NeoClassics' management team represents a diverse group of talents with decades of combined experience with major companies in the entertainment industry. This seasoned group of professionals has a range of experience encompassing film production, acquisition, licensing and sales, distribution, legal, finance and accounting. Key members of our management team include:
Irwin Olian – Chief Executive Officer and Chairman
NeoClassics’ management team is headed by Irwin Olian, CEO and Chairman, a highly successful entrepreneur with a strong legal background and a broad range of experience in entertainment and finance, including positions as business affairs executive with ICM and senior attorney with Warner Bros. in Burbank. He has founded fIve successful public companies in a variety of industries ranging from mining to biotechnology. Recently, he helmed Pan African Mining Corp., which was acquired in June, 2008 in a $160 Million buyout by Asia Thai Mining. His activities have included arranging public and private financings, initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions and other business consulting. Over the years, his clients have included many successful NASDAQ companies.
Mr. Olian was founder of three successful junior mining exploration companies: African Queen Mines Ltd. (AQ), for which he serves as CEO and Chairman, Sacre-Coeur Minerals, Ltd. (SCM), for which he serves as Chairman, and Pan African, successfully acquired. AQ and SCM are Canadian resource companies traded on the TSX Venture Exchange ( Toronto). Earlier he was cofounder and principal shareholder of NASDAQ listed North American Scientific, Inc. (“NASI”) , a Los Angeles based manufacturer of radioisotope products for the medical industry, including seeds implanted for the treatment of prostrate cancer. Additionally he was instrumental in structuring and financing California-based BioSource International, Inc, a successful NASDAQ biotech company which was subsequently acquired for $200 Million.
Mr. Olian’s finance experience also includes a position as Senior Vice President, Investments, with Sutro & Co. Inc., a leading San Francisco-based investment banking and brokerage firm. He also served as Vice President of Bear Stearns & Co. Inc., a leading New York based firm. He managed a large and active equity based trading business for high net worth clients at those firms for a period of nearly 10 years. As a Senior Attorney for Warner Bros Inc. at Burbank Studios for five years, he negotiated and drafted a wide variety of agreements relating to production, distribution and financing of Warner’s major theatrical motion pictures. Reporting to senior management, he negotiated many multiple picture and production-distribution agreements, and handled many acquisitions of independent films for domestic and foreign distribution.
He also served as a business affairs executive with International Creative Management, Inc. working closely with senior management and talent agents on a wide variety of transactions for ICM clients , including many top actors, writers and directors. These positions helped him gain familiarity with business practices throughout the film industry. Previously he had been a corporate attorney with Wyman, Bautzer, Rotham & Kuchel in Los Angeles, and Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro in San Francisco. He handled a range of corporate, securities and contract problems for a diverse group of clients, including many entertainment companies. Mr. Olian graduated with high honors from Princeton University with an A.B. in Economics and received his law degree from Harvard Law School.
As Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of NeoClassics, Mr. Olian brings a wide range of business and legal experience encompassing companies ranging in size from start ups to major multinational conglomerates, in fields ranging from biotechnology and high technology to mining to entertainment. His exceptional background in entertainment and finance together with his vast array of personal contacts will enable him to guide NeoClassics successfully on its path toward becoming one of the world’s leading true independent distributors of motion pictures. He is in a position to utilize his entrepreneurial skills to build a strong management team of highly qualified professionals and to successfully implement NeoClassics’ business plan. He manages NeoClassics from its principal business offices in Vancouver and Los Angeles.[Top]
Phil Breen – Executive Vice-President of Business and Acquisitions ( U.S.)
Phil Breen is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in both business affairs and production. Mr. Breen’s most recent management position was Senior Vice-President of Business Affairs and Acquisitions for Triumph Films, a unit of Sony Pictures making low budget movies, where he was responsible for all business aspects of the company’s operations for two and a half years. Triumph produced and distributed eleven motion pictures, including The Assignment (Aidan Quinn, Ben Kingsley, Donald Sutherland), To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday (Peter Gallagher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes), Masterminds (Patrick Stewart), Jury Duty (Pauly Shore), and Baby Geniuses (Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd).
Mr. Breen has spent three decades working in the motion picture industry both as a business/legal affairs executive and as a producer. Prior to joining Triumph Films, he developed and was executive producer on The Natural (Tristar) starring Robert Redford and Sword Of The Valiant (Cannon Films) starring Sean Connery. He has served as a Vice-President of Legal Affairs at Columbia Pictures in Los Angeles, and he spent seven years working for Carlo Ponti in London and Rome in various business capacities where he gained international experience. With Carlo Ponti he also served as a producer, and his credits include Massacre In Rome (Warner Bros./ Carlo Ponti) starring Richard Burton and Marcello Mastroianni, Best House In London (MGM) starring David Hemmings and Joanna Pettet, and Gawain And The Green Knight (United Artists) starring Murray Head and Ciarren Madden.
