COURTNEY SOLOMON, CO-CEO/PARTNER, COURTNEY SOLOMON, CO-CEO/PARTNER, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 1995 he started his first production company called Sweetpea Entertainment. In 2000, Sweetpea released DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, which Courtney produced and directed. In 2005, Courtney joined with Hong Kong-based business magnate Allan Zeman, and together they founded the production company After Dark Films. For After Dark Films first release, Courtney wrote, produced and directed, AN AMERICAN HAUNTING, starring Sissy Spacek and Donald Sutherland. Under the After Dark banner Courtney also created an annual horror film festival featuring eight recently acquired independent horror movies all domestically distributed by After Dark Films. The first Horrorfest event was held in 2006 and continued until 2010, becoming one of the largest horror festivals in America. In 2012, he directed Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez in the feature film GETAWAY which was released theatrically by Warner Brothers. After a thriving career in film and having functioned successfully for six years acquiring films, Courtney made another bold business move. Production company Cinelou Films is Courtney’s most recent venture which he founded with partner Mark Canton. Cinelou's mandate is to produce three to five awards-worthy independent films a year. The company completed its first film in 2014 entitled CAKE, starring Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy, Anna Kendrick and Sam Worthington; which received an immense amount of attention and snagged SAG™, BFCA™ and Golden Globe™ nominations for Aniston. This was followed by MR. CHURCH, directed by Bruce Beresford (DRIVING MISS DAISY) and starring Eddie Murphy, Britt Robertson and Natasha McElhone. MR. CHURCH premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival™ and will enjoy a wide theatrical release in late Fall of 2016. Courtney is also in various stages of post-production on multiple other Cinelou films. These include the heartfelt and quirky adventure drama BURN YOUR MAPS starring Vera Farmiga, Jacob Tremblay, Virginia Madsen, and Suraj Sharma; THE YELLOW BIRDS, directed by Alexandre Moors (BLUE CAPRICE) and starring Tye Sheridan, Alden Ehrenreich, Jack Huston, Jennifer Aniston, Toni Collette and Jason Patric; and THE COMEDIAN starring Robert De Niro and Leslie Mann. Moving forward, Cinelou recently launched their new distribution arm, Cinelou Releasing, with the intention of creating a platform through which captivating independent films can be delivered to audiences throughout the U.S. Cinelou Releasing's plan is to distribute four films per year comprised of both Cinelou titles and bold acquisitions that don’t typically fit into the traditional studio model.
MARK CANTON, CO-CEO/PARTNER, has been a preeminent force in the entertainment industry, helping to bring hundreds of pictures to the screen as a senior studio executive and producer. After holding posts as President of Worldwide Theatrical Production at Warner Bros. and Chairman of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Companies, Canton created his own production entity, The Canton Company. In December 2003, he launched Atmosphere Entertainment MM. He is the producer behind hits such as 300, Letters to Juliet, Immortals, Spiderwick Chronicles, Jack Frost, and the Starz hit television series POWER. In 2014, Canton joined Courtney Solomon at the helm of upstart Cinelou Films. Cake, a dark comedy written by Patrick Tobin, directed by Daniel Barnz and starring Jennifer Aniston, is the first completed film in the Cinelou Films slate and was released in New York and Los Angeles to critical and audience acclaim. Aniston's performance as an acerbic woman who becomes fascinated by the suicide of a member in her chronic pain group has garnered nominations for major awards including a Golden Globe. It is the first project made under a new venture between Cinelou Films and China's Shenghua Entertainment. The second film in the Cinelou Films repertoire is Mr. Church, an emotional drama starring Eddie Murphy and directed by Bruce Beresford. It completed filming in Los Angeles in January 2015 with Lee Nelson and David Buelow producing alongside Canton and Solomon. Mark Canton continues to be a strong force in the entertainment industry as Cinelou Films makes a name for itself on the big screen.
