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ENTERTAINMENT THAT
MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Pollack Films produces entertainment that makes a difference.

We share stories that touch the hearts and minds of a broad audience, amplify the voices of creatives, and reflect our diverse world. Our rich legacy of storytelling includes extensive experience in both film and television production, creating content with dynamic impact striving to be a shining beacon for change.

LEADERSHIP TEAM

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MICHAEL POLLACK

Chairman & CEO

 

Michael Pollack has held leadership positions for more than 35 years in the legal, financial, and entertainment industries. Michael is the founder and former President of a litigation support firm that is today part of an international group of companies. He has held directorship positions for more than a dozen financial institutions that are both private and publicly held. Specializing for decades in M&A and Turnaround Management, he has spearheaded tens of billions of dollars of financing in commercial real estate, business, and entertainment-related transactions. Stage and screen projects in which Michael has played an integral role in financing and/or producing have grossed more than $2 billion at the box office.

Michael's current projects include the feature films Delfino's Journey, Major, The Black Cyclone, Poe: The Poet, Cold Feet: A Wedding Tale, A Six Gun for the Devil, Meet Me in the Kitchen at Midnight, The Angel Of Harlem, Moonlight Blonde and The Untitled Chic Harley Project. In addition, Michael is developing an exciting new episodic television series which will be announced in 2023.

DAVID SMITH

Legal Counsel

 

David has broad experience in transactional matters in the entertainment industry. He has represented a wide array of U.S. and foreign clients, including production companies, distributors, studios, banks, financiers, advertising agencies and individual producers, directors, writers and actors. He has deep experience in financial transactions, distribution and licensing deals, production matters, celebrity endorsement deals, rights deals, talent contracts, copyright and chain-of-title issues, as well as music, publishing and fine arts matters.

David has served as an adjunct professor at the American Film Institute and, for a number of years, was on the USC Entertainment Law Institute Planning Committee. He has also been a member of the Los Angeles Copyright Society.

Prior to joining Glaser Weil, David served as the principal of his own firm. He has also held associate and partner positions at several prominent LA-based firms and was previously President of an independent U.S. film distribution company.

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ARTHUR ALLAN SEIDELMAN

Head of Production / Director / Producer

 

Arthur has directed over 50 films and 20 television series. Arthur’s most recent film SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS, stars Gena Rowlands, Cheyenne Jackson, Rita Moreno, and Jacki Weaver. Other feature films include THE SISTERS with Maria Bello, Elizabeth Banks, and Tony Goldwyn (which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and was the recipient of numerous festival awards including the Milagro Award for best American Independent Film), WALKING ACROSS EGYPT with Ellen Burstyn, CHILDREN OF RAGE, ECHOES, and PUERTO VALLARTA SQUEEZE, starring Scott Glenn and Harvey Keitel. Arthur’s first feature, the iconic comedy, HERCULES IN NEW YORK, introduced Arnold Schwartzenegger to films. Regarded as one of the premier actor’s directors, Arthur has been responsible for providing career-shaping and initial roles to a long list of stars including Jennifer Garner, Emmy Rossum, Rob Lowe, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ryan Phillippe, Helen Hunt, Alfrie Woodard, Dermott Mulroney, and Viola Davis, as well as directing major names including Elizabeth Taylor, Cicely Tyson, Angela Lansbury, Mary Tyler Moore, Burt Lancaster, Ellen Burstyn, Sammy Davis Jr., Gena Rowlands, and many others.

 

As one of a short-list of prestigious directors of films for television, Arthur’s award-winning productions include the Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens film musical A CHRISTMAS CAROL starring Kelsey Grammer and Jane Krakowski, GRACE AND GLORIE starring Gena Rowlands and Diane Lane, THE SUMMER OF BEN TYLER starring James Woods and Elizabeth McGovern, HARVEST OF FIRE with Patty Duke, THE RUNAWAY with Dean Cain and Maya Angelou, LIKE MOTHER, LIKE SON starring Mary Tyler Moore, BY DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT with Richard Crenna, A FRIENDSHIP IN VIENNA with Jane Alexander and Ed Asner, THE KID WHO LOVED CHRISTMAS starring Cicely Tyson and Sammy Davis Jr., and POKER ALICE with Elizabeth Taylor.

 

Arthur directed many series for television including hits like MURDER SHE WROTE, L.A. LAW, HILL STREET BLUES, FAME, and MAGNUM P.I. Arthur’s Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include: Richard Alfieri’s SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS on Broadway, in Los Angeles, and on London’s West End, THE MOST HAPPY FELLA for the New York City Opera, Jerry Herman’s MACK & MABEL at Lincoln Center, BILLY, HAMP, THE CEREMONY OF INNOCENCE, AWAKE AND SING, and Tennessee Williams’s Broadway production of VIEUX CARRÉ. Arthur’s other theater credits include CAROUSEL at the Hollywood Bowl, and OF THEE I SING, THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE, FOLLIES, HAIR, KISMET, and MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG among many others. He has also directed THE GYPSY PRINCESS for Opera Pacific, MACK AND MABEL for the Goodspeed Opera, and MADAMA BUTTERFLY for the Santa Barbara Opera.

