Gudrun Giddings, President and Chair of SACC-LA
Gudrun Giddings is the CEO and producer at G4C Innovation and the co-founder of Entertainment Capital Network. She is the U.S. Ambassador for Scandinavian Film Locations and serves on the Board of Directors for Mentor Foundation USA that was founded by H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden. She is also a Board Member of SACC-USA and the President and Chair of The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce-LA.
She is currently in post-production on LIKE ME, an English language feature film, shot in Sweden and to be released worldwide. Gudrun recently executive produced BANSHEE CHAPTER directed by Blair Erickson and executive produced by Zach Quinto (STAR TREK, MARGIN CALL) Gudrun also produced a pilot in collaboration with Stan Lee’s company POW! Entertainment and Michael Eisner’s Vuguru hosted by Mark Hamill (STAR WARS). Before then she executive produced the Norwegian fantasy thriller THALE, released in the U.S. 2013. Gudrun executive produced FLYPAPER, written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (THE HANGOVER) directed by Rob Minkoff (THE LION KING, STUART LITTLE) starring Patrick Dempsey (GREY’S ANATOMY, ENCHANTED) Gudrun previously served as a Producer and the Vice President of Production at Paradox Entertainment and worked on the feature film CONAN THE BARBARIAN among other projects. Before joining Paradox, Gudrun was the Director of Production for Davis Films, Samuel and Victor Hadida’s production arm under their distribution company Metropolitan Filmexport, where she worked on films such as, Tony Scott’s DOMINO, Christopher Gans’ SILENT HILL, SOLOMON KANE, George Clooney’s GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK and Terry Gilliam directed, THE IMAGINERIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS. In 2008 she produced a selection of the first original content pilots for Xbox Live 360, MIRACLE OF PHIL directed by Andrew Douglas (AMITIVILLE HORROR) and POST APOLYPTIC PIZZA directed by Peter Cornwell (HAUNTING IN CONNETICUT).
Sara Fahlgren, General Manager Cecconi's
Sara Fahlgren is the General Manager of CECCONI’S Restaurant in West Hollywood, CA. She is the middle sister of three, born and raised in Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast. She is a consummate luxury hospitality professional who has a passion for the food and beverage industry. Sara has decorated career in restaurant operations & innovative guest experience development.
Her tenure with Soho House & Co., began in London, UK in 2010. Soho House is a global group of private members’ clubs, hotels, restaurants, and venues around the world with highly-selective membership exclusive to the media, arts, creative and fashion industries.
Soho House & Co. has distinguished her as a rising star. Sara has developed a skill set and aptitude to effortlessly engage with guests and impeccably serve her clients. In addition to her charismatic and energetic personality, Sara demonstrates a business acumen that translates into operational growth, profitability and efficiencies.
Sara recently earned a Certificate of Strategic Leadership Training from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. She is highly active in her community and recently invited to join the West Hollywood Design District as Board Member. Sara enjoys meeting new people as well as re-connecting with industry colleagues from across the globe. She is recognized among her peers as a charismatic leader with initiative, a youthful spirit, and a love for rich conversation.
Sara lives in Los Angeles and enjoys a Southern California lifestyle that embodies wellness, outdoor activity, world-travel, and above all else, being deeply grateful. She is the quintessential Swedish-American ambassador.
Kim Swartz, Attorney Executive Vice President
Kim H. Swartz is a Swedish-American attorney with a broad range of experience in the entertainment industry and in assisting Scandinavian individuals and companies in navigating the business and legal aspects of doing business in the U.S., including visas. He has represented major film studios and music companies, as well as Oscar, Emmy and Grammy winning talent, and icons such as Muhammad Ali, Farrah Fawcett and Irving Berlin. He has been involved in the industry from all sides, as an executive at major film studios and major independents (MGM/United Artists, Viacom/Republic Pictures/Spelling and Saban Entertainment), and in private practice, including 18 years with the prestigious law firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, shepherding the industry for over 100 years with clients including all of the major film studios, televisions networks and music companies, and A-list talent going back to Greta Garbo and the Beatles.