Mr. Breen began his career as an attorney with the American Broadcasting Company in New York and later worked for a New York law firm in London representing such producers as Sam Spiegel and Samuel Bronston. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
As Executive Vice-President of Business and Acquisitions, Mr. Breen’s extensive industry experience at the highest levels of business and production will be invaluable, helping to ensure quality structuring of product acquisitions and distribution relationships. He will also be in a position to help guide financial planning for NeoClassics and influence the slate of pictures acquired for distribution. His vast array of contacts throughout the motion picture industry will help attract product and personnel, and will be instrumental in building long-term relationships for NeoClassics.[Top]
Frédéric Demey - Senior Vice-President International Sales & Acquisitions - (U.S.)
A French citizen now residing in Los Angeles, Frédéric Demey has 15 years’ experience in the film industry, encompassing most aspects of filmmaking and film marketing. He has worked in finance, development & production, international sales & distribution and theatrical exhibition, on a variety of motion pictures with budgets ranging up to $60 million. Mr. Demey has recently been acting as international sales representative for a variety of feature film projects and documentaries on behalf of producers in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the U.S. He currently spearheads the sales efforts of German public company BOLL AG, whose slate includes In The Name Of The King, a $ 60 million action-adventure film starring Jason Statham, LeeLee Sobieski and Ray Liotta, scheduled for release in early 2008. He also organizes film acquisitions and co-productions for Boll AG.
From 2002 to early 2005, Mr. Demey acted as consultant for Frankfurt-based media fund Boll Kino KG through his company OZO. Among films he worked on were Bloodrayne, a $25 million production with Kristanna Loken, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen and Michelle Rodriguez, and Alone in the Dark, a $20 million adaptation of the best-selling Atari videogame series, starring Christian Slater, Tara Reid and Stephen Dorff. He worked on all aspects of executive production and international sales on the Boll movies, from securing adaptation rights to negotiating, closing and servicing international licensing deals in over 40 territories. The deals included large licensing agreements in various foreign markets as well as a 1,500 screen U.S. theatrical release.
Mr. Demey has recently done consulting work for a number of other companies, including NeoClassics and Keystone Studios, a subsidiary of Cineville, LLC. Keystone’s recent release Mrs. Palfrey At The Claremont, starring Academy Award Nominee Dame Joan Plowright, grossed nearly $2 million at the U.S. Box Office on only 30 prints. Other recent clients have included Hong-Kong based DCDC Corp, a growing Animation studio that created critically acclaimed 3D animation title Dragonblade produced by Stanley Tong, and Cineville International.
OZO was lanched in 1999 by Mr. Demey, offering a wide variety of consulting services to independents in the entertainment and multimedia industry. Previously, he headed worldwide marketing for sales company Cinequanon Pictures International for more than 2 years. He also served as Co-Executive Producer on low-budget action thriller Ultimate Force, which he helped finance. His European experience includes Disney Consumer Products in Paris, where he worked in Business Planning and Strategic Management, French exhibitor Gaumont, and an advertising position with “Institutional Medias.” He holds a B.A. Degree in International Business and Marketing from EPSCI – ESSEC School of Management, one of Europe’s major Business Programs, as well as a Degree in Economics and Sociology from University of Paris, and a Degree in Economics from Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. He is currently a member of the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) and of the Producers Guild of America (PGA). Mr. Demey’s broad-based international experience will be invaluable in his position with NeoClassics.[Top]
Michael Kananack – Vice-President of Sales and Acquisitions - (U.S.)
With some 18 years experience, Michael Kananack has been in the film industry for most of his adult life. After studying filmmaking at NYU Film School he went on to work in production on over 25 features including Scent of a Woman and Godfather III. In 1992, he joined the international film sales company AKA Movies and began his career in selling films to the world marketplace at all the major markets.
While at AKA Movies Michael helped negotiate the theatrical sale of numerous feature films. Included was the sale to Lions Gate of the 2000 Sundance opening night title What's Cooking, directed by Gurinda Chadha. In addition, he negotiated the sale of the horror film Slash to Universal Pictures for worldwide video. He was involved with international sales of the initial Air Bud franchise film with Keystone International and later worked for Fries Film Group.
From 2003-2008, Michael was in charge of Membership for the Independent Film and Television Alliance, recruiting over 80 companies to join the trade association. Through this position, he developed relationships with producers and reps from around the world, including such companies as Europacorp, Votage, Peace Arch, Greenestreet, Odd Lot, QED, CJ and Wild Bunch. In addition to recruitment, he regularly kept IFTA's clients well informed of the industry's business trends, market conditions and new technologies, and moderated the pre-market Buyer Evaluation Forums.
