NYWIFT 2022 Finance Institute: Day 3: Finance for Your Business


Welcome to the NYWIFT 2022 Finance Institute! 

Join us for this three-part virtual finance series to refine your business strategies.

Gain fresh insights from some of today’s leading experts in the industry and position your projects for optimum success. Hear from industry professionals who have successfully funded their projects, incorporated their businesses, and even learn about how to file taxes under your new business. During this three-part finance institute, panelists will provide insider perspectives and frank advice on what it takes to get your business started.


For NYWIFT Members: $20 per day; or $50 for a 3-day package
For Non-members: $40 per day; or $100 for a 3-day package

NYWIFT Gold, Platinum, and Leadership Members attend for free!
(Discount is applied after login)


*When joining the panel, you must login to Zoom with the email used when registering. Please make sure to have the most up to date version of Zoom before joining.

Become a member today to receive discounted access: email membership@nywift.org to join!

New York Women in Film & Television is a non-profit professional association dedicated to helping women reach the highest levels of creative achievement in television, film and media. In addition to providing services to members, NYWIFT plays a vital role in recognizing the contributions of women in media. To learn more about NYWIFT and our programs, please visit www.nywift.org


Welcome and Presentation:

Kristina Kozikott (Associate Group Director -VP | Commercial and Private Banking, Signature Bank)

Kristina Kozikott joined Signature Bank in August 2017 where she serves as an Associate Group Director and Vice President. Ms. Kozikott got her start in financial services during college when she worked part-time at a bank. More than 14 years later, she continues grow in this industry in both retail and commercial space, having held positions at institutions such as North Fork Bank, J.P. Morgan, and Citibank. Ms. Kozikott has primarily worked with affluent clientele nationally and globally, overseeing the delivery of wealth management strategies to their families and their businesses.
In her current role Ms. Kozikott serves as a single point of contact for commercial clients in her Private Client Portfolio. Ms Kozikott excels at identifying her clients’ needs, often uncovering those they weren’t aware they had. Beyond offering advice and personalized services to support their Commercial and Private banking needs, Ms. Kozikott never hesitates to go to great lengths to assist her clients in whatever ways necessary to help them achieve success.
Ms. Kozikott, who holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Adelphi University and is a graduate of Investment Banking Institute’s Financial Modeling and Valuation Training Program


Opening Keynote Speaker:

S. Mona Sinha (CEO and Founder of The Insight Circle Fund)

S. Mona Sinha is a globally recognized advocate for gender equality. She has parlayed a corporate career to work at the intersection of social justice and women’s leadership.

Mona is CEO and Founder of the Insight Circle Fund which uplifts women’s leadership and centers marginalized communities. In 2023, she will launch the Insight Circle Project which will catalyze resources for bold ideas and paradigm shifting leaders.

Mona is the Board Chair of Women Moving Millions and the ERA Fund for Women’s Equality. She is an Executive Producer of Disclosure, a groundbreaking documentary film on trans representation. She is also an Executive Producer of Sell.Buy.Date , My Name is Andrea and the 73rd Tony Awards nominee for Best Play and finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, What the Constitution Means to Me.

With a focus on governance, strategy and sustainability, Mona serves on several non-profit boards She is a trustee emerita of Smith College, where she was Vice Chair and led the $486MM Women for the World capital campaign as well as the transgender admissions policy.

Mona is an investor in women-led businesses and mentors several hundred people. She has a BA in Economics from Smith College and an MBA in Finance/ Marketing from Columbia University.

Mona has been widely recognized by CARE USA, Columbia University, Smith College, Children’s Hope India, Women’s eNews, Breakthrough and Apne Aap/Gloria Steinem. In 2015, she received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which is presented annually to US citizens whose accomplishments in their field and service to the world are cause for celebration.


Presentation: Incorporating Your Business with eMinutes

Let’s talk about incorporating your business. You have the idea, now you need to protect your idea. But where to start? Industry expert eMinutes attorney Erika Easter explains how to incorporate your new business and why it’s important. 

About eMinutes
We’re lawyers who are laser focused on entity formation and maintenance. We obsess over our clients’ experience and how to improve it. We’re never satisfied. We use data to dazzle. Our mission is to empower disenfranchised members of underrepresented communities through our Arts and SHEMINUTES initiatives. Through our Arts initiative, we work to amplify the voices of disenfranchised storytellers from underrepresented communities.  We partner with organizations in the entertainment industry that mentor up-and-coming writers, producers, directors.  Our firm provides free or discounted entity formation services, and our lawyers counsel participants on the ins and outs of forming corporations and LLCs.

Erika Easter has been an attorney at eMinutes since 2007. Erika obtained her undergraduate degree in Spanish Literature at Dartmouth College and attended law school at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. She lives in Santa Barbara with her husband, Mike, and their three sons, Max, Teddy, and Benji, where she enjoys cooking, running, spending time at the beach and with family.



