Trump Trade War Starts to Threaten Hollywood's Business in China

By Patrick Frater and Rebecca Davis June 5, 2019

China has started putting the brakes on the entry of some U.S. content in apparent retaliation against Washington's escalation of its trade war with Beijing..

"We have heard the same information" regarding the squeeze on some U.S. content, said Jean Prewitt, president of the Independent Film & Television Alliance. "It is very unfortunate as China has become an important part of the independent film financing matrix. This would be an extreme setback." 

Cannes Marche Turns 60 With Pulse on the Future of the Film Biz

By Ben Croll May 13, 2019

Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the Marche du Film has a long hsitory of reflecting trends in the larger film industry while reacting to the realities of the moment...

Jean Prewitt Notes, "You cannot underestimate the ongoing significance of having the whole industry come together at these events, to test out their own perceptions about what's valuable, what's important, what other people are seeing and how they're pricing it." 

Content Groups Warn FTC Over 'Troubling; Application of EU Privacy Laws

By Ted Johnson April 8, 2019

CreativeFuture, the Independent Film and Television Alliance and the Copyright Alliance say that the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which went into effect last year, has hindered their ability to combat piracy. They contend that the sweeping measure restricts the availability of domain name data from a database overseen by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. They say that such information is critical to enforcement of online infringement.

European Indie Film Crisis Averted "For Now" After New Digital Single Market Ruling

By Geoffrey MacNab April 1, 2019

European film industry representatives have spoken of a "crisis averted for now" for the independent sector following the European Parliament's approval of the latest version of the so-called 'Cab Sat Directive' as part of the Digital Single Market...

"After an extremely hard-fought battle in the legislative process by Independent Film & TV Alliance (IFTA) and its colleagues in the audiovisual sectors, this Driective was successfully narrowed in scope from its origianal far-reaching and 'one size fits all' proposals which could have been quite disruptive and damaging to the entire film ecosysyem,' said Michal Ryan, chairperson of IFTA...

Hollywood Faces Uncertainty in China as the Film Business Slows

By Ryan Faughnder and Robyn Dixon  February 18, 2019

When the U.S. and China struck a landmark deal in 2012 to pry open the Asian country's vast film market, Hollywood salivated. The hard-fought agreement was a boon to major studios...while sparking a flurry of deals between U.S. and Chinese entertainment companies. 

"The China market has slowed down to an uncertain dribble of business," said Jean Prewitt, president of the Independent Film & Television Alliance. 

Europe's Film, TV Industries Hit Out at New EU Copyright Plans

By John Hopewell February 8, 2019 

Europe’s film and TV industries say they are teetering on the edge of disaster as the European Union finalizes new copyright regulation.

At the Berlin Film Festival on Friday, global producers’ association Fiapf, whose members include Hollywood’s MPAA, and the Independent Film & TV Alliance both sought to clarify what’s at stake for Europe’s film and TV industries. That followed protests Thursday by 14 worldwide film and television trade bodies that contend the current EU proposals would relax copyright enforcement for tech giants such as YouTube and Google.

Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

By John Hopewell December 18, 2018 

Industry organizations and major companies in Europe and Hollywood welcomed Tuesday a high-level European Union Agreement that in large part preserves producers' ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis.

"The new directive - in contrast to the original proposals - recognizes that these exclusive rights must be preserved with only defined, limited exceptions for broadcasters' ancillary online services," added Jean Prewitt, president and CEO of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, representing independent film and TV companies worldwide. 

IFTA Unveils New Board of Directors

By Jeremy Kay November 5, 2018 

Cornerstone Films co-head Alison Thompson and The Exchange Vice President of worldwide distribution Nat McCormick are among the new intake to join the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) board, it emerged during the organization's trade show AFM. 

The new members announced on Monday (5) following IFTA's annual elections include: Gene George (Lionsgate), Frederick Tsui (Media Asia), Pierre David (Reel One Entertainment), Anna Marsh (StudioCanal), Lloyd Kaufman (Troma Entertainment), and Alexandra Cocean (Voltage Pictures)...

