Jay Cohen

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Financier, Agent & Partner
Film Finance and Distribution
The Gersh Agency

Jay Cohen is a Partner and Head of Film Finance and Distribution at The Gersh Agency, where he oversees a department which represents multiple equity funds, sells finished films and consults on independent financing for a wide spectrum of independent projects.

Mr. Cohen’s first film, which he produced and self-financed, was the critically acclaimed hit SWIMMING WITH SHARKS, A film which remains as relevant today as it was when it was released in 1995. Swimming with Sharks has been a stage play in eight countries and most recently opened in the West End of London in October, 2007. Currently he is developing Swimming with Sharks as a TV series.

Cohen’s entertainment career includes a three-year partnership with Dustin Hoffman and Village Roadshow Pictures Australia, which led to the production and distribution of A WALK ON THE MOON, THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC (Showtime), BOYS AND GIRLS, CLUBLAND and A SEPARATE PEACE (Showtime). Mr. Cohen raised $2.5 million for this partnership and was responsible for all day to day creative and business operations.

Mr. Cohen created the company Cosmic Entertainment, a partnership with Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson which produced THE MATTHEW SHEPARD STORY, BILLY MEETS BOBBY, ORPHAN KING and DARK BLUE starring Kurt Russell. Mr. Cohen raised $5 million for this venture and was responsible for the full time staff, day to day operations, as well as all negotiations regarding film, television and production facilities.

JayCohengroupshotMr. Cohen started his own company, Light Speed Media, in 2004. Cohen produced TWO FOR THE MONEY starring Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey and Rene Russo, financed by Morgan Creek and released by Universal Pictures in 2005. Also in 2005 he produced the TV movie 14 HOURS for TNT. In addition, Mr. Cohen developed and Produced MAD MONEY, starring Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes, directed by Academy Award winner Callie Khouri (THELMA AND LOUISE and THE DEVINE SECRETS OF THE YA YA SISTERHOOD). Millennium Films financed and Overture Films released the film in January, 2008.

Mr. Cohen developed and Executive Produced BRIDE WARS starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway for New Regency Pictures, which was released in January 2009.

Mr. Cohen has developed and sold fifteen TV series, and has shot two pilots for the TV networks.

Prior to his career in Hollywood, Mr. Cohen spent six years working on Wall Street. First, at Van Kampen Merritt, where he launched the Wirehouse Broker Dealer Network, helping to generate close to $1 billion in new revenue. Later, he moved to Los Angeles to begin the Institutional Investment Program for Fiduciary Trust International of California, a subsidiary of FTI NY. Mr. Cohen brought $250 million under management to the new entity.

Through his decades of experience in the entertainment industry, Jay Cohen has developed excellent relationships with major studios, independent domestic distributors, talent agencies, management companies, international distributors, equity providers, international film funds, domestic and international banks, public relations firms, attorneys, actors, writers and directors.

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