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“City Films” Launched in Hollywood as New Commercial Production Company by Veteran Producers Sheila Tighe and Josie Leonard

Hollywood, CA, June 7, 2011 – Longtime producers Sheila Tighe and Josie Leonard have joined forces to launch a new commercial production company, “City Films.” The new company, located in Hollywood, initially features four directors on its roster: David Denneen, Derek McKane, Phil Meatchem and Sandy Smolan. Tighe and Leonard made the announcement. (Photo: Sheila Tighe, is at left, and Josie Leonard is at right)

“Having produced hundreds of commercials on behalf of other production entities during the course of our careers, we felt the time had come for us to do so for ourselves,” Leonard and Tighe said. “We have solid connections with so many agencies, brand marketers and corporate clients that we wanted to match them up with our gifted roster of directors and make some magic happen. City Films is the culmination of many years of hard work, complex productions around the world, and the fulfillment of a longtime dream of creative independence.”

City Films’ reps are Ellen Knable, EKA Reps, West Coast; Maureen Butler for Mid-West, and Lori Benson of Lori Benson Reps for East Coast.



David Denneen is acknowledged as one of Australia’s top commercial directors and among the best in the world. He has worked with Derek Jeter, Naomi Watts, Richard Gere, Jackie Chan, Patrick Rafter, Michael J. Fox, Sir Bob Geldolf, Michael Jordan, Dustin Hoffman, and an array of other actors and sports stars. Among his recent spots are those for Nissan and Renault.

Denneen was among the inaugural recipients of the Australian Screen Directors Association (ADA) accreditation alongside George Miller, Peter Weir, Gillian Armstrong, Bruce Beresford, Ray Lawrence, Phil Noyce and Fred Schepisi. He’s also a member of the Australian Cinematographers Association which acknowledges the creation of a body of work of a consistently high standard. Denneen was voted by his peers as Director of the Decade not once, but twice, and was honored by the award committee into the Hall of Fame.


Derek McKane, Director/Cameraman, has collaborated with such luminaries as Vilmos Zsigmond, Conrad Hall and Darius Khondji. His extensive, rigorous training has provided the range and depth of technical knowledge he brings to his commercial, narrative and new media work. Derek’s attention to detail in casting, design, camerawork, lighting and performance are evidenced in the high quality work he’s done for a roster of high-profile clients.

Derek has worked with clients such as Toyota, Walmart, Billabong, Sprint and Bayer, and has recently finished filming “Storage Unit”, a short film about zombies in a self-storage unit.


As an animation director, Phil Meatchem won numerous awards around the world, on behalf of such brands as Coruba Rum, Nobby’s Nuts, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly Clarke, Kellogg’s, Unifoods, Australia Post, Rowntree Hoadley, Colonial Mutual, and Bonds. He also created many memorable characters like “Mr. Reach.” Adding live action direction has lead Meatchem toward projects that require timing, humor, visual effects, and characters. He has proven himself to have a true understanding of visual effects and how to make something impossible seem real.

The visual effects Meatchem has incorporated into his commercial work have come in many forms: Camels driving a RAV4; cows dancing; seals training with Ian Thorpe; teenagers turning into animated characters; bats talking; mice playing the bagpipes; people playing tennis in a pool; Giaan Rooney swimming through a house, cars driving through a toy tin town, etc.


An award-winning director whose work spans features, commercials, television, documentaries and web series, Sandy Smolan’s critically acclaimed debut feature film “Rachel River” was nominated for the “Grand Jury Prize” at the Sundance Film Festival, and also took awards for “Best Cinematography” and a “Special Jury Prize” for actress Viveca Lindfors. Smolan’s documentary “12 Stones”, about the remarkable transformation of a group of illiterate women in southern Nepal, recently won the “Jury Prize” for “Best Short Documentary” at the Tallahassee and Newport Beach Film Festivals.

He recently directed the ten-part web series “In Gayle We Trust” for American Family Insurance on, and the web series “First Day” for K-Mart. He also just completed producing and directing three short films for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and four short films about sustainability development in India, Georgia, Rwanda and Peru for Heifer International.

In the area of Corporate Social Responsibility, Smolan produced and directed seven films for the Tech Museum sponsored by Intel, Microsoft, Applied Materials, BD Biosciences and Nokia. He was a featured speaker at the 2010 EG Conference in Monterey, CA, and the 2010 INK Conference in Association with TED, in Lavasa, India.



Sheila Tighe has line produced and/or executive produced hundreds of commercial spots around the world for such major brands as Coke, Pepsi, Mastercard, Gillette, Home Depot, McDonalds, Heineken and many more.

Earlier in her career, Tighe worked in a variety of production roles for Joe Pytka and his company for more than a decade. During this time, she was involved in the production of numerous Superbowl spots, as well as spots starring Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretsky, Charles Barkley, Madonna, Joe Montana, John Elway and for such major advertisers as Pepsi and Diet Pepsi, Nike, Lays, IBM, Hallmark, McDonalds, Lexus, and many others.

Tighe later worked as both a line producer and executive producer with Flying Tiger Films, working closely with director Bob Gordon. In this role, she travelled the world, producing spots globally in such locales as Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Malta and elsewhere.

Freelancing after her years with Flying Tiger, Tighe next became an EP with Form for six years. During this time period, she produced spots for Chevy, Ford, Pizza Hut, Lowes, Visa, Nascar and countless more. It was also during this time frame that she first met and collaborated with Josie Leonard.


Josie Leonard has line produced numerous high profile spots during her career, including those for Nike (starring Michael Jordan), Gatorade (starring Derek Jeter), Infinity, Toyota, Nissan, Chrysler, Ford, the U.S. Postal Service, VISA, Mastercard, American Express, and many others. In addition, along with Anna Fawcettt, David Denneen¹s executive producer,
Josie has been director David Denneen’s U.S. line producer for the past 15 years.

Leonard worked on a freelance basis for many years in Hollywood, with posts ranging from Production Assistant to Production Coordinator to Production Manager to Producer. She earned a stellar reputation throughout the So. California commercial industry, helping bring countless projects to life.

While based for a number of years as a Producer with Form, Leonard met, and often collaborated on projects with, Executive Producer Sheila Tighe. The women felt that by joining forces, their partnership could result in an ideal company specializing in global commercial production. The genesis of City Films began in 2010, with the company coming to fruition a year later.


Launched in Hollywood, CA, in 2011, by Sheila Tighe and Josie Leonard, City Films creates, produces, manages and distributes multi-media content. The company, which represents a diverse and talented group of filmmakers, seeks to form innovative partnerships, backing them up with a non-stop work ethic. City Films operates in an open and collaborative environment, dedicated to taking each project to its fullest potential.

For more information, please call 310/567-8518 or visit