President and Chief Executive Officer
Karine is a Canadian lawyer with 20 years’ experience in the entertainment industry. Based in Montreal, she began her career as an attorney for two large law firms in Canada were she practiced litigation, commercial and corporate law in addition to entertainment law. She has been CEO of Mediabiz since 2002, and has been involved in raising equity, fund management and financial engineering for media groups, international banks, funds (sovereign, private and pension), producers and distributors, including major and independent entertainment entities throughout Asia, the Middle East, North America and Europe. Through Mediabiz and its affiliates, Karine has acted as executive producer, producer and/or financier for more than 40 TV or film projects. Mediabiz also lent her services to the Lagardère Group for which she acted as COO for one of its financing entities. Karine’s expertise in film and TV financing led her to advise Belgium and the Czech Republic on their tax incentive structures. Mediabiz also advised Airbus and EADS on their industrial offsets in South Africa. Before joining Mediabiz, Karine worked for a US independent film and television production and distribution company in Los Angeles where, as senior vice-president and head of business affairs, she managed legal, financial and commercial operations. Karine is the president of the production divisions and acts as producer. She supervises the production operations and follows-up on the development, financial, production and exploitation processes of each project. She also manages the affiliated equity funds and is a member of their respective investment committee. Karine is recognized as one of the leading Canadian women in entertainment and has received the Canadian Screen Awards for `Best Dramatic Mini-series or TV Movie’ for Magic Beyond Words: The JK Rowling Story (2013) and was nominated for Maïna (2014) in the `Best Movie’ category. Finally, Karine is co-founder and co-managing partner of Cirrina Holdings, a media group based in Santa Monica launched in 2017 by Mediabiz and DMH Holdings.
President, Mediabiz Capital
Jean-François is the founder of Mediabiz and has managed its operations from Los Angeles and Montreal. As its CFO, he has ensured financial control and structured financial plans for media groups, international banks, funds (sovereign, private and pension), as well as producers and distributors widely reputed throughout Asia, the Middle East, North America and Europe. Since 2012, Jean-François has been the president of Mediabiz Capital Canada as well as a member of its board and investment committee; he serves as a director of Mediabiz International’s financial and production divisions. He has an MBA and extensive experience in finance, international relations and the entertainment industry. He started his career in international relations working for various governmental and political organizations. Subsequently, he worked for a Canadian state bank where he was responsible for the loan portfolio dedicated to the development of international markets for entertainment companies, including film, television, new media, performance and music.
VP Business and Legal Affairs
Sophie is a member of the Quebec Bar as well as the Bar of the State of New York. She has developed her private practice experience in the media and entertainment industry with the world-renowned comedy provider Just For Laughs, where she was head of legal affairs. Sophie supervised corporate and legal affairs in all of the company’s areas of operation, from production projects, live performances, to numerous television projects. As director of legal and business affairs at Groupe Entourage, a multiplatform Montreal-based entertainment provider specializing in live performance, television, and music production, she was responsible for all manner of corporate affairs, litigation, and legal matters related to operations. At Mediabiz, Sophie navigates the often-complex legal logistics of international co-productions. She is responsible for all of the insurance and legal affairs pertaining to production, finance, as well as tax credits, and for supervising cross-border legal affairs in conjunction with Mediabiz’ worldwide partners.
DIVISIONS AND AFFILIATED EXECUTIVES
President, Mediabiz Europe
Patricia is established in London and has 20 years of experience in the finance sector and the entertainment industry. As president of Mediabiz Europe, she is in charge of all European relationships and has the mandate to develop Mediabiz’ financial activities in Europe, including raising equity, setting up funds and co-managing Mediabiz Capital’s investment transactions in collaboration with the North American financial division. Prior to joining Mediabiz, Patricia worked for Future Films from 2008 to 2011, as the company’s managing director and also as a member of the board. In 2000, she joined the Media & Entertainment team of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as one of the initial team members and rose to be head of the structured tax team in 2005, before assuming the position of head of the media & entertainment team in 2007. The media portfolio consisted of £8bn of assets with clients from major and independent US and European studios, including Time Warner, 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney Pictures. Prior to RBS, she worked for Greenwich NatWest where she was associate manager for leasing, asset and structured Finance (1989-2000). Patricia is a member of the Mediabiz Capital Canada L.P.’s investment committee.
