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Entertainment firm Donaldson + Callif adds Chris Perez as name partner

Entertainment law firm Donaldson + Callif has changed its name to Donaldson Callif Perez. The change is in recognition of Chris Perez (pictured left with Lisa Callif, center, and Michael Donaldson, right), ...
June 16, 2021

Entertainment law firm Donaldson + Callif has changed its name to Donaldson Callif Perez.

The change is in recognition of Chris Perez (pictured left with Lisa Callif, center, and Michael Donaldson, right), who became a partner at the Los Angeles-based firm in 2015.

DCP represents independent film and TV producers, artists and other producers of media in the unscripted and scripted genres. The firm advises clients across development, production, clearance and distribution.

Perez has been with the firm since 2009, specializing in all aspects of the practice.

He has helped productions secure E&O insurance to distribute their films and, in addition to representing filmmakers, Perez serves as counsel to writers, podcast producers, radio personalities, museums and foundations, as well as Film Independent, which produces the Spirit Awards.

Some of Perez’s most recent projects include Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem, The Vow, The Last Dance, Knock Down the House and Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal.

Perez and Donaldson lead the charge on the firm’s advocacy projects, including the landmark Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemptions secured for filmmakers in 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018 that allow filmmakers to avoid liability for accessing the material they need to take advantage of their right to fair use.

He has also been a board member with the International Documentary Association since 2019, and is the co-author of the upcoming fifth edition of Clearance & Copyright.

Perez frequently lectures on legal issues at programs such as UCLA Producers Program, USC Law, the USC School of Cinema, the School of Visual Arts and Columbia College of Chicago.

He also lectures for members of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, the Producers Guild of America, the International Documentary Association and Film Independent. He has appeared on panels at various film festivals around the world, and he taught a week-long course on legal issues in independent film at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, China.

“Chris was with us from the beginning even before becoming a member of the firm,” Donaldson said in a release.

“As a student he carried the laboring oar on our first petition to the Copyright Office to decriminalize ripping DVDs by documentary filmmakers wanting to use material pursuant to fair use. He continued leading the fight for the next fifteen years broadening the provisions to all filmmakers and to all forms of material. Chris continues to help the entire community of independent filmmakers on a bono basis over and above his regular client workload.”

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