SCOTT KAROL, PRESIDENT, is in charge of all business dealings for Cinelou including, but not limited to, financing, production, distribution, negotiation of all above-the-line talent deals, and is also actively involved in all creative matters of Cinelou. In addition, Scott functions as an executive producer on all Cinelou projects. Prior to his position as President, Scott held the position of Head of Business Affairs, serving as Co-producer on the Golden Globe nominated film Cake starring Jennifer Aniston. Scott has over 20 years of experience working as an executive in the entertainment business with a vast network of finance, production, and distribution relationships. Educated at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and earning his Bachelor of Science in Finance from the prestigious Lee Business school; Scott furthered his education earning a J.D. from Loyola Law School, where he served on the Law Review, before officially beginning his storied career in the mailroom of ICM. He has held Business Affairs executive positions at some major movers in entertainment including The Family Channel and TNT, Conquistador Entertainment and Crystal Sky where he served as Executive Vice President, and has consulted for numerous film and television producer and financier clients. As of now Scott serves as a partner at the boutique entertainment law firm KarolWilliams and President of Cinelou Films concurrently and is instrumental in the execution of the company mandate to produce several awards worthy films a year. Scott continues to be an invaluable asset to Cinelou ushering in the new slate of Cinelou films including, Mr. Church, a highly anticipated project marking the return of Eddie Murphy to dramatic film, Burn Your Maps, starring Vera Farmiga and Jacob Tremblay; The Yellow Birds, starring Tye Sheridan, Alden Ehrenreich, Jack Huston, Jennifer Aniston and Toni Collette; and The Comedian, starring Robert De Niro and Leslie Mann.
STEPHANIE CALEB, PRESIDENT, MARKETING/ EVP, PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT, oversees marketing, publicity, production, development, and film acquisitions at Cinelou Films and After Dark Films. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Ms. Caleb began her entertainment career in the field of marketing. For 4 years, she was Manager of Marketing at Los Angeles based advertising firm BLT & Associates, where she oversaw print creative on a variety of the ABC Network's content. She then created her own print production and design firm, Aardvark Inc. Her clients have included Sony, New Line Cinema, ABC, CBS, ESPN, CNN, Anchor Bay, After Dark Films, Autonomous Films and Cinelou Films. Most recently, Stephanie co-produced and oversaw marketing and publicity for the Screen Actors Guild, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Golden Globe nominated film, Cake. Previously, Stephanie produced or acquired and created key art and marketing campaigns for a total of 65 films which were distributed by Lionsgate Entertainment, Warner Bros. Studios, Anchor Bay, After Dark Films, and more; and include Getaway, (starring Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, and Jon Voight) and the Michael Douglas's thriller Beyond A Reasonable Doubt. She also self-financed and produced the indie film Black Eyed Dog starring Mackenzie Foy, Hilarie Burton, and Paul Schneider, directed by Sundance "Best of Next" director Erica Dunton. Ms. Caleb assisted CEOs Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon in launching the newly formed Cinelou Releasing in 2014 where she serves as President of Marketing/ EVP of Production and Development. The studio released its first film, Cake, nationwide on January 23rd, 2015. The company is currently releasing it's next slate of films, including Mr. Church, starring Eddie Murphy and Britt Robertson; Burn Your Maps with Vera Farmiga and Jacob Tremblay; The Yellow Birds, starring Tye Sheridan, Alden Ehrenreich, Jack Huston, Jennifer Aniston and Toni Collette; and (thru Sony Classics) The Comedian, starring Robert De Niro and Leslie Mann.
DAVID HOPWOOD, SVP, PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT, is a Los Angeles native who graduated from The University of Southern California with degrees in Creative Writing and Cinema/Television. He began his career in the entertainment industry in the training program of Michael Ovitz' Artist Management Group. There he worked for esteemed talent manager and producer Ellen Goldsmith-Vein (CEO of The Gotham Group). In 2002, he joined former studio chief Mark Canton (300, Immortals) at the foundation of Atmosphere Entertainment MM. For over 10 years, he oversaw the slate of Atmosphere Entertainment MM as Senior VP of Production and Development. In this post, he shepherded the films Piranha 3D, Letters to Juliet, Immortals and 300: Rise of an Empire and the television series Power for Starz. He currently holds the post of Senior Vice President of Production and Development at Cinelou Films.