Mr. Swartz handles matters in substantially all areas of the entertainment industry, including film, television, music, digital, intellectual property (copyright and trademark) and publishing. He works with established companies and talent as well as up and comers just beginning their exciting journeys in the industry. In addition to entertainment, Mr. Swartz represents clients in other areas of the law. He is actively involved in the Scandinavian community, including serving previously as President of SACC-LA.
Mr. Swartz is a frequent speaker at universities, film festivals, bar associations and other organizations and events, as well as in the media. A passionate supporter of worthy causes, Mr. Swartz serves on a number of non-profit boards, including the Farrah Fawcett Foundation and Rock Against Trafficking. He is active in animal advocacy with his wife, actress Megan Blake, particularly through her non-profit Super Smiley Project (in addition to having their own rescued horses, dogs and cats). He is a classically trained musician and started his entertainment career in music artist management. He has also been a producer on motion pictures and television series. The founder of the Law Offices of Kim H. Swartz, he received his Doctor of Law (J.D.) degree from Emory University School of Law.
Jennings Segura, Merrill Lynch
Jennings is a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch in Beverly Hills. Previously, Jennings spent over a decade in the Swedish telecom industry as an entrepreneur and sales executive. In 2003, Jennings founded Devicom AB, a licensed telecom operator specialized in low-cost telephony. After a successful IPO on the Swedish small-cap market, Devicom now ranks among Sweden’s top telecom operators. Jennings’ latest venture includes MyCosmik Inc, a multi-platform mobile app that reduces mobile roaming costs for corporate travelers.
Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Jennings moved to Sweden to study economics and received a M.S. in Financial Economics from Uppsala University.
Amir Maki, NRG
Amir Maki is regional manager for NRG. A Fortune 250 company, NRG supports clean energy resources and technologies critical to our transition to a sustainable, low carbon society. They built the nation’s first privately-funded electric vehicle charging infrastructure and continue to create new, clean energy solutions for our customers.
Amir is Swedish-Persian. Prior to attending law school, Amir worked as a senior analyst at RiskMetrics Group in Washington DC. He covered the Scandinavian market and provided corporate governance advisory and risk analysis to the largest investment banks, mutual funds, and hedge funds in the U.S.
He has a business and corporate communication degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He also has a law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law focusing on M&A and securities regulation.
Daniel Wagner, Fortitude International and Bifrost Pictures
Daniel Wagner is a producer, Co-Founder of Fortitude International and the CEO of Bifrost Pictures.
Through his Bifrost Pictures banner, a specialty financing and production company established in 2013, Daniel is a producer on the upcoming MILES AHEAD, starring Don Cheadle as jazz legend Miles Davis, currently in post-production. He also produced SHELTER, directed by Paul Bettany and starring Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie which world premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and will be released by Screen Media in the US in 2015. Additionally, he recently executive produced the festival hit WE’LL NEVER HAVE PARIS, directed by Simon Helberg, REASONABLE DOUBT starring Samuel Jackson and Dominic Cooper and THE WORLD MADE STRAIGHT, directed by David Burris and starring Minka Kelly, Haley Joel Osment, Noah Wyle, and based on the award-winning novel by Ron Rash which was released in January 2015.
In 2014, he co-founded Fortitude International, a foreign sales, financing and production company, with veteran sales agent Nadine de Barros and producer Robert Ogden Barnum.
Fortitude’s current slate of films includes James Ponsoldt’s THE END OF TOUR starring Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel which world premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and will be released in the US by A24 Films in the summer, URGE starring Pierce Brosnan currently in post-production, the thriller DAUGHTER OF GOD with Keanu Reeves, the revenge action thriller VINCENT-N-ROXXY starring Emile Hirsch and Zoë Kravitz, THE RUNNER with Nicolas Cage, BARTON & CHARLIE, Rupert Friend’s directorial debut who will star opposite Emily Blunt, THIS MAN, THIS WOMAN to be directed by Isabel Coixet and THE TRIBES OF PALOS VERDES with Jennifer Garner and Matt Dillon, in pre-production.
