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Uploaded 10/12/2020

Arts Symposium 2020 | Be Seen Film Distribution Tips & Tricks

Offered by the City of Santa Clarita, the FREE Arts Symposium joins New Heights Artists Development Series during ‘ARTOBER’ for a sequence of workshops and panel discussions designed to engage and educate creative individuals, no matter what level of experience. Held every Saturday in October, the Arts Symposium will feature Visual Arts, Film and Music sessions! An esteemed panel shares their experience selling independent films with specific tips on how the distribution process and landscape is changing amidst a global pandemic.

Panelists will discuss the creative sales and marketing strategies, new film markets, VOD/online distribution, film festivals, and successfully packaging a film for the marketplace as well as tips for independent filmmakers and building YOUR specific audience. You’ve done the hard work of making a film, now make sure it gets seen!

Panelists include: Two-time Emmy Award Winner Cady McClain, Lisha Yakub (Producer at Calgrove Media, who formerly packaged films for distribution at Discover Management) and Liz Manashil (formerly of Sundance’s Creative Distribution Initiative and Picture Motion). with moderator Jennifer Fischer (former founder/director of the Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival and producer and distributor with Think Ten Media Group).


Liz Manashil earned her B.A. in Film and Media Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, and her M.F.A. from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Post graduation, Liz spent several years as a film critic for the PBS/Hulu series JUST SEEN IT (which she also helped produce and direct). Overlapping this, Liz worked with distribution guru Peter Broderick. In 2016, Liz became the sole manager of Sundance’s groundbreaking Creative Distribution Initiative until the program’s close in 2019. As a filmmaker, her debut feature, BREAD AND BUTTER (starring Christine Weatherup, Bobby Moynihan, MIcah Hauptman, Eric Lange, and Lauren Lapkus), was called “an absolute must-watch for women everywhere” by HelloGiggles. It was released by The Orchard and can be seen on VOD nearly everywhere. Her second feature, SPEED OF LIFE (starring Ann Dowd, Allison Tolman, Jeff Perry, and Ray Santiago), was called “Delightful in just about every way,” by noted film critic Tim Cogshell. Liz has started production on her third feature, LADY PARTS. She lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Laura Palmer, her partner, Sean Wright, and her son, Colin. She is a Women in Film mentee and currently works as the Senior Manager, Impact Distribution at Picture Motion.


Two-time Emmy© Award winner Cady McClain is a fierce advocate for the female voice in film and television. Her documentary film “Seeing is Believing: Women Direct,” won multiple festival awards and was seen on PBS Empire in March 2020 . She received the 2017 International Matrix Award from the Association of Women in Communications for her work related to the film. She has two Emmy© nominations for her work on the team directing the LGBTQ series “Venice the Series.” McClain has been featured in Salon, Indiewire, Entertainment Tonight, People Magazine, FilmThreat, PBS SoCal, TV Guide Magazine, The Washington Post, The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Daily News, NPR, The Boston Herald, Time Out NY, Good Housekeeping, McCall’s, The Times Picayune, The Palm Beach Post, Newsday, The Alliance of Women Film Journalists, WFAA Texas (ABC affiliate), CBS KCal9, Newport Beach Magazine, Broadway World, Germany’s FilmLowen, and Country Weekly. A Mentor for Women in Film (2019-2020) she is proud to pass on her mentoring skills to a wide variety of women. She is also an Ambassador for The Chimaera Project and a member of NYWIFT, Glass Elevator, and AWD.


Lisha Yakub is a Santa Clarita-based producer currently building a brand of youth-oriented content for film, television and digital platforms. Her latest feature films, OPERATION: NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH and LIFT ME UP both received worldwide distribution. She has experience package film, television and new media projects with Discover Management and worked as a creative executive for Elsa Ramo. She also worked in the international publicity department at Sony Pictures Television. She has a B.A. from the University of Southern California and a J.D. from Hofstra Law School.


Jennifer Fischer is a filmmaker, arts educator and film curator. To date, her films have screened at more than 65 film festivals and garnered 15+ best of awards. Her multi-award winning feature film, SMUGGLED, saw her tackling self-distribution, successfully securing theatrical screening events at universities, colleges and community organizations through the United States and abroad. She founded and ran the Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival for 7 years. She holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Harvard University.

City of Santa Clarita | 2020

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