, including through his co-owned production company, High Park Entertainment, co-producer of the award-winning feature film thriller “Nightrunners” shot on Rusinga Island in western Kenya (recently nominated for the prestigious Kenyan “Kalasha” award for Best Feature Film), and in an independent capacity on projects such as Donald Sutherland’s Banff Rockie Award-nominated animated television movie “Pirate’s Passage”, and Dave Thomas’ animated television series “Bob and Doug”.
Eric was a founding partner in BITE TV, a Canadian broadcaster that won an International Emmy in 2007 for “Best Interactive Channel”, and he is a founding partner in Digital Howard, an upstart Canadian 360°digital media company currently in development on the STEM-focused, mobile gaming app entitled “Terracosm”.
Karla Bobadilla is a member of the Ontario Bar, and represents clients in the areas of entertainment and media law, practicing primarily in film, television and new media rights acquisition, production and distribution/exploitation. Karla has acted for film and television producers, distributors, broadcasters and film festivals. Karla is also the Sr. Vice-President, Business & Legal Affairs at Behind the Scenes Services Inc. which provides a full range of business administration services to Canadian producers.
Previously, Karla worked at the Canadian Media Production Association providing policy, government relations, strategic planning, advocacy and lobby work on behalf of a number of its genre and regional committees. While at the CMPA, Karla also gained experience in the regulatory arena by assisting on a number of the CRTC filings on behalf of its membership. She was also active on a number of industry advisory committees and consulted regularly with various government ministries, ministry agencies and other industry organizations.
Before the CFTPA, Karla spent much of her industry career as in-house legal counsel and corporate secretary at Astral Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund where she gained an appreciation of the complexities of feature film financing, from development to production to exploitation. While at a Toronto-based production and new media company, also as in-house legal counsel, Karla was not only responsible for all the legal aspects of their slate of productions, but she oversaw the business and legal aspects of the creation of an online film school.
Karla is also active in the not-for-profit cultural sector. She is the former Chair of the Board of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival where she oversaw all corporate governance, policy and corporate matters for the organization. Currently, Karla is a member on the Board of WorkInCulture, which supports the human resource and development needs of Ontario’s arts and cultural community. Karla has also been a speaker at various conferences and film festivals, including NSI, Reel Asian, Reel World, WIFT-T and the Worldwide Short Film Festival.
Thomas Walden is a CPA with over 25 years of senior financial and consulting experience and is the co-founder and President of Behind The Scenes Services Inc. which provides business administration, financial and tax and tax credit services to film, television and live theatre production companies, broadcasters and distributors. He has worked on over 400 film and television projects and collected over $300 Million of tax credits, Telefilm, OMDC, NOHFC, Cogeco and other investments for his clients. Prior to Behind The Scenes he worked with the largest entertainment companies in Canada including Alliance Atlantis, Lions Gate, Salter Street Films, Cineplex Odeon and Concert Productions International (CPI) on many landmark film and television productions (including many Emmy/Genie/Gemini award winners) and live performances (including the world tours of the Rolling Stones, U2, Paul McCartney, and 100+ other bands). He was a former tax auditor with Canada Revenue Agency where he reviewed and assessed billion dollar firms, tax planning vehicles and complex international transactions.
Thomas is also the Executive Producer for a number of films, most recently Pirate’s Passage (starring/written and produced by Donald Sutherland), Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B, Christmas at Cartwright’s and Nightrunners.
He was a founding partner of Bite TV which won an International Emmy for best Interactive TV and a partner with Digital Howard, a firm that creates winning 360 digital content and applications.
He was a Chancellor’s Scholar and graduated Magna Cum Laude from McMaster University.