CHRISTINE KESSLER, VICE PRESIDENT, ACCOUNTING, has over 20 years of GAAP accounting experience beginning in 1992 with a position at Discovery Records (A WMG Company) where she worked as a staff accountant. She later moved on to work for a small creative manufacturing company in Venice, CA as Accounting Manager, where she successfully assisted in implementing a new accounting system. She also put in place accounting operational controls including the establishment and maintenance of stable cash flow management policies and procedures in order to ensure cash resources were available for daily operations as well as business and product development. Looking for a change, Christine took a position with After Dark Films in October of 2007. At After Dark Films she directed, coordinated, and managed the daily accounting operations which included monitoring all financial data entry points. Christine worked closely with the Chief Financial Officer in administering the financial/accounting operations of the company. In September of 2012 Christine was named VP, Accounting – a title she still holds both at After Dark Films and Cinelou Films.
IAN BRERETON, SENIOR COUNSEL, LEGAL & BUSINESS AFFAIRS, oversees all production, distribution, legal, & international sales for Cinelou's slate of films. Prior to joining Cinelou, Ian served in the same capacity for After Dark Films, where he worked on titles such as Getaway and Enemies Closer. Ian has a strong background in independent film, having represented a number of actors, writers, and directors as a solo practitioner before joining After Dark Films. Ian has a B.A in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a J.D. with an Intellectual Property Concentration from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he served as a staff member of the Arts & Entertainment Law Journal.
FRANCHESCA LANTZ, VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING & DEVELOPMENT, earned a B.A in Mass Communication with a concentration in Journalism from Louisiana State University in 2005, and furthered her education to receive an associates degree in Film Production in 2007. Franchesca worked at Fox Sports before moving on to work at The Collective, Tower Hill Entertainment, Mandate Pictures, Movie Package Company, and as Director of Creative Affairs & Acquisitions for After Dark Films. In 2014, Franchesca was named Director, Creative Affairs & Development for the newly formed Cinelou Films. Franchesca coordinates assets with graphic designers and trailer houses, provides creative direction and writes copy for one-sheets & trailers, and also heads the highly sought after internship program at Cinelou Films. Additionally, she filters potential projects in development, and designs all in-house graphic design projects for the company. She attends all relevant film festivals on behalf of the company and is a lead representative when creating contacts at these events. In 2014, Cinelou completed its first film, Cake, which earned nominations from Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, and Critics Choice in 2015, as well as brought awareness to the issue of chronic pain. Franchesca is currently working on the next set of Cinelou’s highly anticipated films, Mr. Church, starring Eddie Murphy and Britt Robertson; The Yellow Birds, starring Alden Ehrenreich, Tye Sheridan, Jack Huston, Toni Collette and Jennifer Aniston, and The Comedian, starring Robert De Niro and Leslie Mann.
MARK FRAZIER, COO, is from Northern Virginia in the suburban Washington DC area. He holds a B.S degree in Marketing from Auburn University and an MBA from Virginia Tech. He started his career in consumer products marketing holding positions with Del Monte in San Francisco and American Home Foods in New York. He transitioned to the entertainment industry while in New York working as a PA and Post Production Supervisor on the unforgettable Johnny Suede starring Brad Pitt. Shortly thereafter, Frazier moved to Los Angeles and landed a position working for Mark Canton, who was the Chairman of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Companies. Frazier has stayed with Canton as they moved to a term deal at Warner Bros and on to Canton’s Atmosphere Entertainment MM. Frazier has worked for Canton throughout his career in various positions within the company. He handles many of the day to day operations of Atmosphere and works hand in hand with everyone at Cinelou as well.