Michael's experience and skill set are invaluable to the Company on both the acquisitions and sales side.[Top]
Jerry Pierce – Director
Jerry Pierce was previously Senior Vice President, Technology, Universal Pictures. He joined Universal in 1995 and established the New Technology Department for Universal Pictures in 2000. He was responsible for the technical launch of DVD for Universal and was responsible for Digital Cinema activities for Universal. He was chairman of the SMPTE Digital Cinema Mastering group, a member of the Studio's Digital Cinema Consortium, is an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers, is Vice President of the Hollywood Post Alliance, and was on the Board of USC's Entertainment Technology Center. He currently is a consultant to Universal and is Chairman of the Intersociety Digital Cinema Forum, working with exhibitors, distributors, and in-theatre digital cinema service providers in finalizing Digital Cinema specifications.
He established the joint project with Universal and Panasonic for DVD disc authoring and High Definition Telecine Transfers. He was at SRI International (Stanford Research Institute) for over 13 years. He presently serves as a Director of San Jose-based Itiva Digital Media, provider of 4 th generation CDN (Content Delivery Network) services and technology that can provide cost effective high definition video streaming and LIVE broadcasts over the internet. Jerry holds an MSEE degree from Stanford University and an BSEE from UC Berkeley.
Mr. Pierce will be invaluable as a Director of NeoClassics as he brings a wealth of experience with theatrical exhibition, digital technologies and new media. NeoClassics intends to be at the forefront of the digital revolution in film distribution, and Jerry is in a position to bring his considerable experience and contacts to bear on these efforts in the theatrical marketplace, over the internet and to broadcast. He also will be able to provide a leadership role in NeoClassics' efforts to build a world-class distribution network for NeoClassics products.[Top]
Peter Brooks – Director
Peter Brooks is Executive Deputy Chairman of Genting Stanley plc, the UK's premier casino group, and is also non-executive Chairman of Enodis plc, a FTSE 250 company listed in London and one of the world's leading suppliers of commercial food service equipment. He was previously a leading M&A lawyer in the City of London, being formerly head of the corporate practice at one of the magic circle of London law firms, Clifford Chance LLP. He left to become the General Counsel of Deutsche Bank's investment banking business before moving on to pursue a corporate career.
Mr. Brooks' broad base of business and legal experience will be invaluable to NeoClassics in developing its business. He is also in a position to provide leadership in connection with our U.K.and European operations, and will be a strong asset as NeoClassics moves down the path toward becoming a public company in the future.[Top]
Limor Rubin – Chief Financial Officer
Limor is an accomplished Chartered Accountant with 10 years experience in a wide range of industries. She has substantial audit, finance and accounting experience, encompassing financial and tax planning, preparation of tax returns, supervising and coordinating audits, and analyzing and preparing financial statements, reports and data. Her technology skills include proficiency with state of the art accounting software and spreadsheets.
From 2006 to June, 2008, Limor served as Chief Financial Officer of Sacre-Coeur Minerals Ltd. and Pan African Mining Corp. She is now serving as CFO of African Queen Mines Ltd. and Sacre-Coeur Minerals Ltd. as well as NeoClassics. From November, 1998 to May, 2005, Limor served as Accounting and Audit Manager for KPMG in Vancouver.[Top]
Jeffrey Hardy – Director of Marketing ( U.S.)
Jeffrey Hardy is a marketing and financial consultant who has provided consulting services to the entertainment industry through his firm, Big Horse Incorporated and under the trademarked name FilmProfit®. Mr. Hardy is the co-author of FilmProfit ® Software and author of FilmProfit ® Guide to Film Distribution Deals , and has lectured extensively before industry groups, including the California Film Commission. His financial models, marketing studies, empirical data, reports and other services have been utilized by a broad range of independent producers, entertainment lawyers, industry executives and motion picture funds, including NeoClassics and producers and executives at high profile companies such as Lucasfilm, Ltd., Jim Henson Productions, the BBC and ICM. He has acted as an expert witness for companies such as Walt Disney Co. and 20th Century Fox, among others, and provided expert knowledge for Fortune Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer and others.
As Marketing Consultant to NeoClassics, Mr. Hardy will provide state-of-the-art empirical analysis and marketing studies on an ongoing basis. These will be utilized by NeoClassics to help identify niche markets as an aid in film acquisition decisions and in formulation of marketing campaigns for its films. Mr. Hardy is a a graduate of San Francisco State University.[Top]