 

Honors include two Emmys, five Emmy nominations, the Grand Prize from the New York Film and Television Festival, prizes from the Chicago, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Heartland Film Festivals, the Humanitas Award, Peabody Award, Western Heritage Award, and three Christopher Awards.

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HILARY PHELPS

Director of Public Relations & Marketing

Hilary was an overachiever from the beginning. She was a straight “A” student and the fastest swimmer in the country for her age group, until the age of 14, when she took her first sip of alcohol. From that moment, she was hooked and spent the next 15-years drinking, and feeling empty, lost, and hopeless.

 

At 29, Hilary checked herself into rehab for substance use disorder. It wasn’t just about putting down the drink, but about changing people, places and things in her life that ultimately caused her to use in the first place. Hilary kept her recovery and sobriety quiet until recently when she celebrated 15-years of continuous sobriety in June 2022. It was then she realized “we’re only as sick as our secrets” and to decrease the stigma around substance use disorder, shared her story on “The Payoff with Pete,” a podcast at the intersection of sports and addiction. One podcast turned into a dozen and Hilary’s story of recovery was highlighted in a 2-part series on addiction recovery on WBAL. It was then she realized her mission and purpose wasn’t to stay quiet, but to help those healing in private keep going, by sharing her recovery and healing journey out loud.

 

Hilary is a speaker, an addiction recovery advocate, writer, and holistic wellness coach. Her mission and purpose is to help other women find their voice and heal from anything that is holding them back from finding their purpose. Hilary lives in Arlington, Virginia with her son, Alexander.

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GEORGE VERAS

Financing Executive / Producer

 

George is a producer and ten-time Emmy Award winner.  George brings a wide range of sporting event, feature film and documentary film production experience to the Pollack Films team. He has produced over 100 documentaries for many organizations and networks including ESPN, NFL Films, History Channel, CBS and NBC. Titles that George has produced include ESPN's 30 for 30, The Legend of Jimmy the Greek, NFL Film's Tight on the Spiral, Sportscasters Behind the Mike, The Hall of Fame Knocks as well as many Olympic Games and The 1993 MLB World Series. George also has extensive marketing experience in film including My Big Fat Greek Wedding and American Underdog (The Kurt Warner story).

 

George is a NATAS Judge for national sports and news awards. He spent 13 years at CBS Sports, produced seven Olympics for CBS and NBC, served 13 years at the Pro Football Hall of Fame as Executive Producer, and he founded Veras Communications in 1994 serving as the company's President and Chief Executive.

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JOHN RIVOIR

Financing Executive / Producer

 

John Rivoir has more than 30 years of experience recruiting senior executives for technology companies. This includes CEO’s, board members and VPs of all disciplines for clients in the software, semiconductor, telecom, new media and other sectors. John has worked for both large global and smaller boutique firms, including A.T. Kearney Executive Search in their Global Technology Practice, as a Partner in Spence Associates International and Major Executive Search, as well as Managing Partner of his own firm.

Before beginning his executive search career, John spent six years studying and working in Japan. He has experience in the non-profit sector, working with the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program for several years in Southeast Asia, and later serving as Director of the program in Japan. He has lived and worked in Japan, Latin America and Southeast Asia, and is conversational in Japanese and Spanish. He earned his M.Sc. degree from the London School of Economics, and his B.A. magna cum laude from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan.

 

John first met Michael Pollack in 2003 and the two began collaborating on both Real Estate and Entertainment financing through a joint venture RP Capital. In 2006 they worked together to bring the Australian hit Freak Winds to New York’s Arclight Theatre. John’s passion for the arts has been unwavering as a producer of film projects for Pollack Films.

John and his wife reside on Long Island, NY and have two grown children.

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Leadership

PRODUCTION TEAM

JEAN-FRANÇOIS CAVELIER

Development Executive / Producer

 

Jean-François Cavelier, originally from Paris, France, has over 33 years of experience in the combination of international Film and TV Sales/Distribution and Production. He was the Domestic and International Distribution Consultant for Comerica Bank (Los Angeles), Liberty International (Los Angeles), Pueblo (Geneva, Switzerland), and Syrena (Warsaw, Poland) on the financing side and held various Executive positions for worldwide film and television distribution companies in Hollywood before consulting with several clients both in the US, Latin America, France, and China. Cavelier has handled world sales of countless titles, active in the acquisition and distribution of media content in Mainland China and Latin America as well as in the distribution of Hollywood content to the global markets.


