First Focus International (FFI) was developed and created by filmmakers much like yourself. We, Mark Shady and Leif Holt, began and continue our careers by making and selling films. Because of our first hand knowledge and experience, we’re able to relate to and understand what a filmmaker experiences when attempting to find distribution. Through these experiences and the ultimate forming of FFI, we have developed a proven model for any filmmaker seeking to distribute their product that will maximize returns for any film that we represent, while avoiding the costly mistake of finding a distribution company that may not be the best fit for your film.

First Focus International is a film consulting company that bridges the gap between the artistic brilliance of filmmakers, producers and directors, to the extremely competitive infrastructure of distribution.

So what precisely, does that mean for you? As a filmmaker, your job is to create quality films. At First Focus International, our job is to get those quality films prepped, ready for distribution and in many cases, into the hands of the distributors who want your work. How do we do this?

In the simplest terms, First Focus excels in finessing and prepping your film to ensure that the end result not only retains your original integrity, but is also a saleable movie.

FFI MISSION STATEMENT:  To advise and consult with filmmakers to prepare their films for maximum profitability in sale and distribution.


Leif Holt

Finance, Deliverables, Digital Platforms; Head of Short Form Division

As a veteran producer, director and filmmaker, Leif Holt has nearly a dozen features under his belt, along with years of experience in distribution by selling his and others’ projects.

Like many filmmakers, Leif was thrown into the difficult and cutthroat business of distribution, but through his numerous film ventures, he was able to formulate an in depth understanding of the proper actions to take for selling films. With his knowledge and drive for filmmaking and distribution, he is a perfect fit for First Focus International.

Mark Shady

Film Consultant, Producer’s Rep, Sales Rep; Head of Feature Films Division

An award-winning producer with over 10 years of independent filmmaking under his belt.  Mark brings his invaluable domestic and international film market experience, as well as his indie film producing to work for First Focus International.

After touring the festival circuit for several years and producing a handful of feature films, Mark decided to venture into film distribution where he worked as an exhibitor or market coordinator at every major film market worldwide, including Cannes, Berlin, AFM, Sundance, Toronto and both MIPCOM & MIPTV.

He has a development background with Senator Entertainment (formerly Mandate Pictures) and has also worked as a video game producer for TimePlay Entertainment, where he spearheaded TimePlay Sports; an interactive sports trivia game which launched nationwide at Dave & Busters.