Panel: Running Your Company

You have gone through all the steps to open your business. What is next? How do you influence a community? We speak with experts about running your business and how they work to gain clients. In discussion with Carolyn Hepburn (Motto Pictures), Maria C. Miles (Entertainment Attorney), and Kavery Kaul (riverfilms). Moderated by Alexis Fish.

Carolyn Hepburn is an Emmy-winning producer who joined Motto Pictures in 2010. Carolyn is a producer of A Thousand Cuts and an executive producer of The Mole Agent, both of which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. In 2019, Carolyn produced Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner One Child Nation (acquired by Amazon Studios) and HBO Documentary’s Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn, which premiered at the New York Film Festival. She also executive produced Ringside which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and the Showtime docu-series Murder in the BayouIn 2018, she produced Netfilix’s Take Your Pills which premiered at SXSW Film Festival and Discovery Channel’s Take Back the Harbor. Carolyn co-produced Life, Animated, which won three News & Documentary Emmys, the U.S. Documentary Directing Award at Sundance, and was nominated for the 2017 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. She executive produced Weiner, winner of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Prize and produced 3½  Minutes, Ten Bullets, winner of the 2015 Sundance Special Jury Prize for Social Impact and nominated for an Emmy Award. Other recent projects include the Emmy-nominated Art and Craft; Emmy-nominated Humans of New York: The SeriesShadowman; and Indian Point. Carolyn is a member of AMPAS, PGA, BAFTA and NATAS.

Maria C. Miles is the founding partner of an entertainment law firm with offices in New York. Maria’s practice focuses on all areas of entertainment law including, film (narrative and documentary), music, publishing, fashion and new media. Prior to starting her own practice, Maria was general counsel for a multimedia start-up where she oversaw a diverse range of matters including webisode production, technology licensing, trademarks and copyrights. Maria has worked with award-winning producers, directors, writers, actors, television hosts, multi-platinum recording artists, and corporations in the fashion and sports industries related to their entertainment matters. Maria is an Adjunct Professor at The Feirstein Graduate School for Cinema.

Kavery Kaul is an award-winning producer and director, and the founder of riverfilms. Her films have been official selections at DOC NYC, Telluride, London, and Sydney among other major festivals. They have reached wide audiences in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Her credits include The Bengali, winner of the Roxbury Film Festival’s Special Jury Award and the Rhode Island Film Festival’s International Humanitarian Award; Cuban Canvas, an Imagen Award Nominee which premiered at the Kennedy Center; and Long Way from Home, a Film Threat and Time Out Critic’s Pick. The Academy Film Archive and the Women’s Film Preservation Fund are collaborating on the restoration of her film One Hand Don’t Clap with plans for re-release of this earlier work. Kavery has garnered Fulbright and Logan Fellowships and a New York City Proclamation of Excellence. Her TEDx talk speaks to the power of storytelling across divides. As Fulbright’s 75th anniversary arts speaker, she reminded listeners that “Stories Matter.” She is a member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Women Independent Producers, and Film Fatales.

For over two decades Alexis Fish (Moderator) has been at forefront of LGBTQ media advocating for queer voices in publishing, film, tv and music. As VP of Pride at MRC, she created the first Billboard Pride List, launched the first Billboard & The Hollywood Reporter Pride Summit and oversaw The Hollywood Reporter’s first annual Pride issue and list.  Prior to her work as Editor of Billboard Pride, she was a founding editor of Condé Nast’s first LGBTQ vertical, them. Her award winning film producing includes executive producing John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus.  She was SVP of the first independent LGBTQ television network, QTV.  Alexis sits on the Board of the Outfest Los Angeles.  She graduated from Smith College with a degree in Political Science.


Closing Keynote Speaker:

Shannon Nash currently serves as Chief Financial Officer at Wing a drone delivery company and subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL). She is the Lead Independent Director, Chair of the Nominating & Governance Committee, and member of the Audit Committee at UserTesting (NYSE: USER).  She is also a Board Member and member of the Audit Committee and Talent and Compensation Committee at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the largest community foundation in the world with over $15B in assets under management. Shannon was featured on Accounting Today’s 2020 list of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting and named one of 2020’s Most Powerful Women in Accounting by the AICPA and CPA Practice Advisor. She also received the 2021 Trailblazer Award from CalCPA.

Shannon is passionate about Board diversity and serves as a Board Advisor to Black Women on Boards, an Executive Board Member to How Women Lead, and a Mentor for Santa Clara University’s Black Corporate Board Readiness Program.   She is an attorney, CPA and recognized as a qualified Financial Expert by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Shannon holds a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce. In her free time, Shannon is a fitness junkie and teaches Zumba and U-Jam Fitness. She’s also an award-winning documentary film producer with her film, Colored My Mind, winning best short at the 2013 American Pavilion in Cannes.



The NYWIFT 2022 Finance Institute is brought to you by

June 24 @ 4:00pm
4:00 pm — 6:00 pm (2h)

This program will take place virtually as a webinar via Zoom. Please register in advance, and all registrants will receive a link to attend the webinar the day of the event.

We encourage you to download and create a Zoom account in advance.




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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.