The Innovators

Film industry trailblazers transforming traditional business models share their insights on the future of filmed entertainment.

PART I: Independent Content Development & Financing
Jeff Annison, Co-Founder & President, Legion M
Lindsey Ramey, Head of Global Film, Wattpad WEBTOON Studios

Ryan Koo, Founder & CEO, No Film School

PART II: Filmmaker Education & Community
Richard Botto, Founder, Stage 32
Alex Ferrari, Founder, Indie Film Hustle

Amanda Toney, Producer & Managing Director, Stage 32


Nov 03 2022


4:30 pm - 6:00 pm


  • Alex Ferrari
    Alex Ferrari
    Founder, Indie Film Hustle

    Alex Ferrari is an author, blogger, speaker, consultant, the host of the #1 filmmaking podcast on iTunes Indie Film Hustle Podcast, and an award-winning writer/director with 25 years of experience in the film industry. As a director his films have screened in over 500 international film festivals. Frustrated that his fellow filmmakers were being “chewed up” by the film business, Alex decided to start Indie Film Hustle®, a website dedicated to educating filmmakers and artists on how to survive and thrive in the film business. He also launched a podcast focused on filmmaking called The Indie Film Hustle® Podcast. Within three months of its start date, the show became the #1 filmmaking podcast on Apple Podcasts. He’s also the host of the popular screenwriting podcast Bulletproof Screenwriting® and the filmmaking business podcast Filmtrepreneur®. His new book Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Money Making Business rocketed to the top of the Amazon charts and became a #1 Best Seller as well. Alex currently lives in Los Angeles with his lovely family. He is a devoted practitioner of meditation and believes in how it aids the creative process. He also speaks regularly at screenwriting and film events, festivals and conventions.

  • Richard Botto
    Richard Botto
    Founder & CEO, Stage 32

    Richard “RB” Botto is the Founder and CEO of Stage 32, a working screenwriter, best-selling author, actor and producer. As the CEO of Stage 32, RB oversees the world’s largest online tech platform connecting and educating the global entertainment industry with over 1 million members in the community. Stage 32 is the education partner of Netflix, the American Film Market, Canon and the Cannes Film Festival Marche du Film. As a screenwriter, RB has sold feature screenplays and recently set up a television series he created at Amblin. As a producer, his films have played at dozens of festivals including Cannes, Sundance, SXSW and Raindance. As an actor, his latest film On the Corner of Ego and Desire recently premiered at the Raindance Film Festival. RB’s book Crowdsourcing For Filmmakers: Indie Film and the Power of the Crowd, was published by Focal Press/Routledge under the American Film Market Presents banner and has hit #1 in 6 different film and business-related categories. The book can be found on Amazon and Audible, where it has garnered over 100 5-star reviews.

    RB has been a keynote speaker and panelist all over the world at such festivals and conferences as the Cannes Film Festival (France), American Film Market (US), Tribeca Film Festival (US), Austin Film Festival (US), SXSW (US), Cinequest (US), Winston Baker (US), Hollyshorts Film Festival (US), Raindance Film Festival (UK), FOCUS (UK), Hamburg Film Fest (Germany), Trinidad & Tobago Film Commission (Trinidad), Fest Festival (Portugal), Black Nights Film Festival (Estonia), USC (US), Columbia University (US) and Harvard (US) on the business of the entertainment industry.

  • Jeff Annison
    Jeff Annison
    Co-Founder & President, Legion M

    Jeff Annison is the Co-founder and President of Legion M, the world’s first FAN-OWNED media company that is using disruptive new equity crowdfunding laws enabled by the JOBS Act to create a film and television company built from the ground up to be owned by fans.

    Prior to Legion M, Jeff was a cofounder of MobiTV, one of the world’s first live mobile television services. Jeff led engineering and product development as the company scaled from 3 cofounders to over 300 employees, won an Emmy Award for Innovation in Television, and grew to over 25MM paying subscribers.