Cavelier turned his full attention to production in 2017, co-producing Jean-Michel Cousteau's "Wonders of the Sea", a feature documentary narrated by Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also acted as a Producer for "Air Strike," the biggest budget feature film ever produced in China, negotiating the hiring of Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson. In 2020, Cavelier co-founded a production outfit in Los Angeles with his producing partner Ghizlane S. Morlot called Countess Films, which focuses primarily on feature film projects that allow for women’s voices to be heard while creating opportunities to tell more inclusive stories. Shortly thereafter, Countess Films entered into a producing agreement with production and distribution company Pollack Films, under which Cavelier is attached to produce the feature “Meet Me in The Kitchen at Midnight” followed by the heart-warming holiday feature “The Angel of Harlem” with principal photography for both scheduled for 2023.

 

Cavelier still owns and operates his own consulting boutique, Gallico Media, educating filmmakers, screenwriters, and others about the "secrets" of the field of film and TV distribution and sales.

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PETER WALDMAN

Development Executive / Producer

 

As founder of WaldmanMusic & Entertainment, est. 2001, Peter has successfully employed his classical music education in teaching, performing, and composing. He has scored the music for 12+ films (including films starring Mark Ruffalo, Ed Asner, John Savage, and Robert Carradine). As a former concert violinist, he studied under Michael Davis, Raphael Druin, Dorothy Delay, and Yo-Yo Ma.

Peter has performed with world-renown musical artists Seal, Jackson Brown, Steven Stills, and John Waite. His current projects include the feature films The Black Cyclone, A Six Gun for the Devil, Bad Rock, 9 to Over, and The Devil Takes Tomorrow.

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LAUREN McGILL

Development Executive / Producer

 

Lauren’s background in Research & Development and corporate finance in the private sector has brought great success to the firms that she has managed. For over twenty-five years, with a keen eye on the expense side of business, her skillset has guided every business in which she has been involved to grow exponentially while simultaneously controlling costs at every level. Lauren’s small-town Midwest roots provide a grounded and “salt of the earth” perspective for Pollack Films, which is her first venture into the world of entertainment. She has nonetheless taken a headfirst approach to reading each and every screenplay, book, and treatment under consideration by Pollack Films and she does not hesitate to share both her insights and opinions.

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GHIZLANE MORLOT 

Director / Producer

 

Ghizlane S. Morlot's first step as a director was shooting a feature documentary about renowned artist Trimpin. Since then, she has gone on to write and direct several narrative shorts, all featuring troubled women on the verge of a nervous breakdown. A native from Morocco and France, Morlot finds inspiration in Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's masterpieces about psychotic women and transgenders. Morlot received an M.F.A. in Television and Screenwriting from Stephens College, Columbia MO. She was granted a fellowship by the Alliance of Women Directors in Los Angeles and participated in a six-month directing workshop with USC School of Cinematics Arts Associate Professor Jennifer Warren, as part of a diversity initiative supporting women in film. 

In the fall 2019, Morlot shadowed producer/director Randy Zisk (pre-production and production) on the set of “Almost Family” (Fox Television). During the 2021 pandemic, Morlot directed “Snow on The Farm”, a comedy web-series featuring women, chicken (mostly female) and goats (YouTube/IGTV).

 

In 2020, Morlot co-founded a production outfit in Los Angeles called Countess Films with her producing partner Jean-François Cavelier. Countess Films is set to focus primarily on feature films projects that shall allow for women’s voices to be heard while opening-up opportunities to tell more inclusive stories. Shortly thereafter, Countess Films entered into a producing agreement with production and distribution company Pollack Films. Under that agreement, Morlot is attached to direct her debut feature-length film “Meet Me in The Kitchen at Midnight”, a dramedy about yet another woman on the edge; followed by the heart-warming holiday feature “The Angel of Harlem” with principal photography scheduled for 2023.

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CHRISTIAN PAYNE

Development Executive / Producer / Director

Christian has worked in the Film and Theatre industries in both Los Angeles and San Diego for over five years. Working as an assistant director, stage manager, sound designer, director, producer, and actor, Christian has gained valuable experience and knowledge in all departments of the entertainment industry. Christian has worked under Arthur Allan Seidelman as his executive assistant for over two years and has learned much about the art of directing. Most recently with Pollack Films, Christian has acted as associate producer on Fields of Gold, and directed the pilot episode of the upcoming television series Studly Vegan. Christian received BA's in both French and Film from Whittier College. 

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LACHLAN DAVIDSON

Director of Photography/Camera & Electrical

Lachlan has worked in the film industry in both Los Angeles and Portland for 4 years as a Director of Photography, Producer, and Director. Falling in love with photography at a young age Lachlan has a variety of experiences including commercial production, music video, Independent, and traditional film. Lachlan holds a BA in film production, business, and history through the Whittier Scholars Program at Whittier College.