IFTA Posts Record Membership Growth

By John Hopewell  September 7, 2018 

The Independent Film & Television Alliance has just seen its biggest membership growth in the last 20 years, with 35 companies from 21 countries joining over the last year.

New members at IFTA, which organizes the American Film Market and lobbies for the global independent sector, include Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media, New York’s Visit Films and some 15 other U.S companies, mainly world sales agents. 

Hollywood Urges Congress to Bring Google to Testify

By Harper Neidig  July 14, 2018 

A growing number of Hollywood professionals are urging Congress to bring Google executives in to testify in a move similar to when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was compelled to testify after his company's data scandal. 

Last month, the groups CreativeFuture and the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA) sent letters to the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Energy and Commerce Committee urging them to bring the internet search giant to Capitol Hill. The original letters had 90 signatures on them, and the groups resent the letters Sunday after that number grew to 154. 

Independent Film and Television Alliance Leaders Renew Contracts

By Gregg Kilday June 26, 2018

Jean Prewitt, CEO and president of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, the trade association of independent film and TV producers and distributors, and Jonathan Wolf, IFTA executive vp and managing director of American film market have both had their contracts renewed for another three years, the IFTA announced Tuesday.

CreativeFuture, IFTA Urge Lawmakers to Hold Google Hearings

By Ted Johnson   June 14, 2018 

CreativeFuture and the Independent Film & Television Alliance are pressing congressional leaders to get Google to testify in the same way that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg went before House and Senate hearings in April.

In letters to the Senate and House judiciary and commerce committees, CreativeFuture CEO Ruth Vitale, IFTA CEO Jean Prewitt, and more than 80 industry creative professionals seized on congressional concern over sex trafficking and election interference to urge them to also call in Google.

Net Neutrality Repeal Reactions

By Erik Pedersen    December 14, 2017  

Predictably, Hollywood, the broader entertainment industry and many Democratic politicians aren't happy about today's 3-2 party-line vote by the FCC...

Jean Prewitt, President & CEO, Independent Film and Television Alliance, "Today’s 3-2 decision by the FCC to repeal the critical ‘net neutrality’ safeguards established by the 2015 Open Internet Order is a significant setback for the independent sector of the film and television industry and the consumers which we serve."  

Entertainment Industry Scores Key Victory in Battle Against European Digital Single Market 

By Scott Roxborough December 12, 2017 

The reform proposals, which have been in the works for more than two years, were dealt a blow in late November when the parliament's legal affairs committee ruled to throw out the proposals for all but news and current affairs programming. Parliamentarians on Tuesday voted to uphold that ruling.

Hollywood's Motion Picure Association (MPA), the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) and the Independent Film & Telecision Alliance (IFTA) were among 20 trade bodies, insitutions and comapnies that officially supported the legal affairs committee ruling, circulating a joint letter to that effect to the European represetnatives last week. 

European Parliament Rejects Key Proposed Digital Single Market Regulation

By John Hopewell | Nick Vivarelli  December 12, 2017 

European Members of Parliament vote against re opening the case on controversial proposed pan-European online transmissions...FIAPF, Hollywood's Motion Picture Assn. (MPA) and the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) were among 20 trade bodies, institutions or companies that circulated a joint letter Friday to MEPs supporting the Juri committee's decision. 

How an Atlanta Power Couple's Business Has Heightened Hollywood and Silicon Valley's Piracy Anxieties

By Ryan Faughnder November 17, 2017

Jonathan Yunger, co-president of film production company Millennium Media, bristles at the thought of TickBox and similar businesses profiting from the illegal use of his movies. Several of Millennium’s films, including “The Expendables 3” and “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” have lost millions from online piracy.

Cannes: Hacking Threat Leaves Big Independent Films Vulnerable

By Leo Barraclough, Stewart Clarke | May 18, 2017

Industry leaders are assessing the changing nature of the threat. “The pirates are now looking at a whole other revenue stream, which is extortion,” Jean Prewitt, CEO of the Independent Film and Television Alliance, said. “Now there are people who think they can get money directly from you — it’s shifted the equation in terms of piracy.”