    He was also the co-founder and CEO of Underground Labs, a product development studio that built mobile apps, websites, and enterprise products for clients including AT&T, Sprint, NFL, SEC, ACC, Universal Music, Warner Music, Sony Music, Diet Coke, Paramount Pictures, and more. Underground Labs also created the New York Rock Exchange, a first-of-its-kind marketplace that allowed fans to own a piece of a song.

    Jeff started his career designing toys for Hasbro and theme park ride effects for Universal Studios. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UCLA.

    Outside of work, Jeff is a dedicated husband, father, teacher, board/video gamer, and amateur auto racer.

  • Lindsey Ramey
    Lindsey Ramey
    Director of Content Development & Production, Wattpad WEBTOON Studios

    Since joining the former Wattpad Studios in 2018 as the Director of Content Development and Production, Ramey has been instrumental in building Wattpad WEBTOON Studios’ domestic and international development slate. Ramey was announced as the studio’s Head of Global Film in 2022, with her recent work including the upcoming feature film Float, based on Kate Marchant’s hit Wattpad romance of the same name, from Wattpad WEBTOON Studios, Lionsgate, Collective Pictures, and Brightlight Pictures. Andrea Bang (Kim’s Convenience, Luce) will star alongside Robbie Amell (The Flash, The Babysitter, The Duff), who is also producing. Ramey also worked on the Netflix streaming sensation Through My Window (A Través de mi Ventana) based on the Wattpad novel by Ariana Godoy.

    Prior to working at Wattpad, Ramey was the Vice President of Production and Development at some of the production companies in entertainment Doug Liman, Dave Bartis and Gene Klein’s Hypnotic and David Heyman’s HeyDay Films as well as the Director of Production & Development of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group. Ramey is a graduate of Baylor University.

  • Amanda Toney
    Amanda Toney
    Producer & Managing Director, Stage 32

    As Managing Director for Stage 32, Amanda oversees operations and partnerships for the global business. She has curated over 2,000 hours of online education created exclusively for Stage 32, and works with hundreds of entertainment industry executives from around the world to serve as educators and mentors. She has spearheaded partnerships with such prestigious organizations as the Cannes Film Festival Marché du Film, American Film Market, Netflix, SXSW, Austin Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, PGA, WGA and DGA, as well as brands such as AT&T, Peerspace, Pond5, Mandy, Bondit Media Capital and her personal favorite partnership, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is the official vodka of Stage 32.

    As a film producer, Amanda has worked on the psychological thriller What Lies Ahead starring Rumer Willis and Emma Dumont, Metaphorms, a Hungarian film, which premiered at the Raindance Film Festival and Dolphin Girl which premiered at the Oscar qualifying Hollyshorts Film Festival. She has also helped incubate Chick Fight, starring Malin Akerman, Alec Baldwin and Bella Thorne. She is an Executive Producer on Vagic with Amy Baer at Gidden Media, as well as My Clone’s an A*Hole with National Lampoon. As a television producer she recently sold a scripted drama series to a mini-major studio and a premium unscripted show to a major US network.

    Amanda has spoken all over the world at the Cannes Film Festival (France), Hollyshorts Film Festival (US), Raindance Film Festival (UK), Hamburg Film Fest (Germany), Trinidad & Tobago Film Commission (Trinidad), Black Nights Film Festival (Estonia), Fest Festival (Portugal) and Harvard (US) on the business of the entertainment industry.

  • Ryan Koo
    Ryan Koo
    Founder & CEO, No Film School

    Ryan Koo’s directorial debut AMATEUR is a 2018 Netflix Original Film starring Michael Rainey Jr. and Josh Charles. Vulture called the basketball film “a scrupulously researched defense of player’s rights — that is, the rights of the working class — [which] scores.”

    Koo’s screenplay for AMATEUR was selected for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and received Sundance’s first Asian American Fellowship, as well as additional support from Tribeca, IFP, and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. His Kickstarter campaign for AMATEUR was, at the time, the most successful narrative film in Kickstarter history.

    His short version of AMATEUR won multiple film festival awards and was selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick.

    For his web series THE WEST SIDE, Koo won the Webby Award for Best Drama Series and was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Film.

    Koo is also the founder of the popular filmmaking website No Film School.