As in life, especially in the entertainment biz, one can suddenly encounter legal snafus, so I am relieved to have a great lawyer and friend in entertainment attorney Nadia Davari. As someone riddled with insomnia and a perpetual worrier, knowing I have Nadia on my team allows me to sleep soundly at night.
A quintessential Renaissance woman, Nadia has excelled in academic disciplines in such varying fields as the sciences and humanities. Her undergrad degree is in Molecular, Cell, Genetics and Developmental Biology from UCLA, and she graduated from USC’s Gould School of Law with an emphasis on Entertainment Law. In my profile of Nadia for MITB, she is portrayed authentically, as a straight shooter with a super strong BS meter in an industry where people often flake and say they’ll do lunch or coffee but never mean it.
Is this erudite scholar only spending her time in seclusion, writing tedious briefs at all hours of the day in a dull brick-and-mortar office? Hardly. Her eclectic and impressive clients include ScareLA, a wildly popular annual Los Angeles-based convention dedicated to celebrating Halloween with unconventional events and interactive experiences like Zombie Ballet and paranormal investigators at haunted campsites! ScareLA is the first summer Halloween convention and Lora Ivanova, who is of Bulgarian descent is a co-founder. Nadia also represents fun, creative, and whimsical clients like The Geekie Awards, the brainchild of Kristen Nedopak. The Geekie Awards are, as you can guess, an award show by geeks for geeks. Kristen is a Ms. In The Biz-er and the Geekie Awards is an alliance partner of Ms. In The Biz.
Nadia’s clients range from the offbeat and eccentric to the mega-impressive. Always one to support her female peers, Nadia is working with the successful producer Dawn Krantz (Wiener) who was the only woman to serve as Chairman of the Board of the Video Software Dealers Association (now Entertainment Merchants Association), a powerful international trade association representing the $32 billion (that’s $32,000,000,000.00) home entertainment industry. Dawn returned to producing in 2009 after successfully battling breast cancer and has just funded her eighth movie. Dawn has a reputation for taking on projects that are controversial and important stories to tell.
On a related note, since our last article, Nadia has been representing Lightning Entertainment, a sales agency with domestic distribution. Any producers looking for distribution of their finished pictures or television series? Nadia is also producing and has projects in development with Lightning Entertainment.
In an office only staffed with female personnel in her law practice, Nadia is also collaborating with attorneys Kimberlina McKinney and Jacqueline Priel. These ladies really enjoy what they do and it shows. Nadia works in the realms of film, scripted and unscripted TV, new media, and music alongside production companies, record companies, and movie studios with a great number of female clients. This firm was founded predominantly for women by a woman.
I like the diverse feel of this collaborative group as well. An advocate for equitable work environments, Nadia, who is of Iranian descent, appreciates diverse talent in her own practice. Her office is an idyllic atmosphere that resembles a mini United Nations of sorts. Her colleagues include Kimberlina, who is African-American, and Jackie who is of Turkish, Syrian, Polish, and Israeli descent, and Nadia should clearly expand her practice to provide service to her clients on a global basis. Nadia tells me that at times the workload can become quite overwhelming and that after working with Jacquie and Kimberlina on various projects, it became clear that it would be beneficial to collaborate.
What’s it like to represent so many thriving female entrepreneurs?
It’s been a pleasure and an inspiration to represent these accomplished ladies. Lora was referred to me by , Ursula Hessenflow, another female client who is her business partner in another venture. These businesswomen are successful serial entrepreneurs. They are a lesson in resilience and tenacity. Kudos to each of them.
How does it feel to represent Lightning Entertainment?
It’s always very exciting to represent a sales agency. You see the finished product finally make it to the market where the producers realize the fruits of their hard labor. It’s also interesting to see the reaction and the reception of audiences to various projects versus what I may have predicted.
What is like working with other women, especially in terms of collaboration and camaraderie?
I feel it’s not really a question of men versus women as co-workers but more one of having the same goals, a shared vision, and being able to complement one another’s strengths and abilities. Having said that, I love working with women. I find that when you work with other like-minded female attorneys and client it’s all about getting the work done and various issues such as egos and fighting just to fight fade away. It’s really nice to have the expertise of such accomplished ladies.
How does it feel to work in such a woman centric office?
We have a sisterhood and have each other’s back in a mainly male dominated industry that still has many barriers for women. I am proud of our accomplishments.
What about working in such a diverse workplace in the fabric of a city as diverse as Los Angeles?
The fact that we each speak different languages and thereby have a true understanding of different cultures results in a synergistic work environment at my office. This really invigorates all of us to work together creatively. Our different ethnic and religious backgrounds lend a feeling of solidarity as well as a diverse collection of skills and experiences that allow us to better meet the needs of our clients more effectively.