Mariah Lichtenstern has over 15 years of experience with filmmakers, studio executives, film organizations and professionals in various facets of the motion picture industry. During this time, she's worked on the set of both major Hollywood films as well as scrappy student films from the Bay Area to LA. Traveling the world, attending film markets and producing boot camps—from Marche du Cannes to the Los Angeles–Tel Aviv Master Class in Producing, Mariah has researched and observed global trends in the entertainment. Combined with her professional designations in finance (Series 6 / 65), these experiences informed her desire to bring innovation to film finance and distribution.
Mariah Lichtenstern started her film industry career at UC Berkeley where she majored in Rhetoric of Narrative and the Image (minoring in English, Ethnic, & African Studies). She studied under the late, great documentarian, Loni Ding, and interned with the Oakland Film Commission. At the San Francicso Film Arts Foundation, she worked in Fiscal Sponsorship, tracking grants and contributions while consulting filmmakers on business plans.
After forming a boutique production company in 2001, Mariah attended both USC and UCLA's MFA producing programs, where she learned from Hollywood's top studio executives, producers, and marketers, including a mentorship with Tom Ortenberg, then President of Lionsgate. At USC, she directed the short films, The Beekeeper, What's Up with Hip-Hop?, Pressed, and The Aftermath.
Mariah served in several entertainment-oriented organizations including as Co-Chair of the Commitee on Diversity at Film Independent, where she was a Project Involve Fellow. She received a State Assembly award for contribtions to the Pan African Film Festival and brought the first annual NAACP Image Awards Diversity Forum to UCLA’s Freud Playhouse. She taught several courses at the Art Institute of California, including Survey of Film and Video, Scriptwriting, and Effective Speaking while leading the web development and new-media initiatives of SMBs. With digital distribution, social media and the JOBS Act, the stars aligned for her to found CINESHARES in 2014.
Mariah is a member of the UCLA VC Fund and a Kauffman Fellows Finalist. She is a mentor for Startup Weekend and Draper University. She was the Female Founder Fellow in the Spring 2015 cohort of the Founder Institute, Silicon Valley and was featured Velocity VCs Entrepreneurs Showcase 2015.