Chris L. Perez
Chris specializes in all aspects of the firm’s practice, including representing independent filmmakers through development, financing, production, rights clearance and distribution. He has helped hundreds of productions secure the E&O insurance necessary to distribute their films and has established himself as an advocate for artists’ rights. In addition to representing filmmakers, Chris serves as counsel to writers, podcast producers, radio personalities, museums and foundations, as well as Film Independent, which produces the Spirit Awards and supports independent filmmakers around the world.
Chris has lectured on production, distribution, financing, and clearance issues at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, China, UCLA Producers Program, USC Law, the USC School of Cinema, UC Irvine, Cal Arts, the School of Visual Arts, Columbia College of Chicago, and other institutions. He has also lectured for members of the International Documentary Association and Film Independent, and has appeared on panels at various film festivals and the Producers Guild of America. Chris has also written several op-ed pieces for the Daily Journal, LA Lawyer and Realscreen.
Chris has also been a leader on several of the firm’s advocacy projects, including the landmark Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemptions secured for filmmakers in 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018.
Chris graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with a BA in American Studies and a minor in Film and Video Studies, where he produced, directed, and wrote several student films. He earned his Juris Doctorate at the USC Gould School of Law. Prior to working with Donaldson Callif Perez, Chris worked for California Lawyers for the Arts, Technicolor, and the Cyberlaw Clinic at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.
Chris is co-author of the 5th Edition of Clearance & Copyright, the industry’s leading book on rights clearances in film and television.
Chris also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Documentary Association.
Awards and Honors
Hollywood’s New Leaders – Variety, 2015
Legal Impact Report – Variety, 2016, 2017, 2019
Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars– 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Attorney of the Year – California Lawyer, 2016
Tiger King (Royal Goode Productions)
The Last Dance (Mandalay Sports Media)
Challenger: The Final Flight (Zipper Bros. Productions)
Some Kind of Heaven (Los Angeles Media Fund)
The Social Dilemma (Exposure Labs)
The Vow (The Othrs)
Finding Your Roots (McGee Media)
FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (Library Films)
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal (Library Films)
The Mole Agent (Motto Pictures)
The Comedy Store (Mandalay Sports Media)
Bombshell (A24/BRON Studios)
What’s My Name (Zipper Bros. Productions)
Humans of New York (Motto Pictures)
The Farewell (Big Beach Films)
Blackberry (Zapruder Films)
The Long Game (Mucho Mas Media)
The Redeem Team (MSM/Tollin Productions)
Moonage Daydream (Brett Morgen)
Little Richard: I Am Everything (Bungalow Entertainment)
The U.S. and the Holocaust (Florentine Films)
Associated Television International
Big Beach Films
Fourth Floor Productions
Lady & Bird Films
Little Monster Films
Los Angeles Media Fund
National Comedy Center
Pineapple Street Media
Sutter Road Picture Co.
Zipper Bros. Productions