Anne-Catherine has lived and studied in both Paris and Montreal. She holds a master’s degree in history and completed course requirements for a PhD, before turning to freelance writing and editing. Prior to launching the Mediabiz affiliated development entity, Pyxis Development, she worked on the creation and development of documentaries, feature films and television series. Anne-Catherine acts as head of development and is in charge of the evaluation and development of scripts coming from every horizon (independent international agents and producers including prominent Hollywood ones) according to the requirements of the financial division and the production needs.
President, Cirrina Production
David started his feature animation career as Head of Production for DreamWorks overseeing all of the studios output including PRINCE OF EGYPT, ANTZ, ROAD TO ELDORADO, SPIRIT and CHICKEN RUN. David left the executive ranks to Co-Executive Produce the Academy Award winning hit SHREK. He went on to Write and Produce the multi-sensory stereoscopic attraction SHREK 4D for Universal Theme Parks, and then went on to produce the Academy Award nominated blockbuster SHREK 2. David joined Framestore, Europe’s largest visual effects house in February 2006 as Managing Partner, opening up their Feature Animation Division. He hired a crew of three hundred and built Framestore’s feature animation pipeline and Executive Produced their inaugural project, THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX, for Universal. David served as Vice President of Feature Production for Digital Domain, an Academy Award winning visual effects company, overseeing such projects as OBLIVION, JACK THE GIANT SLAYER, ENDERS GAME and IRON MAN 3. David recently oversaw the production of the animated feature film THE PROPHET, directed by Roger Allers (Lion King) and produced by Salma Hayek. David graduated from the Art Center College of Design with a BFA in Film. He is a member of both the Writers Guild and Directors Guild of America.
Internationally renowned Television Producer and Writer, Mark Shekter is responsible for over 1000 hours of programming for major networks and cable, including NBC, CBS, ABC, TURNER BROACASTING, A&E, TLC, DISNEY, PBS, DISCOVERY, LIFETIME, with shows distributed in over 100 countries. Major international awards include Emmys, Parent’s Choice Awards, New York Film Critics, the Canadian Gemini’s and the European Rose D’Or.Mark’s producer/writer credits cover all genres: from international live-action shows like TRADERS, DARING & GRACE, VAMPIRE HIGH, to the highly awarded LENARD COHEN special, ‘I AM A HOTEL’, to A&E’s award-winning INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS, to Nickelodeon’s top-rated ELEPHANT SHOW, and ABC’s MICHAEL JACKSON special. As former director of Program Development for Global Television Network (Canada) Mark was responsible for developing and supervising all original and international co-productions, Drama series, MOWs, Documentaries as well as Comedy and family which included READY OR NOT (Global/Disney) and SWEATING BULLETS (Global/CBS), and MILLENIUM (Global, BBC). Mark was also head of Script development and Light Entertainment Programing for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in Canada. As writer and composer, Mark has worked with entertainment’s greats, including; Ray Charles, Steve Martin, Jim Carrey, Elton John, Ella Fitzgerald, James Taylor, Lenard Cohen and Martin Short.
Jefferey W. STENTZ
Co-founder and co-manager, Cirrina Holdings
President, Board member, Jefferey is a private equity executive with an integral role in aggressive growth via acquisition, has earned a solid reputation for sourcing, managing, and closing a large volume of transactions steps instrumental in positioning companies for market leadership and profitability. He has been President of Hendricks Holding Company and the former Director of Acquisitions for ABC Supply Company (affiliated through common ownership under Chairman and CEO Diane Hendricks, a Forbes-ranked entrepreneur and billionaire). Jeffrey has managed personal banking relationships and private equity investments for Diane Hendricks, and has spearheaded the acquisition of 23 companies. Jeffrey closed more than 100 acquisitions—a pivotal growth step in the company’s emergence as a $9B operation with 450+ locations in 45 states (from just $400M at the start of his tenure)
Nancy TRITES BOTKIN
Nancy Trites Botkin is a multi-award winning Writer, Director, Producer and Story-Editor for both television and film. Her work has earned over 60 national and international awards including New York Film Award Gold, Houston Gold, several Columbus awards, Chicago Gold, Banff Rockie, several Gemini’s, ACE, and several Parent’s Choice award, including the Gold, beating out Harry Potter. Nancy’s feature films for TV include AGE OLD FRIENDS, an Emmy-winning HBO production with actor Hume Cronyn, HEAVEN ON EARTH, winner of the Houston and Columbus Gold Awards, and TRAMP AT THE DOOR, (released by Disney) which won 15 awards internationally, including Gold Medals from the New York, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago and Columbus Film Festivals. FOR ANGELA (a National Film Board Production) awarded the prestigious Canada Award and several other international prizes, is a powerful half-hour drama dealing with racism, which has been placed in every school in Canada. RED SHOES, co-written and produced by Nancy, won the Columbus Gold, Chicago Gold and was short-listed for the Oscars. Mentor, teacher and consultant, Nancy has played a principal role in forwarding the Canadian film and television industry, serving on several boards including the National Screen Institute. She works nationally and internationally creating & producing film, TV and digital media well as conducting professional screenwriting seminars.
