Master Classes are in-depth, interactive learning experiences focused on craft and career building and led by renowned industry experts. Topics include fiction and documentary filmmaking, TV writing and production, and navigating and succeeding in the entertainment industry.

Every filmmaker needs a legal toolkit to help maneuver through the complex field of intellectual rights acquisition and protection. Janis Nelson (former General Counsel, Sundance Institute) moderates a panel discussion for producers, directors and screenwriters, which reveals what you need to know about managing – and protecting – intellectual property from development through distribution.

Topics presented include:

  • How the law and filmmaking intersect
  • The concept of intellectual property
  • Copyright law
  • 1st Amendment rights, including life rights
  • The international landscape of rights
  • Licensing rights
  • Sales agents
  • The back-end
  • Useful resources (online and industry-based)

Related Resources:

Download the list of resources from Janis Nelson

Janis Nelson is General Counsel of Sundance Institute. Prior to joining Sundance Institute, Janis worked for more than 30 years as an entertainment attorney representing, among others, producers, directors, screenwriters, authors, financiers, studios, production companies and distributors in the motion picture and television industries, as well as in theatre and publishing. more...
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Corey Field is the founder of the Los Angeles based boutique law firm Corey Field Law Group, P.C. offering a broad range of entertainment, media, copyright, and trademark legal services. The firm’s clients include a broad range of companies and individuals, from billion dollar international corporations to individual creative artists in film, television, music, publishing advertising, social media, and sports. more...
Victoria S. Cook is a partner at Frankfurt Kurnit and a member of the Entertainment Group. She focuses on motion picture and television work, representing award-winning filmmakers, writers, directors, actors, television producers, film financiers, and television networks. more...
Michael Donaldson founded Donaldson & Callif with Lisa Callif in 2008. The firm focuses on independent films, specializing in fair use opinions and other clearance issues in scripted and documentary films. In 2007, Donaldson negotiated with insurance companies to provide errors and omissions policies to cover material used pursuant to fair use. more...
Chris Perez is a Partner at Donaldson + Callif, LLP. He specializes in all aspects of the firm’s practice, including representing independent filmmakers through development, financing, production, rights clearance and distribution. more...
Raymond Tambe is an attorney in Ziffren Brittenham LLP’s film and television group. Raymond represents actors, writers, directors, producers, production companies, distributors and financiers in all phases of motion picture and television financing, development, production, licensing/acquisition, promotion and distribution. more...
Moderator | Director, Collab Courses & Events
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Patty West is a producer and educator based in California. She led the Directing Workshop for Women and the Thesis Program at the American Film Institute prior to joining the Sundance Institute. She came to Sundance Collab in December of 2019 and now serves as the Director of Courses & Events. West is a Chicago native and holds a B.S. from Northwestern University, an M.F.A. from the AFI Conservatory and an Executive M.B.A. from Quantic School of Business & Technology. She is a member of the Producer's Council of the Producers Guild of America. more...

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