IFH 380: How to Raise Money for Your Film w/ Franco Sama

Alex Ferrari • August 26, 2020

We have on the show returning champion film finance expert Franco Sama. His first episode is one of the most downloaded episodes in the history of the show. Franco and I joke that his last episode turned him into a celebrity at film markets and festivals around the world. I mean he can barely walk the halls of AFM without getting recognized.

Franco is a wealth of knowledge in the film finance space and I have learned tons from him over the years. We discuss the effect the Coronavirus is and will have on not only raising money for a film but also selling that movie to an ever-changing marketplace. Nobody knows what will happen to the industry after this virus passes. We also discuss which studios are more vulnerable than others and the dos and don ts when raising money for an indie film into today’s marketplace.

Here’s a bit about today’s guest.

Independent feature film producer Franco Sama boasts a remarkable and extensive history in public speaking, public relations, and nearly two decades of independent film development, production and financing experience.

Sama has Executive Produced and/or produced an impressive array of over twenty (20) successful independent feature films including most notably, “Guns, Girls and Gambling” starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater, and Dane Cook which is now a cult favorite; this film was released into theatres and acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures.

Other films Sama has produced include; “Black Limousine” starring David Arquette and Vivica Fox, “Tooth and Nail” starring Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones, and “Paid” starring Corbin Bernsen and Tom Conti.  Sama also serves as Executive Producer on the film festival darling “Petunia” starring Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti.

His shingle “Samaco Films, LLC”, headquartered on the lot at the prestigious, privately owned and operated, independent film studio, Los Angeles Center Studios in Downtown Los Angeles, is currently financing and producing a slate of several independent feature films, including, “Vodun”, “Alexis Colette” and recently wrapped production on the $1M thriller, “The Inheritance”.

In addition, Sama is also a highly sought after public guest speaker having launched his hugely popular film financing and distribution forum program “Finance Indie Road Map”, otherwise known as “The F.I.R.M.” which is designed specifically to educate and assist first and second-time filmmakers in their quest to develop, fund, produce and release their first feature film(s).

This EPIC episode is by far one of the most important shows you could listen to. Please share it with all your filmmaking and screenwriting friends. If you want the latest information on what it is like to raise money in today’s crazy world get ready to take notes. Enjoy my conversation with Franco Sama.