Europe, Hollywood Denounce European Commission Digital Market Plans 

By John Hopewell | May 2, 2017

The letters’ signatories include representatives of Hollywood’s MPAA, as well as FIAPF, the global producers’ body, and IFTA, whose president is Jean Prewitt (pictured), another global trade assn., representing the independent industry.
By Ryan Faughnder | February 24, 2017
Adult-oriented films such as “Lion” have dominated Oscar races in recent years. However, they’ve become an increasingly endangered species in the traditional Hollywood studio system as the major studios have turned their attention to franchise pictures that generate multiple sequels and spinoffs. That has created a big gap for independent producers to make movies targeted at grown-up audiences, the kinds of films that typically attract Oscar attention. 
“It’s become much more pronounced as we see studios headed toward ‘Transformers 99,’ ” said Jonathan Wolf, executive vice president of the Independent Film & Television Alliance.
Indeed, 78 of the Oscar nominations this year are for movies produced by companies outside the six major studios, according to the Independent Film & Television Alliance. 
By Erich Schwartzel | February 8, 2017

U.S. studios’ priority is increasing their share of Chinese box-office receipts.

Hollywood will soon have its first chance in five years to change the terms of doing business in China, a politically fraught opportunity for studios to reap billions more from their most important foreign market.
By Diana Lodderhose | November 21, 2016

Independent film financing has never been a walk in the park, and a lukewarm American Film Market this month coupled with an age of political, digital and economic uncertainty mean the preselling game has become more challenging than ever.

But if there’s one thing that could kill off the entire indie business as we know it: a series of regulations being mulled over in Europe right now with regard to the European Commission’s strategy for a Digital Single Market. Indeed, it’s a complex issue, but at its beating heart lies a dangerous prospect for the future of the audio-visual sector, which threatens to dismantle territory-by-territory licensing in Europe.
By Jeremy Kay | September 22, 2016

"Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) membership voted in the executive committee and board for the 2016-2018 term at Thursday’s concurrent annual membership meeting in Los Angeles and London."

By Beatrice Verhoeven | September 22, 2016

“We are once again honored to have so many uniquely talented and dedicated members on our Executive Committee and Board, who will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in our effort to serve and represent the Independents of our industry worldwide,” said IFTA Chairman Ryan. “I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank outgoing members for their service and passion towards our cause.”

By David Robb | September 22, 2016

The Independent Film & Television Alliance, an international trade association representing more than 135 companies in 23 countries, elected four vice-chairs at its annual membership meetings today in Los Angeles and London. Elected vice-chairs were Jay Joyce of Artist View Entertainment, Troma Entertainment’s Lloyd Kaufman, Charlotte Mickie of Mongrel International and Screen Media’s Almira Ravil.

By Roslyn Sulcas | June 29, 2016

Michael Ryan, the chairman of the Independent Film and Television Alliance, said in a statement on Friday that the decision was “a major blow to the U.K. film and TV industry.”

“This decision has just blown up our foundation — as of today, we no longer know how our relationships with co-producers, financiers and distributors will work, whether new taxes will be dropped on our activities in the rest of Europe or how production financing is going to be raised without any input from European funding agencies,” he added.

By Leo Barraclough | June 24, 2016

Michael Ryan, the chairman of the Independent Film and Television Alliance, and a partner at GFM Films, has expressed his dismay following the decision by U.K. voters to leave the European Union, and said it is likely to be “devastating” for the U.K. creative sector, including the film and TV industry.

By Rebecca Keegan | June 24, 2016

“Uncertainty might be the greatest impact,” said Michael Ryan, the chairman of the Independent Film and Television Alliance, and a partner at GFM Films. “The U.K. employs a massive amount of people in this industry, and right now it’s a very confused place.”

By Frank Pallotta | June 24, 2016

The United Kingdom's exit from the European Union could have an extensive impact on the country's film and television industries, but not on one of TV's most popular shows, "Game of Thrones."

"We do not anticipate that the result of the EU Referendum will have any material effect on HBO producing 'Game of Thrones,'" a HBO spokeswoman said in a statement.

By Sandra Gonzales | June 24, 2016

The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union may be destabilizing the markets, devaluing the pound and giving many people general apocalyptic feelings, but there's at least one thing that will probably remain unaffected by Brexit: 'Game of Thrones'. 
While some pondered in the first light of the post-Brexit vote day that the results could have an affect on the show's production, HBO on Friday released a statement affirming production should go on undisturbed.  

