Our Team

OUR TEAM

JASON ALLISON | CEO

Jason Allison is a former hockey star and current writer and development executive born in North York, Ontario, Canada. In 1994 and 1995, he represented Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships and helped his team win back-to-back gold medals by leading the tournament in scoring. At the age of 18, he started his professional hockey career in the National Hockey League, playing with the Washington Capitals. He later played for the Boston Bruins, LA Kings, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Jason was best known for his time as team captain of the Boston Bruins, where he was an All-Star, and 4th leading scorer in the NHL. After a 14-year run, Allison retired from playing and invested in and operated a hockey organization in Ontario.

Following his pro-sports career, Allison branched out into new business ventures and took ownership in Vision Sports Entertainment Company with his business partner Bryant McBride. In 2016, he joined forces with Michael S. Smith to launch a successful finance company, which led to his latest venture, Don Kee Productions, a film and television production and financier company based out of Los Angeles. Through Don Kee Productions, he created a passion project about his experience playing for the NHL called “Give Blood”, a gritty, behind-the-scenes hockey drama series that gives an authentic look into the world of hockey players beyond the ice. Following the creation of his series, he grew Don Kee Productions into a full force production company, producing several feature films such as the Dixie-Mafia crime drama ARKANSAS starring Liam Hemsworth, Vince Vaughn, and John Malkovich; the action comedy THE COMEBACK TRAIL starring Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, and Zach Braff, and the conspiracy thriller WANDER, starring Aaron Eckhart, Tommy Lee Jones, Katheryn Winnick and Heather Graham. Riding the success of those films, Allison has several big film and television projects in development.

MICHAEL S. SMITH | Partner

Michael S. Smith has over forty-five years of entrepreneurial experience, founding more than thirty companies worldwide in varied industries. These include ventures in oil exploration, entertainment and land development. Michael has a particular passion for finance, personalized healthcare and individualized medicine. He is currently CEO of Focus Energy Ltd., and CMC Capital Corporation, among other active business interests.

A one-time serious amateur hockey player, Smith established and is Chairman of a not-for-profit to honor his close friend Igor Korolev. Share the Dream provides children of all ages, races, religions and economic backgrounds with the chance to share a moment in their life with one of their sports heroes. Michael and his wife Rhonda support Breakfast for Learning, a Toronto-based foundation ensuring all children start the school day with a healthy breakfast.

Franchesca Lantz | Head of Development

Franchesca Lantz was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Louisiana State University in 2005.  She furthered her education to receive a Film degree in 2007. Franchesca worked at Fox Sports before moving on to The Collective, Tower Hill Entertainment, Mandate Pictures at Lionsgate, Movie Package Company, and eventually After Dark Films.  After Dark was one of the largest horror brands at the time, known mainly for producing and distributing horror films through its famous Horror Fest.  The company eventually went on to produce action films through their Action Fest entity.

In 2014, Franchesca was named Vice President, Marketing & Development for the newly formed Cinelou Films. Cinelou’s first film entitled Cake, starring Jennifer Aniston, earned nominations from Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, and Critics Choice in 2015, as well as helping to bring awareness to the often-ignored issue of chronic pain. They went on to produce numerous prestigious dramas including, Mr. Church, starring Eddie Murphy; Burn Your Maps, starring Vera Farmiga; The Comedian, starring Robert De Niro; and The Yellow Birds, starring Alden Ehrenreich and Jennifer Aniston. Following the success of those films, Franchesca decided to branch out into new and exciting opportunities in filmmaking. She has served on the board for Outfest and often volunteers her time and expertise to up and coming filmmakers to help them grow careers in the industry.

In 2018, Franchesca joined the newly formed production and financier company Don Kee Productions as Head of Development. Since joining the company, she has helped to grow Don Kee into a name to look out for in the world of indie filmmaking. Upon arriving at Don Kee, she has produced or executive produced several films including the Dixie-Mafia crime drama ARKANSAS starring Liam Hemsworth, Vince Vaughn, and John Malkovich; the action comedy THE COMEBACK TRAIL starring Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, and Zach Braff, and the conspiracy thriller WANDER, starring Aaron Eckhart, Tommy Lee Jones, Katheryn Winnick and Heather Graham.

 

Michael Roban | Business and Legal Affairs

Michael is a 22 year veteran of the motion picture industry with expertise in motion picture and television finance and operations. Prior to establishing his own consulting and legal practice, Michael spent 4 years at one of the world’s leading motion picture distribution companies,  IM Global, LLC. During his time there, Michael was the Executive Vice President of Motion Picture Finance and Operations and oversaw production and finance of movies ranging in budgets from $30 million (including Safe starring Jason Statham) to $2 million (including A Haunted House starring Marlon Wayans and grossing over $40 million in the US alone).  While at IM Global, Michael engineered use of EIS Funding to finance several slates of Films including “Locke” (Tom Hardy), “Plush” with Blumhouse Pictures and “A Haunted House 2” among others.   Some of Michael’s professional experience includes —Stone Village Pictures as Chief Operating Officer, Participant Media as Chief Operating Officer, and Cold Fusion Media as Founder & CEO.

Michael has earned Executive Producer credits on over 20 theatrical motion pictures and is an expert on all aspects of international media distribution, finance and production. In addition, Michael is a frequent guest lecturer on entertainment law and motion picture finance at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, New York and member of the Board of Advisors of its Entertainment Law Clinic.  Michael has handled production financing and business affairs for more than twenty different films. He graduated from Union College with his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science then furthered his education at Yeshiva University where he finished earning Doctor of Law (J.D.) degree.