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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Roundup from the PGA/Film France/UPC Networking event at 71st Cannes Film Festival

Kayvan Mashayekh (Co-Chair, International Committee PGA), Ms. Regina Di Santo (Private Financial Sponsor), Calvin Walker (Film F

Kayvan Mashayekh (Co-Chair, International Committee PGA), Ms. Regina Di Santo (Private Financial Sponsor), Calvin Walker (Film France) Photo Credit @FilmFrance.

On May 12, 2018, during the 71st Cannes Film Festival, Kayvan Mashayekh (PGA International Committee, Co-Chair) held a panel on “Navigating your way through an International Co-Production” at the Jordan Pavilion as a part of his annual “Producers Without Borders” series. The PGA event was sponsored by the generous support of the Royal Film Commission of Jordan which included several prominent producers.

On the following day, Kayvan co-hosted a cocktail Networking event with Film France and UPC in his newly elected role on behalf of the PGA with additional financial backing from Set Keeper and Ms. Regina Di Santo. The event drew in over 250 international filmmakers and producers from around the world.

Following up on the heels of this year’s successful event during Cannes, Kayvan was excited to announce plans for three new PGA International events coming up in Toronto, London and LA: all before Thanksgiving. While the details are being worked out, one big sponsor (Pixomondo) has already stepped up to create opportunities for the international committee to spread its wings abroad, thanks to the efforts of outgoing Co-Chair, Stu Levy.  Naturally, I wanted to know what inspired this ambitious agenda. 

In an interview with the PGA’s partners in the Networking event (Film France/UPC/Set Keeper and Ms. Regina Di Santo), here is what I found out:


1. Film France (Calvin Walker)

QUESTION: Your collaboration with the PGA seems to have been rooted on previous successful events bringing international producers together. How do you plan to further the message of bringing more international co-productions to France with similar events like this in the future? If so, are there any plans underway for similar events anywhere else in France?

ANSWER: Calvin replied, "Film France has successfully collaborated with the PGA on many occasions in the past. More recently, other production industry players have started taking part in these events. We were pleased to see such a high turnout of US and European producers at this year's networking event in Cannes. Film France also plans to continue its series of in-depth "Working with France" workshops, held not only in France and the USA, but in all major film producing countries."


2. Union de Producteurs de Cinéma (Frederic Goldsmith)


The UPC is an official international affiliate of the PGA. Based on the continued success of the one you had in Cannes, what specific steps are being taken, if any, to strengthen the relationship moving forward?

Do these events help French producers co-produce projects with their American counterparts in the US?

Are there any other French organizations expressing interest in creating opportunities for co-production opportunities with the UPC and PGA?


Frederic responded with, "L’Union des producteurs de cinéma (UPC) gathers more than 200 cinematographic film producers in France of all types. Many of them produce films with international partners.

"The PGA-UPC cocktail is a truly international experience. It offers a unique opportunity for producers coming from all over the world who are present in Cannes to meet, exchange information, make connections, present partners, start collaboration, …

"UPC has been partnering with The Producers Guild of America (PGA) for eight years, thanks particularly to Antoine de Cazotte, member and French Representative of the PGA, Stuart Levy and Bill Stuart respectively former Co-Chairs of the PGA International Committee. We have done a lot of events together in France, whether in Cannes or in Deauville.

"We are very happy to welcome French linked Kayvan Mashayekh as the new elect Chairman of the PGA International Committee and excited that it may bring new ways and opportunities to develop our unique partnership."


3. Ms. Regina di Santo (private person financial sponsor)

QUESTION: Your last minute financial support for the event filled an important gap necessary for this event to move forward. Why was it important for you to see it continue?


Regina explained, "Two reasons. The desire to support a friend that I trust, a brilliant mind whose work as a producer I greatly appreciate and admire. Secondly, after having the chance to be guest at several parties, events etc. during the past 15 years of the Cannes festival, I could finally engage more deeply in a domain that I find very fascinating and inspiring. I wanted to support Kayvan and the association he co-chairs (PGA) and also UPC and Film France because, by organizing these events, they find the way to gather top film makers , distributors, publicists etc. from all over the world who discover one another and often make the most important deals of the year at the Cannes festival!" 

4. SetKeeper - production software company (financial sponsor) (Alex Peron)

QUESTION: In light of all the events in Cannes needing sponsorship support, what attracted you the most in supporting the PGA/Film France/UPC Networking Cocktail event? 


Alex stated, "We had the opportunity before to attend different events organized separately by the PGA, the UPC and Film France and could witness their high level of professionalism and dedication. We also had the chance to attend Produced By last year. What attracted us the most when sponsoring the PGA/Film France/UPC Networking Cocktail event was the opportunity to greet a diverse crowd of fantastic producers, filmmakers and screenwriters, but also the confidence that the organizers would do their best to make it great. We were right on both counts! It was an amazing place to help producers and creatives learn more about technologies designed to help their teams save time in prep and production, to create the films and series we love."


Alex Peron of SetKeeper (Photo by @SetKeeper)

Alex Peron of SetKeeper. Photo by @Setkeeper


Kayvan Mashayekh (Co-Chair, PGA International Committee) with Frederic Goldsmith (UPC Delegue General) (Photo by @FilmFrance)

Kayvan Mashayekh (Co-Chair, PGA International Committee) with Frederic Goldsmith (UPC Delegue General) (Photo by @FilmFrance)


ABOUT FILM FRANCE: Film France is a state-funding agency (supported by the CNC) put in place for the promotion of filming in France. It is the first stop for foreign productions preparing to film in France using a network of local film commissions throughout France and the French overseas territories. It provides assistance with contacting appropriate agencies regarding immigration/work permits and filming permits, as well as information regarding labour rates, studio facilities, post-production facilities and suppliers. Nowhere else in Europe will you find such a large diversity of locations combined with a highly skilled workforce. Providing information about coproduction opportunities in France and assists foreign producer who want to apply for the TRIP (Tax Rebate for International Production).


ABOUT UPC: Bringing together more than 200 producers of feature films and commercials representing all the diversity and dynamism of French film and advertising production, first in Europe, second largest exporter and source of many awards at the world's biggest festivals, the Union of Film Producers (UPC), resulting from the merger in 2016 of the Association of Film Producers (APC) and the Union of Film Producers (UPF), intends to promote and defend independent film production in all its components.


ABOUT PGA: The Producers Guild of America is the World’s largest organization of producers in film, television and multimedia with a growing membership of over 8500 dedicated to the craft of producing.


ABOUT REGINA DI SANTO: Regina is the legal advisor in the SCP Family office in Monaco which specializes in private wealth management services. 


ABOUT SET KEEPER: Set Keeper is a Production Software company specializing in streamlining and simplifying the production process for cast and crew through watermarking and document distribution, document sharing and email history analytics.


Roundup from the PGA/Film France/UPC Networking event at 71st Cannes Film Festival

Photo by Kayvan Mashayekh

Interview by Vanessa McMahon


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