By Andreas Wiseman | June 24, 2016

As the UK votes decisively to leave the European Union, the film and TV sectors are in limbo. Following the resounding win for the vote Leave campaign in the EU referendum, which was a 52%-48% vote in favour of exiting the Union, the UK film and TV sectors have been left shocked and in limbo.

By Scott Roxborough | June 24, 2016

Film and television producers worry the Brexit will create uncertainty and could unravel much of the financial infrastructure the independent industry relies on.

"The decision to exit the European Union is a major blow to the U.K. film and TV industry," said Michael Ryan, chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliance in a statement. “This decision has just blown up our foundation — as of today, we no longer know how our relationships with co-producers, financiers and distributors will work, whether new taxes will be dropped on our activities in the rest of Europe or how production financing is going to be raised without any input from European funding agencies. The U.K. creative sector has been a strong and vibrant contributor to the economy — this is likely to be devastating for us."

By Yahoo! Movies Staff Writer | June 23, 2016

The entertainment industry is reeling following the result of the historic Brexit vote, warning that Britain's decision to leave the European Union (EU) could have disastrous consequences. Film and television producers worry the Brexit will create uncertainty and could unravel much of the financial infrastructure the independent industry relies on.

By BBC News Staff Writer | June 24, 2016

Entertainment figures and arts bodies have greeted Leave winning the EU referendum with a mixture of views. Michael Ryan, chair of the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA), said the result, which saw Leave take 51.9% of the vote, was "a major blow".

By Nancy Tartaglione & Ali Jaafar | June 24, 2016

Reactions have rolled in from industry execs following last night’s vote by Britain to exit the EU and as media stocks crashed in London. 
By Jeff Parsons | June 24, 2016

The decision for Britain to leave the European Union following yesterday's referendum has been described as "devastating" to our TV and film industry. The chairman of the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA), speaking to Variety, explained the uncertain future of the creative sector. 

"The decision to exit the European Union is a major blow to the UK film and TV industry," said Michael Ryan.

By Michael Ryan | June 16, 2016

As a committed European, I have looked with rising disbelief at the Digital Single Market Strategy (or DSM) outlined by the European Commission last December. Through a series of measures, including a proposed review of a 1993 directive on satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission, the Commission is proposing to do no less than abolish the mechanisms that maintain a sustainable financing and distribution ecosystem for audiovisual content.

By John Hopewell, Henry Chu | May 15, 2016

Industry commissioned report on collateral damage of cross-border access presented at Cannes Festival. The report was funded by the serried ranks of major movie and TV companies – 21st Century Fox, Entertainment One, Constantin, the U.K.’s Sky and ITV – plus industry organizations such as the Motion Picture Assn. of America and the Intl. Federation of  Film Producers Assns, whose members include the MPAA and IFTA.

By Ted Johnson | May 3, 2016

Jean Prewitt, president and CEO of IFTA, said that the goal is to make sure that there is a notice-and-takedown system in place in every country, even if it does not spell out specifically how it should work. “Any trade agreement is a floor, not a ceiling,” she said.

By Jonathan Handel | May 3, 2016

The agreement would have “no effect” on the practice of selling film rights on a territory by territory basis, said Jean Prewitt, president of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, at whose offices the briefing took place. She added that the copyright extension was justified by the increased useful life of films and the importance of sequel rights. Froman, who is meeting with IFTA members including Lionsgate and Nu Image during his time in L.A., pointed to such 1966 movies as The Sound of Music and Dr. Zhivago that will soon lose copyright protection in various countries absent the extension.

By Ted Johnson | April 22, 2016

The FCC, in a 3-2 vote in February, moved forward with a proposal to “open up” the set-top box market by establishing a technical platform that would let third-party manufacturers like Apple, Google, Roku or Amazon create their own set-tops capable of receiving cable or satellite TV programming.

Other organizations planning to file comments include the American Federation of Musicians, the Copyright Alliance, CreativeFuture, Crossings TV, IATSE, the Independent Film and Television Alliance, the National Music Publishers Assn., SoundExchange and VMe TV.

