ruth vitale

  • Q&A with CreativeFuture’s Ruth Vitale, Cesar Fishman, and Brett Williams


    On Tuesday, April 23, New York Film Academy (NYFA) hosted a panel and Q&A with Ruth Vitale, CEO of CreativeFuture; Cesar Fishman, Senior Vice President, Communications; and Brett Williams, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs. Tova Laiter, Director of the NYFA Q&A Series, moderated the event.

    Vitale served as president of Paramount Classics and Fine Line Features and, collectively, her films have won three Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. As CEO of CreativeFuture, Vitale—with the assistance of her colleagues, Cesar Fishman and Brett Williams—works to ensure the protection of the intellectual property of filmmakers and workers in the entertainment industry as a whole.


    Laiter opened up the Q&A by asking Vitale about her start in the industry. “I ended up in the entertainment business by accident,” said Vitale, adding, “I became director of acquisitions at The Movie Channel and I knew nothing about movies.” Vitale shared that, though her initial role in the entertainment industry focused on sales, she ultimately got the chance to distribute independent films, a job she loved. “You could bring a new voice into the world … I get to share an amazing film with you, the audience.”

    Vitale was introduced to CreativeFuture in 2013; “The job was about advocating on behalf of artists’ rights and saying ‘Copyright is important; we need strong copyright protections and it matters,’” said Vitale. She shared the statistic that, “in 2018, there were 126 billion visits to pirate sites.”


    Vitale also shared a way in which CreativeFuture combats piracy. “Around the world there’s something called site-blocking where, if a site is proven in a court of law … to have more pirated content on it than legitimate content, [then] the judge has the right to send a notice to the internet service providers that they have to block it in that country.”

    CreativeFuture teams up with schools across America to educate students of all ages about protecting creative property and they have found that the younger students are, the more likely they are to adopt lessons about fighting piracy in their everyday lives.


    CreativeFuture also combats piracy with videos in which cast and crew members thank the audiences that are about to watch their films in theaters. This may seem like a small gesture but Vitale shared research by Disney that shows these videos caused a 20% decrease in piracy and a 20% increase in sales.

    Many of the student filmmakers in the audience were interested to know how they could safely share their films online; Vitale said that the best thing to do is to purchase secure links with unique passwords that will expire within a few days of being received.


    The New York Film Academy would like to thank CreativeFuture’s Ruth Vitale, Cesar Fishman, and Brett Williams for advocating for artists and sharing their insights and advice about copyright protections in the entertainment industry.


    April 25, 2019 • Guest Speakers • Views: 2353

  • Film Executive Ruth Vitale Discusses Creativity & Anti-Piracy


    Ruth Vitale

    Film Executive Ruth Vitale with NYFA Producing Co-Chair Neal Weisman

    Noted film executive and anti-piracy advocate Ruth Vitale participated in a “Conversation with…” as part of the New York Film Academy Producing Department’s Industry Speaker series recently at NYFA’s Battery Campus.

    Moderated by Producing Department Co-Chair Neal Weisman, students from various programs listened as Ruth intimately discussed her career as a producer and distributor. From the early days of basic cable, working as an acquisitions executive at the Movie Channel, Ruth has gone on to witness dynamic changes in the creation, financing, and distribution of film content for over thirty years.

    Ruth Vitale

    Sharing her experiences as President of Vestron Pictures, Ruth walked students through the producing process that led to one of that company’s most successful films, Dirty Dancing. She discussed her tenure as President of Fine Line features, where she distributed a number of notable films including Academy Award winner Shine. As the founder and Co-President of Paramount Classics, Ruth was involved in such seminal films as Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides, Mad Hot Ballroom (frequently discussed in NYFA Documentary classes), and Hustle and Flow which garnered an Academy Award nomination for lead actor Terence Howard (currently starring in the television series Empire).

    Ruth shared insider details on the actual purchase of Hustle and Flow, which set the record for the largest sale ($9M) in the history of the Sundance Film Festival.

    As the current Executive Director of the organization CreativeFuture, Ruth has been on the forefront of battling film piracy. Students saw a dynamic video presentation describing the importance of protecting creativity in various mediums including film, television, music, new media, and fine art.

    In a spirited question and answer session, NYFA students offered valuable suggestions on how to fight this industry wide problem. We look forward to an ongoing discussion with Ruth and her CreativeFuture colleagues in the effort to conquer this important issue.

    We’d love to hear from you as well. How can we prevent this ongoing problem of piracy in our industry? Share your thoughts in the comments below!Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

    February 26, 2015 • Guest Speakers, Producing, Student & Alumni Spotlights • Views: 7231