Thousands of actors, producers, and filmmakers assembled for this year’s South by Southwest Film Conference & Festival to attend screenings, keynotes, and workshops. At the Austin Convention Center, attorney Dan Satorius was on hand to offer advice to independent filmmakers hoping to raise money in support of their projects.
During his panel “Other People’s Money: Investors and Crowdfunding,” Satorius, who practices entertainment law in Minneapolis, Minnesota, walked through the details of finance rules and answered questions on how to avoid legal pitfalls when funding a film.
While Satorius touched on the history of Blue Sky Laws and the felonies, fines, and suits that can come from not complying with investing regulations, he also devoted time to talking about safe harbor regulations and the 2012 JOBS Act, which has changed the way filmmakers can receive investments.
In 2013, in compliance with the Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted an amendment to Rule 506 of Regulation D under the Securities Act of 1933. Among other details, the change allows general solicitation for offerings if investors can be verified as accredited. Prior to the update, companies were not allowed to engage in advertising in connection with offerings, including announcements in newspaper or online spaces.
While the amendment comes with some fine print, such as a list of verification methods for determining who is considered an “accredited investor,” it seems to be a game-changer for filmmakers.
The panel wrapped up with a Q&A.