Manatt Digital Media Provides Legal and Business Advisory Services for Independent Filmmakers, Including Artists Behind 'Beneath the Harvest Sky'

Sep 05, 2013, 08:00 ET from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Manatt Digital Media, a full-service digital media division within Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, today announced it provided legal advisory services for "Beneath the Harvest Sky," an independent feature-length motion picture that will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 8. "Beneath the Harvest Sky" has also been named as a Next Wave selection – approved by the TIFF youth-driven Next Wave committee -- highlighting the film to teenage filmgoers and including it in a Twitter screening to engage viewers and the community via social media.


As experts in strategically advising filmmakers and artists on a full range of professional services, Manatt Digital Media helped Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly -- the independent filmmakers making their narrative feature directorial debut -- oversee all legal and business matters, including navigating the complexities of financing, talent and distribution in the independent film context. Manatt Digital Media is currently advising several major independent filmmakers in their production and distribution efforts.

George A. Cooke, Jr., a partner in Manatt's Digital Media and Entertainment & Media practices, said "In working with these two young filmmakers, I have been impressed by both their talent and their entrepreneurial initiative. This project underscores Manatt Digital Media's ability to leverage our deep media and entertainment experience and relationships to help budding artists realize their artistic visions and ultimately achieve success."

Cooke has long supported up-and-coming artists in the music, film and television industries, having structured financing, co-production, and licensing arrangements with a wide range of independent film producers and distributors over the course of his professional career. He has personally worked with Gaudet and Pullapilly for more than four years, and he previously served as attorney for the husband-wife team on their Emmy-nominated documentary "The Way We Get By."

"George and the Manatt Digital Media team have been instrumental in helping us navigate through the complexities of writing, financing, casting, shooting and distributing this motion picture," said Gaudet. "Part of our mission as filmmakers has always been to find and tell stories that are entertaining, while also shedding light on critical social issues. We are thrilled with the recognition that 'Beneath the Harvest Sky' is already generating, which would not have been possible without Manatt's generous donation of services and deep experience, and overall dedication to the arts."

"Beneath the Harvest Sky" tells the story of Casper (Emory Cohen) and Dominic (Callan McAuliffe), two best friends who are fiercely loyal to one another as they come of age in a small farming town in Maine. During harvest break, Casper is drawn into smuggling drugs across the Canadian border with his outlaw father, Clayton (Aidan Gillen). Meanwhile, Dominic works his final potato harvest, hoping to earn the money he needs to buy a car and take them away -- and toward a better future. But with Casper's life unraveling before their eyes, their friendship and loyalty are put to the test as they are forced to mature and make very adult decisions that will forever alter the course of their lives.

About Manatt Digital Media
Manatt Digital Media is a full-service digital media platform created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, whatever the size or stage of the company, from startup to growth-stage to mature public companies. Manatt Digital Media uniquely offers a one-stop shop of professional services that is grounded in the legal and business experience of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, one of the world's most respected law firms in the media, entertainment and advertising industries. Manatt Digital Media offers its clients differentiated value and impact in multiple forms and across the life span of their companies -- from venture capital to strategic relationship building and artist access to business consulting and creative deal-making, including content licensing, distribution and M&A. For more information, visit

About Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, is one of the nation's leading law firms, with offices strategically located in California (Los Angeles, Orange County, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Sacramento), New York (New York City and Albany) and Washington, D.C. The firm represents a sophisticated client base -- including Fortune 500, middle-market and emerging companies -- across a range of practice areas and industry sectors. For more information, visit

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