20th December 2006

“Mr. Kaufman Goes to Washington” IFTA Bulletin

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Lloyd Kaufman is the Vice Chairman of the Independent Film & Television Alliance (the Trade Association for Independent movie studios) , and made his fifth IFTA trip to the nation’s capitol on December 1st, 2006. Below is the IFTA bulletin highlighting Lloyd’s efforts to educate members of Congress and the FCC about the fact that independent art is at a very unfair disadvantage due to the cartel of gigantic international media conglomerates.

20 December 2006 • Volume 7, Issue 14

Mr. Kaufman Goes to Washington

The Alliance’s Advocacy program continued its effort to get the independents’ message to Washington’s “movers and shakers” as IFTA Vice Chairman, Lloyd Kaufman made his fifth IFTA trip to the nation’s capitol on 1 December, visiting the offices of New York Senator Charles Schumer and California Representative, Xavier Becerra. Schumer, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, is expected to be one of the key players in the now Democratic controlled Senate. Becerra, whose 31st District lies wholly within the City of Los Angeles, is a member of what some consider the House’s most important committee, Ways and Means, which oversees the nation’s tax code.

Media consolidation was the topic of concern in Lloyd’s meeting with Schumer Chief Counsel, Preet Bharara. Hammering home the harm that vertical integration has done to both the industry and consumer choice, Lloyd described the difficulties that independents face in getting their product to the public. Rectifying this situation will require governmental help in the form of regulations that reduce current barriers to entry. The availability of more robust production incentives that assist independents in financing their motion pictures took center stage in Lloyd’s conversation with Joel Najar, Tax Counsel to Xavier Becerra. Giving Mr. Najar a primer as to how independent films are financed, Lloyd explained how the current tax incentive contained in the Federal JOBS Act, has failed to provide meaningful assistance for some independent producers.

“We have succeeded in interesting Washington in what independents are doing,” commented IFTA President & CEO, Jean Prewitt. “Now we have to educate lawmakers as to how current marketplace structures have put this business in jeopardy and what remedies are needed. Lloyd Kaufman has been instrumental in this effort.”

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