OTHER INVESTMENT COMMITTEE AND BOARD MEMBERS
Arnold W. MESSER
Investment committee member, M.C.C.
A native of Nebraska, Arnold is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He launched his career in the entertainment business as senior counsel at Columbia Pictures Television in 1979. After a stint as vice-president of business affairs at Viacom International, Arnold returned to Columbia Pictures where he served as senior vice-president and later as executive vice-president of Worldwide Business Affairs. In 1983, he was named senior executive vice-president of TriStar Pictures and president of its telecommunications group, where he oversaw the business of theatrical production as well as all ancillary marketing and television activities. In 1987, Arnold returned again to Columbia Pictures as executive vice-president. He supervised worldwide television production and distribution activities and negotiated major international television agreements for the company. In 1989, Arnold was named president of the international releasing group for Sony Pictures Entertainment where he was responsible for all international activities and ancillary market operations. In 1992, he led this division to well over USD 1 billion in gross revenues worldwide. That year, Arnold was promoted to executive vice-president of Sony Pictures Entertainment, taking charge of long-term global strategy and overseeing international production. In 1994, Arnold teamed with his friend and colleague, Mike Medavoy (7 Best Picture Oscars) who has produced more than 300 films including Platoon, Amadeus, Dances with Wolves, Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, to launch Phoenix Pictures where he has produced notably All The King’s Men, Shutter Island and Black Swan.
Investment committee member, M.C.C.
Penny has worked in the international film arena during her entire career of over 25 years. She is the managing partner of The Film Consultancy Partners, a boutique film consultancy company working in the fields of international distribution, marketing and finance. Prior to launching her own company, she was head of film at Goldcrest International and responsible for re-establishing the theatrical division. Other past positions include executive vice-president of Peace Arch Entertainment, managing director of HBO Films, head of International Film Distribution at Granada Films, vice-president of International Sales at Capitol Films, managing director of Senator Films, and director of International Sales for Vestron International. She started her career as director of sales for VCL Video. Penny has worked closely with a number of filmmakers including Gus van Sant, Josh Marsten, Raoul Peck, Stephen Hopkins, Todd Solondz and Tim Hetherington. She has also been a consultant to Pierce Brosnan’s Irish Dreamtime. Penny is a highly regarded speaker at film festivals and summit meetings around the world. She speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian, and is currently learning Arabic.
Investment committee member, M.C.C.
François holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a bachelor of law from the Université de Montréal and is a member of the Québec Bar. François began his career in the cultural sector with the National Film Board of Canada, where he occupied successively, from 1976 to 1989, the positions of commissioner to cinematography, director of the French program, CEO and chairman of the board of directors. In 1991, François became general manager and vice-president of the board of directors of Malofilm Distribution. From 1995, he holds the position of executive director of Telefilm Canada, where he also assumed the chairmanship of the board of directors from 2001 to 2002. The following year, he worked within the Department of Canadian Heritage as a lawyer. François was appointed vice-president, legal and business affairs at Cirque du Soleil in 2003, and then in 2006, he became executive producer. From June 2004 to April 2008, he was chairman of the board of directors of the Montréal Place des Arts. From 2009 to 2013, he was appointed president and CEO of the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC).
Marc obtained his degree of DMD from the University of Montreal in 1980. He is a member of the following: Quebec Order of Dentists, the Quebec Dental Surgeons Association, the Canadian Dental Association, the Montreal Dental Society, the International Congress of Oral Implantology, and the International Association for Orthodontics. He is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry and an active participant in numerous continuing education courses with the most respected institutions. He has also been involved as an investor for companies spanning various industry sectors.
