May 7 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
There isn’t a typical co-production model when it comes to international drama. SeriesFest invites you to join U.S. and international producers for a conversation about the current strategies and hurdles faced by international co-productions — from the creative to the financial and everything in between.
In Attendance: Melissa Myers (Partner & President, Kinetic Content), Sergio Pizzolante (President Commercial & Distribution, Secuoya Studios), Doug Schwalbe (President, Superprod USA), and Richard Pommérat (VP of Development, N9ne Studio).
Moderator: Roy Ashton (Partner, The Gersh Agency)
Richard Pommérat spent the last 11 years at Wild Bunch where he contributed to create Wild Bunch TV sourcing international TV series at various stages of completion, from development to ready-made.
Richard is now Development director for N9NE Studio, a coproduction company whose purpose is to acquire, develop, produce, and deliver movies and TV series, both live-action and animation, primarily to streaming platforms and TV channels.
Doug Schwalbe is Founder of The Co-Production Company, a boutique production firm specializing in finance and distribution arrangements for high end international productions in the children’s and family entertainment space. Projects in production include “Home Sweet Rome” and “Iyanu: Child of Wonder” for HBO Max, “Pisces Lane” for Nickelodeon Israel and “Birds Eye View” for TVNZ.
In 2022, The Co-Production Company was acquired by Superprod, the Paris-based global studio developing, producing and distributing animated and live-action television and feature films. Schwalbe was named President of Superprod USA, a wholly owned US based subsidiary.
Schwalbe founded The Co-Production Company in 2021, after 8 years with DreamWorks Animation. Prior to DreamWorks, he joined private equity backed IP acquisitions start up Classic Media in 2002 as Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Production and Program Sales. In 2012, he was named Senior Vice President, Coproduction at DreamWorks when Classic was acquired by DreamWorks. He has also held senior program sales and co-production positions with HBO and Twentieth Century Fox International TV based in Paris.
As an independent producer and distributor, Doug has produced over 200 hours of franchise television including Casper the Friendly Ghost, Lassie, Mr. Magoo and George of the Jungle. He executive produced the acclaimed feature “Lassie”, starring Peter O’Toole and Peter Dinklage, and “Postman Pat the Movie”, starring David Tennant, Jim Broadbent, Rupert Grint and Stephen Mangan.
As CEO of Splendid Television from 2000-2002, his productions were nominated for 14 Emmys including a supporting actress win for Dame Diana Rigg and won the Golden Globe for best actor in a TV movie for James Franco as James Dean. He also handled international distribution for the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck produced “Project Greenlight.”
Recently his 2019 feature documentary, “Halston”, for CNN Films and Amazon premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He is also executive producing “Group” an experimental short form series for PBS All Arts using actors and improvised dialogue taking story arcs from Irvin Yalom’s “The Schopenhauer Cure” together with Columbia University Film Department Chairman, Jack Lechner.
An honors graduate of Princeton University, Doug is based in New York City where he lives with his wife, John Simon Guggenheim Fellow visual artist Nancy Lorenz and their three children.
Sergio Pizzolante joined Grupo Secuoya in April 2022 as president of Commercial & International Distribution, the new commercial branch for audiovisual projects from all the studio’s departments. Its mission is to integrate all the phases of audiovisual content within Secuoya Studios: from creation, production and post-production to national and international distribution, and including production services and the management of fiscal incentives. He has enjoyed a long career as executive producer, his latest projects notably including the series Nicky Jam: El Ganador, the documentary Maluma: Lo que era, lo que soy, lo que seré and the series Zorro.
Between 1997 and 2016 Pizzolante formed part of HBO Latin America Group, OLE Communications and Sony Pictures Networks Latin America & Brazil. He has also been the executive vice-president of E! Networks Latin América & Brasil. In 2016, he embarked on an independent project creating CTMOBS, a studio focused on connecting content, talent, IP and strategic partners in the development, production and distribution of IP with Latin DNA and a global ambition. His development partners include ViX, PantaYa, EndemolShine Boomdog, Jessy Terrero, La Industria Inc., Sony Music US Latin, NSQ-Studios, Andy Kaplan and Secuoya Studios. CTMOBS has consultancy clients, including OLE Communications.
As a partner in the TV department at WME, Melissa Myers, who spent more than 20 years at the agency and its predecessor Endeavor, spearheaded the International Scripted Department and led the building of a roster featuring writers, directors, and talent while specializing in global changed-format rights.
Myers also represented a slew of international artists whom she helped cross over into the US including SJ Clarkson (Anatomy of a Scandal, Succession, Jessica Jones), Anthony Byrne (Peaky Blinders), Ben Taylor (Sex Education, Catastrophe), Christine Gernon (Gavin & Stacey, Speechless), James Griffiths (Stumptown, A Million Little Things), Francesca Gardiner (Succession), Sally Wainwright (Gentleman Jack, Happy Valley), Toby Haynes (Utopia, Black Mirror), Jane Fallon (Teachers), Peter Hoar (Umbrella Academy), Toby Whithouse (Being Human), Oliver Lansley (Flack), Mika Watkins (Origin) and Oliver Refson & Lilah Vanderburgh (Uncle). She also helped cross over a host of writer/performers including Ed Weeks (The Mindy Project), Sarah Solemani (Barry), Alex Edelman (The Great Indoors), Tessa Coates (Primates), Janine Harouni (Edinburgh Fringe Festival winner Best Newcomer 2019), Wayne Hope & Robyn Butler (Upper Middle Bogan).
Myers began her career at ICM before moving to Endeavor in 1999, where she started as an assistant to Ariel Emanuel and Richard Weitz, then as an agent, before eventually rising to partner at WME. A well-known Anglophile, Myers serves on the board of BAFTA LA, and for the past decade co-hosts a Holiday British Pub Quiz at Barneys Beanery to raise money for My Friends Place, a non-profit providing services to Los Angeles homeless youth.
Roy Ashton is a Partner at The Gersh Agency with offices in Beverly Hills and New York. He has been at Gersh for 11 years, and prior to that spent 14 years at CAA. Specializing in Television, Roy works with writers, directors, producers, and actors in all aspects of the television industry.