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HENRY WALKER

Development Specialist

Henry Walker is an actor, photographer, and development manager. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in drama, during which time he worked on different sets such as Orange is the New Black and Billions.

 

Henry, now bicoastal, currently lives in Los Angeles where he recently worked as an Assistant Photo Editor for Industry Art Works and continues his work as a Development Manager for Gallico Media Consulting and Gallico Productions.

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WRITING TEAM

RICHARD ALFIERI

Screenwriter / Author

 

A graduate of Yale University, Alfieri began his professional career in New York City, where he studied with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse. His awards include two Writers Guild Awards and an Emmy nomination. His play Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks opened on Broadway at the Belasco Theater. The play premiered in Los Angeles and has since been translated into 12 languages and opened in over 20 countries with productions in cities including Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne, Vienna, Madrid, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Amsterdam, Budapest, Helsinki, Prague, Istanbul, Hamburg, Munich, Athens, Seoul, and London.

 

Alfieri has adapted Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks for feature film production later this year.

His play, suggested by Chekhov's Three Sisters (play), premiered in Los Los Angeles Alfieri adapted the play for feature film production, and it premiered as an Official Selection at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival and the Hollywood Film Festival.

Alfieri is currently writing a screenplay based on Tom Alibrandi’s novel, Killshot. He also received both a Writers Guild Award and an Emmy nomination for his work on Norman Lear’s American Broadcasting Company special I Love Liberty. He wrote the feature film Echoes and the novel Ricardo - Diary of a Matinee Idol, which he adapted into the screenplay Moonlight Blonde. He produced the feature film Rescue Maine and executive-produced the National Broadcasting Company film False Witness. He also wrote the film adaptation of Robert James Waller"s novel Puerto Vallarta Squeeze. As an actor, he starred on Broadway in Tennessee Williams" Vieux Carre, and off-Broadway in Awake and Sing, and The Justice Box. His film credits include Children of Rage as well as episodes of Magnum Principal Investigator, Trapper John Doctor of Medicine and Stories from the Bible.

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SIMON MILLER

Screenwriter / Producer / Actor

 

Simon holds a degree in philosophy and aesthetics from the University of Chicago, and was an art director and fashion photographer at the New York fashion advertising agency that he co-owned for 8 years. Simon was co-producer on the recent film SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS. Simon is also an actor who has appeared in such shows as GOSSIP GIRL, VAMPIRE DIARIES, and CSI: MIAMI.

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PR, MARKETING, & BRAND DEVELOPMENT

CHLOÉ CAVELIER

EVP Brand Development

Chloé Cavelier (she/her/hers) is a creative executive based in Los Angeles. With extensive experience in brand development and strategy, visual storytelling, marketing, and innovative management across several sectors, Cavelier is thrilled to bring her creative vision to the Pollack Films team. Cavelier's background also includes impact-driven program management in the nonprofit and public sectors, with an emphasis in community-driven change. Her community-focused approach, her strength in visioning, and her diverse professional experiences, all amplified by her academic background in psychology and communications, make her a powerful force for change and impact in the film industry and with audiences that Pollack Films stirs through innovative storytelling.

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ELLIE BATCHIYSKA

EVP Communications & Marketing

Ellie is a writer and graphic designer based in Los Angeles, CA. With an extensive background in journalism, her works have been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Ventura Blvd Magazine, Tiny Buddha, and countless other reputable publications.

As a PR Coordinator and Account Manager for a national marketing agency, she specializes in enhancing client publicity and visibility. She uses her expertise in journalism and content creation to develop pitch decks and portfolios for various Pollack Films projects.

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JOHN WHITE

Graphic Arts / Development

John Adams White is a pre-pro., production, & design/marketing specialist. Absorbing the –

Uncanny styles of the comic book and graphic novels at an early age he left the page –

Seeking out the screen. Movies, television, commercials, and music videos –

Teleported him to the places that everyone longed to go. Real world experience and –

 

Classroom training brought him into his early 20s eager to take the –

Risks of the ever evolving film industry as he would rise through the ranks of production –

Eventually joining elite professionals on major Chicago shows –

As well as internationally recognized feature films. Learning from the best and –

Training on his own, John Adam White has become a warrior of strategy, AND –

Execution; honing edge of the knife techniques, industry secure knowledge, and mastering this craft.

Don't wait to be great. Just Create.

In the battlefield of the creator's age, he's a filmmaking and storytelling ninja. In the crowded sea of development, he's here to land your project on the shores of the next level with any investor, distributor, or studio.

Download John's Portfolio >>

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AFFILIATED PARTNERS

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BE A PART OF THE DIFFERENCE

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