Limited Budget Features with Huge Profit Potential

Limited Budget Features with Huge Profit Potential

What makes a film investment-worthy? Producers and decision makers discuss the keys to huge revenue potential.

Jeremy Kay, Americas Editor, Screen Daily

Brian Beckmann, CFO, Arclight Films
Michael Heimler, Head of Production and Finance, Black Bear Pictures
Kent Sanderson, Acquisitions and Ancillary Distribution, Bleecker Street


Nov 02 2021


11:00 am - 12:30 pm




  • Brian Beckmann
    Brian Beckmann
    CFO, Arclight Films

    Brian Beckmann has two decades of hands-on, multifaceted executive finance experience. He has worked for start-up firms, as well as, established companies ranging from small businesses to publicly traded companies. Beckmann has worked in a variety of industries including advanced technology and entertainment media.

    He is a producer in his own right and some of his films include DOG EAT DOG, starring Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe and Paul Schrader’s critically acclaimed FIRST REFORMED starring Amanda Seyfried and Ethan Hawke which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay, the acclaimed ESCAPE FROM PRETORIA starring Daniel Radcliffe and TWIST featuring an ensemble cast headlined by Michael Caine and Lena Headey.

    Beckmann’s well-rounded experience has resulted in expert skills in strategic business planning, establishment of operational and financial controls, transaction structuring, systems integrations, business affairs and producing.

    At Arclight Films, Beckmann oversees all legal, financial and accounting functions of the organization including its production operations and it’s 300+ library of feature films. During his tenure he has spearheaded the financing of over $150 million dollars in productions and dozens of acquisitions.

    Prior to Arclight Films, Beckmann managed the financial operations for the media division of GenesisIntermedia, a publicly traded NASDAQ company. While there, he helped facilitate two rounds of Series A public funding and three equity spinoffs. Beckmann also managed the financial activities of Brand Sense Partners, which manages more than 200 partnerships for its Fortune 500 clients with approximately $1.5 billion in retail sales in the consumer products, media, technology, celebrity and fashion industries.

    Beckmann’s strengths lie in his experience as a hands-on accounting, financial, and operations executive, as well as, his knowledge of big picture issues like strategy, financing, producing, and growth. He has a proven track record of increasing profits and company value by strengthening and building corporate infrastructure.

    Beckmann has a background in mechanical engineering and holds a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance, Real Estate, and Law from California Polytechnic University at Pomona. His MBA in Finance was earned at the University of La Verne. Brian also attended Southwestern University of Los Angeles, in pursuit of his law degree.

    Beckmann is a native of Los Angeles and lives there with his daughter.

  • Jeremy Kay
    Jeremy Kay
    Americas Editor, Screen Daily

    Jeremy Kay is The Americas editor of the international trade publication Screendaily. He usually travels to the major markets and festivals on the calendar, and this year has enjoyed reducing his carbon footprint by doing it all from his living room in Los Angeles. Besides festivals and markets, Kay reports on production and financing, studios, the impact of streamers on the independent movie landscape, and awards season.

  • Kent Sanderson
    Kent Sanderson
    Acquisitions and Ancillary Distribution, Bleecker Street

    Bleecker Street is an independently-financed distributor based in New York City, which was founded in August 2014 by Andrew Karpen. The company has released over 35 films and established itself as a trusted label and champion of original cinema, cumulating an impressive and lauded slate including Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace; Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky; Disobedience starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams; the Academy Award® Nominated Captain Fantastic; the hit thriller Eye in the Sky, and the Academy Award® Nominated Trumbo.

    With a slate of 7-10 films per year, recent notable and critically-acclaimed titles include: Stephen Daldry’s new comedy Together starring James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan; the Berlin prize winner I’m Your Man with Maren Eggert and Dan Stevens; the Sundance comedy Dream Horse starring Toni Collette and Damian Lewis; Together Together with Ed Helms and Patti Harrison; the Sundance and Venice Film Festival romance The World to Come with Katherine Waterston and Vanessa Kirby; the Colin Firth-Stanley Tucci starrer Supernova, Kitty Green’s The Assistant; and Wild Mountain Thyme starring Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan.

    Upcoming releases include: Mass starring Reed Birney, Ann Dowd, Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton and Geeta Mehta’s family comedy, India Sweets and Spices. The company also has a number of titles in various stages of production including: Academy Award® winning director Guy Nattiv’s Golda starring Academy Award® winner Helen Mirren; Malgorzata Szumowska’s Infinite Storm starring Naomi Watts; and Emma Holly Jones’ Mr. Malcolm’s List with Freida Pinto and Theo James.

    Andrew Karpen is the CEO of Bleecker Street, Derval Whelan serves as President of Distribution, Kent Sanderson as President of Acquisitions & Ancillary Distribution, Tyler DiNapoli as President, Marketing, Media and Research, and Myles Bender as President of Marketing & Creative Advertising.

  • Michael Heimler
    Michael Heimler
    Head of Production and Finance, Black Bear Pictures

    Michael Heimler serves as Head of Production & Finance for Black Bear Pictures, where he has worked since 2013. Following the company’s inception in 2011, Black Bear Pictures has grossed over $350 million worldwide, been nominated for thirteen Academy Awards®, nine Golden Globes®, and ten BAFTAs®, and launched its newly minted independent television arm, Black Bear Television, last year.

    At Black Bear, Michael is actively involved with all projects on Black Bear’s slate, focusing on physical production, post-production, business & legal affairs, finance & strategy, reviewing creative submissions and working closely with leading Canadian distributor, Elevation Pictures.

    Most recently, Michael Executive Produced Neil Burger’s The Marsh King’s Daughter starring Daisy Ridley, Ben Mendelsohn, and Garrett Hedlund; Produced Martin Campbell’s action/thriller Memory; Produced Dave Franco’s Somebody I Used to Know starring Allison Brie and Haley Joel Osment; Produced J Blakeson’s I Care a Lot starring Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza Gonzalez, and Dianne Wiest; Executive Produced Heidi Ewing’s Sundance award winning I Carry You With Me; Executive Produced Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Our Friend starring Jason Segel, Dakota Johnson, and Casey Affleck; Executve Produced Chad Hartigan’s Little Fish and Executive Produced Dave Franco’s The Rental starring Alison Brie and Dan Stevens.

    Previously, he served as Executive Producer on Peter Hedges’ Ben is Back, starring Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges; Light of my Life, written, directed by and starring Casey Affleck; and served as Co-Producer on Gold, directed by Stephen Gaghan and starring Matthew McConaughey.

    Prior to Black Bear, Michael worked in the motion picture talent department of United Talent Agency in its New York office, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts – Film and Television from The University of Wisconsin – Madison.