Prior to launching BiFrost and Fortitude, Daniel served as President of Production at Paradox Entertainment from 2007 to 2012, overseeing all aspects of physical production for Paradox’s slate of films. In addition to his work at Paradox, Daniel executive produced AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS starring Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster, as well as major studio projects including Twentieth Century Fox’s BROKEN CITY directed by Allen Hughes and starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and FIRE WITH FIRE, written by Tom O’Connor and directed by David Barrett, and starring Josh Duhamel and Bruce Willis.
Before relocating to the US, Daniel worked in Europe for Tre Vänner AB, where he was responsible for the development and production of several films and television shows. He also produced several feature-length films for Sonet film AB, the largest independent film distribution and production company in Sweden.
Fredrik Loving, Head of Studio Goodbye Kansas
Fredrik Loving, game industry veteran and former General Manager at DICE and veteran team member of the critically acclaimed Battlefield franchise have most recently been helping production companies leading a new wave in fresh storytelling for film, television and beyond.
At DICE, Fredrik began as the Development Director on the Battlefield franchise and three years later, assumed the role of Producer on Battlefield 3, one of the most successful titles in Electronic Arts’ 30-year history. After the incredible success of Battlefield 3, Loving focused his attention to building and establishing the newly formed DICE studio in Los Angeles where they have not only shipped multiple award winning titles but also been mentioned as one of the best game development studios in the world.
Driven by his passion for storytelling and developing high-performance teams, Fredrik’s successes and high level contacts are instrumental in shaping the future for companies looking to grow both vertically and horizontally in the entertainment space.
Björn Barnekow, Bad Taste Records
With two childhood friends Björn Barnekow first started his own company towards the end of high school. Initially a record store/mail-order it soon grew into a highly influential record label with numerous top 5 releases. Nowadays Bad Taste Records is an entertainment company with offices in Santa Monica and Lund, Sweden and in addition to the record label it also consists of Bad Taste Events (one of the biggest independent gig promoters in Scandinavia), Feeble Music (a licensing company/publisher that represents the majority of the Swedish indie labels/artists for film and TV licensing) and OBA Management. Among its artists the latter represents Danko Jones (one of the biggest rock bands in Canada) and the Platinum selling Swedish hip hop artist Timbuktu.
Emil Abedian, CEO Abedian & Totlian/CFO of SACC-LA
Emil Abedian, CPA is the founder and CEO of Abedian & Totlian, An Accountancy Corporation, specializing in accounting, tax and business-consulting services for small and mid-size businesses in service based industries. With a blend of technology and expertise, Abedian & Totlian liberates their clients from the minutiae of back office management allowing them to focus on what truly matters—applying their creativity and entrepreneurial vision to growing their businesses.
Emil’s ideal clients are service-based companies ranging from one to ten million dollars in revenue and include dentists, doctors, attorneys and businesses in the entertainment industry. Typical clients are two to five partner-owned businesses interested in growth and expansion.
Abedian & Totlian received a certificate of recognition from California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León for their exemplary tax, accounting and business-consulting services. For 2 consecutive years, Abedian & Totlian has also been named Best of Glendale Accounting Firms, 2015 and 2016.
After spending his youth in Uppsala, Emil went on to study accounting and earned a Masters in Business and Economics from Uppsala University. As a young accountant, Emil took employment with the Stockholm branch of Ernst & Young and focused his efforts on international clients in the United States and United Kingdom.
In 2007, Emil relocated to Los Angeles and began to build family and community roots. After moving to the States, Emil took a position with JH Cohn LLP as a financial auditor. Emil founded Abedian & Totlian, An Accountancy Corporation (formerly Abedian Accountancy Corporation) in 2009.
Emil is an avid participant of local CPA organizations and holds memberships in both the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Tomas Jegeus, President Fox International Productions
Bio coming up soon.