By Jeffery Fleishman | April 15, 2016

"Hollywood is hitting serious competition from local TV and film productions," said Jean M. Prewitt, president and chief executive of the Independent Film & Television Alliance. "More countries are producing world-quality films. We're certainly seeing that."

By John Hopewell | January 20, 2016

The Independent Film & Television Alliance's Chairperson Michael Ryan and President & CEO Jean Prewitt deliver a beginner’s guide to key ongoing issues and concerns surrounding potential new regulation.

By Digital TV Staff | December 11, 2015

The Independent Film & Television Alliance has raised concerns over the European Commission’s Digital Single Market plan to allow cross-border access to online content.

By Dave McNary | July 13, 2015

The Independent Film and Television Alliance has renewed contracts for CEO and President Jean Prewitt and Executive VP and American Film Market Managing Director Jonathan Wolf through 2018.

By Gregg Kilday | July 13, 2015

The two heads of the indie film and TV trade association will remain at the helm for another three years.

By Jeff Sneider | July 13, 2015

Prewitt serves as CEO and President of the organization, while Wolf is EVP and Managing Director of AFM.

By Jeremy Kay | July 13, 2015

The Independent Film & Television Alliance announced the news on Monday concerning CEO and President Jean Prewitt and Executive Vice-President and American Film Market Managing Director Jonathan Wolf. 

By Anthony D'Alessandro | July 13, 2015

The Independent Film & Television Alliance has renewed the contracts for CEO and President Jean Prewitt and Executive VP and American Film Market Managing Director Jonathan Wolf through 2018. 

By Leo Barraclough| May 22, 2015

The battle to protect the film and television industries' ability to license copyright by territory in Europe appeared to have wont at the Cannes Film Festival this week, but the war is not over, Jean Prewitt, CEO of IFTA, told Variety. 

By John Hopewell | May 16, 2015

"At the same panel, the Motion Picture Assn. (MPA) and Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) joined other producer and distributor trade orgs to call for an E.U. digital policy that preserved territorial licensing." 

By MARTIN BLANEY | May 7, 2015

"IFTA's President and CEO Jean Prewitt said that her organization was encouraged that the Commission acknowledges that 'copyright underpins creativity and the cultural industry in Europe. However, we are deeply concerned that the Commission persists addressing online rights in isolation from the rest of the AV value chain including theatrical exhibition."

By Elsa Keslassy | May 5, 2015

"Jean Prewitt, who heads IFTA, argued that the concept would allow a handful of multinational companies to control financing. 'Cross-border access would make it possible for broader offerings to domiate markets,' she explained. 'It would make it difficult for smaller platforms in local languages to survive."

By Scott Roxborough | March 25, 2015

"If you take away territorial exclusivity, you hand over the ability to distribute to a tiny handful of multinational companies that are not curating for a local audience and aren't interested in doing so', says Jean Prewitt, CEO/President of IFTA." 

By Jeremy Kay | March 23, 2015

"This is the fifth year IFTA has operated an unbrella stand, although for the first time ti will not be dedicated solely to US companies and is open to the organization's global membership".

By Martin Blaney | March 5, 2015

"In the UK, six executives of the leading film industry trade associations - IFTA, PACT, FDA, CEA, BVA and COBA - joined froces to issue an open letter - 'EU threat to films'... highlighting their concerns about the British Government supporting 'in principle' the European Commission's proposals."

By Kaleem Aftab | February 9, 2015

"Jean Prewitt, CEO and President of [IFTA] argued: 'The Commission's proposal would seriously damage the ability of independent producers to finance their films, which depends on exclusive licenses to local distributors."

By John Hopewell & L BARRACLOUGH | February 9, 2015

"The bottom line, however, is that the international sales biz has now got significantly tougher. 'If you talk to sales agents, they will tell you that they are working five times as hard today to make the same money as they did five years ago,' said Jean Prewitt, IFTA President-CEO." 

By Clifford Coonan | February 7, 2015

"There are fears that increased censorship also could encourage more piracy, and could give domestic movies, which have to go through the censorship process every early on, an advantage."