Chairman, production division
Director, Mediabiz International
David has a BA degree (cum laude) from Dartmouth College (New Hampshire) and an MBA (with distinction) from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration (New Hampshire). He has 40 years of experience with consumer goods multinationals and lottery operators. He began his career with Colgate Palmolive in various marketing and general management positions in the USA, Africa, Europe and Asia. He then worked for Price Waterhouse and the Canadian operation of BAT Group for 7 years in various marketing and product development roles. David joined Loto Québec (Canada) in 1978 to manage the sales and marketing functions before becoming CEO from 1985 to 1991. After a 2-year stint in publishing in Canada and a year with technology supplier G-TECH Europe, David joined the British team that formed Camelot Group and helped launch, manage and develop the UK National Lottery. At Camelot he managed lottery operations, corporate strategy and corporate diversification.
Director, Mediabiz International
Max obtained his MBA from the University of Michigan. He has been a chartered accounted for over forty years and is an active private investor, corporate consultant and, via Druker & Associates Inc., a bankruptcy trustee. Max sits on several boards including in his capacity of vice-president of the board of directors at Mount Sinaï Hospital.
Véronique Gagnon is a Senior Investment Advisor in the Recreational tourism and Culture sectors. She joined the Fonds de solidarité FTQ in 2001 as Valuation Advisor. She later was Senior Advisor, Due Diligence where she participated in risk management, planning, preparing and conducting due diligence reviews of investment projects. Véronique Gagnon earned her Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting as well as a graduate diploma in accounting from HEC Montréal. She is a Chartered Accountant (CA) and a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV). Prior to joining the Fonds, Ms. Gagnon worked for well-known financial firms and institutions.
Director, TGE Capital
Investment committee member
An accomplished media and entertainment professional with over a decade of proven managerial and strategic experience in the international animation content production and distribution industry. Co-executive producer for many award winning animated television shows, feature films and DVD releases for media production houses like Walt Disney, Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Lions Gate, Hallmark, BBC, Sony Entertainment and Cartoon Network. In 2008, he was selected as one of the top twenty ‘toon-titans’ in Asia by Animation Magazine and was a jury member of the elite Emmy Award panel (2009). He is a member of the prestigious International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and member of the Entertainment Committee of FICCI, a leading confederation of business organizations in India. Jayakumar serves on various advisory and consultant assignments for national and international organizations. He is vastly experienced in project financial management and project funding with an exceptional track record in building partnership with considerable gravitas. He served as financial consultant to various national and international organizations like the Aga Khan Foundation and also to various missions connected with UNICEF, UNDP/World Bank, etc.
Director, Mediabiz International and production division
Jean-Marc was born in Canada and lives in Brussels (Belgium). He is a lawyer with a strong knowledge of economics and 40 years of experience as a senior executive in major companies. He has been involved as an investor and consultant for companies spanning various industry sectors. After serving on the board of Videotron, the second largest cable TV distributor in Canada, he became CEO of their subsidiary Videoway Inc. From 1983 to 2001, Jean-Marc was president of G-TECH Europe SA, the European subsidiary of the American G-TECH Holdings Corporation. He is and has been a member and an officer of several lottery associations and corporations. He has successively acted as secretary of the Board of Directors and legal counsel to Loto Québec (Canada), general manager of Atlantic Lottery Corporation (Canada) and CEO of Loto Québec (Canada). He was secretary general and honorary member of the executive committee of the International Association of Lotteries (AILE), from 1972 to 2000; vice-president, International of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NAASPL), from 1980 to 1982; and, honorary member of the World Lottery Association (WLA), from 2000 to date. Since 2008, Jean-Marc has contributed to the development of Mediabiz in Europe, notably by raising funds.
Director, M.C.C. and production division
Investment committee member, M.C.C.
Luc is an investment portfolio manager at Fondaction CSN. Previously, he was a senior analyst, high tech at SGF (Société Générale de Financement). Luc is a member of the board of several companies in diverse sectors. He is a chemical engineer and obtained legal training from the University of Montreal and an MBA from HEC Montréal.
Patrick is senior vice-president of Interactive Marketing Solutions for TC Media, a brand of Transcontinental and Canada’s leading provider of media and marketing activation solutions. As a pioneer in Canada’s online marketing industry, Patrick has distinguished himself over the years for his exceptional sense of leadership and innovation. Before joining TC Media, he was president of Mediative, a Yellow Pages Group company. Prior to that, he held a number of management positions, notably at Sun Media, Canoe.ca, Sympatico/MSN and Bell Canada. Patrick is also very involved in the industry. He has been on the board of directors of IAB Canada (Interactive Advertising Bureau) for almost ten years, and has also been a director of many other organizations such as Aquisio, My Virtual Paper and LIPSO. A graduate of Concordia University, he also attended Northwestern University, Harvard Law School and the Sloan School of Management at MIT.