Trends Watch: Film Investing
January 20, 2022
By Elana Margulies-Snyderman
EisnerAmper’s Trends Watch is a weekly entry to our Alternative Investments Intelligence blog, featuring the views and insights of executives from alternative investment firms. If you’re interested in being featured, please contact Elana Margulies-Snyderman.
This week, Elana talks with Jai Khanna, CEO, Oakhurst Entertainment and Co-Founder, Oakhurst Ventures.
What is your outlook for investing in films and socially impactful content?
The outlook now is as good as it has ever been in my career. First of all, the streaming revolution has opened new outlets and channels for distribution. There is huge demand for quality content. Second, the available talent pool continues to grow: There are so many talented people in our business with great ideas and levels of energy and commitment to match those ideas. Finally, the awareness that almost everything produced out of Hollywood has an impact in some way has evolved into an understanding that impact should be considered more directly. The film business has always had strong social and cultural influence; today the opportunity to make positive impact is especially significant, and the talent and ideas to do it are there.
Where do you see the greatest opportunities and why?
It is a very exciting time to be in the business. Streaming technology has made the ability to view content easy and convenient and has greatly increased consumption. Even ten years ago who could have imagined standing in a supermarket checkout line watching a movie on your phone…then glancing left and right to see people in the other lines doing the same thing! The profit potential has increased as well, and in the best way: Investments in quality moving image content have less volatile return streams now, and de-risking options exist that did not exist years ago. One result of this is that documentaries have become a nice opportunity, and an area where quality is particularly rewarded.
What are the greatest challenges you face and why?
The challenge is always to make the highest quality product, and to make sure that talent is deployed in the most favorable way. Making socially impactful product helps meet this challenge so much. The writers, producers, directors and actors who we have access to bring incredible abilities and effort to the table; social impact provides an excellent focus for them, and for us. We think of ourselves as custodians of these amazing resources. My challenge is helping guide these resources as effectively as possible.
What keeps you up at night?
Pretty simple answer: wanting to improve and to continue to get better at my job. For the talent we serve, and for the viewing audience we serve. As long as we are accomplishing that, our investors can expect to remain very satisfied.
The views and opinions expressed above are of the interviewee only, and do not/are not intended to reflect the views of EisnerAmper.