JOSEPH HALL, DIRECTOR, POST PRODUCTION, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and has been involved in post production for over 15 years. After graduating from University of North Carolina, School of the Arts, he relocated to Los Angeles where he initially offered his services as an editor, graphic artist, coordinator, and sound designer. Joseph has been a member of the Cinelou family since its inception and, as Director of Post Production, utilizes a broad knowledge of the industry gleaned from positions held at After Dark Films, Paramount, and Disney. His duties include preparing material deliveries for distributors and VOD, building and authoring screeners for domestic and foreign viewers, editing behind the scenes featurettes and other marketing pieces, and obtaining approvals from talent.
MICHAEL DWYER, CREATIVE EXECUTIVE, was born and raised in the Sunset district of San Francisco. Michael attended The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, which he graduated from in 2012. Before working at Cinelou, Michael had worked at Atmosphere Entertainment MM for Mark Canton, and MX Productions for Matthew Rutler and Christina Aguilera. Michael’s duties include networking with writers, acquiring intellectual properties, developing scripts, and tailoring pitches.
LEANN KUNK, ACCOUNTING ASSISTANT, is a native of Tucson, Arizona but moved to Los Angeles and joined the Cinelou team at the end of 2014. She found her love for accounting and the business industry as soon as she stepped foot in the work field. Leann decided to pursue her education and received an Accounting degree while working full time for her family business. She now has 10 years of experience in all facets of accounting and bookkeeping that she puts to use to provide assistance in the Accounting Department. It has always been a passion of hers to create a strong accounting support system to assist in the success of the company while having fun in the process!
BRIGITTE WISE, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT, is an Australian ex-pat from Melbourne. She studied Arts in her undergraduate, before completing a post-graduate law degree at the University of Melbourne, as well as a production management course at Open Channel. While studying, she produced a series of live comedy shows and worked at the Melbourne International Film Festival, as her passion lies in getting creative content in front of audiences. After moving to Los Angeles, Brigitte gained experience at ROAR Management, VMI Worldwide Sales and Movie Package Company. As Courtney Solomon’s Executive Assistant, Brigitte aspires to grow with Cinelou by assisting in the development and packaging of its film projects, and applying her legal experience in the assembly of financing and film deals.
JACQUI DULANEY, ACCOUNTING ASSISTANT, is a native of the bay area. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, emphasis in Finance, at the European School of Economics, where she lived for a year in each Florence, Milan, and Rome. She has prior experience in investment banking, having worked for Invest Banca in Italy and Union Bank in the Philippines. She continues to grow her knowledge base working within Cinelou Films’ accounting team, while also learning the financial side of development, production, and the release of films. As an assistant to Christine Kessler, VP of Accounting, she strives to maintain the high bookkeeping standards of the accounting department and to support the success of the Cinelou team and its films.
AMANDA BLANDFORD, LEGAL ASSISTANT, earned a B.A in Digital Media Management with a concentration on law and photography from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas in 2011 and furthered her education with a law degree from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, California. After passing the California State Bar exam in 2014, Amanda worked in music publishing, artist management, and legal affairs at Cutcraft Music Group, as well as Linda Perry’s recording label, Custard. Amanda joined the Cinelou team in early 2016 as legal assistant to Scott Karol and Ian Brereton. She aspires to grow with Cinelou in assisting in the production, distribution, legal, financing, and international sales for Cinelou’s slate of films.
KATHRYN PAGE, OFFICE ASSISTANT - Kathryn Taylor Page was raised and educated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. She earned her B.A in Electronic Media Broadcasting with a concentration in Video Production from Appalachian State University. During her time there she served as Director of Communications for the ASU Chapter of the National Broadcasting Society. After graduating, Katie moved to Asheville, North Carolina where she gained experience working with large and small projects from major festivals and events to freelance video shoots at local music venues and art studios. As Office Assistant at Cinelou Films, Katie facilitates efficiency and high productivity on a daily basis; oversees communication; maintains office preparedness; upholds a clean, comfortable, and healthy work environment for staff; organizes and oversees company events; and navigates as-needed daily tasks.