John Ruane is the Founder and CEO of Counterweight Productions and an 11-time Emmy Award winning independent producer with over 30 years of media experience as a business executive and entrepreneur including 20 years with NBC Sports. During his career, John has broadcast thousands of hours of live and recorded sports and news programming. He has traveled extensively around the world covering major events for broadcast television such as the Olympic Games, Wimbledon, the Super Bowl, MLB World Series, and theNBA Finals, to name a few. Over decades of broadcasting human-interest narratives for Olympic Games and other properties, John has honed his skills in discovering, developing and weaving together dramatic personal biographies into vivid tapestries of sports storytelling. In 2007, John established Taj Mahut LLC, his first production house. In 2008, he won the Emmy for producing the public television special Voices in Conflict. In 2010, John discovered that Brazil is an endless source of sports stories capable of delighting international audiences. Indeed, Brazil has been dubbed the South American country “o País do Futebol," which translates to "the country of football." With five World Cup Championships, more than any other nation, Brazil exports more professional soccer players than any other country. Brazilian players star on teams throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the U.S. Indeed, Brazil is recognized around the world for its soccer excellence and cultural identification with the sport. John began developing the Beautiful Game as an independent  film project understanding that the eyes of the world would turn to Brazil in 2014 and 2016 as it hosts the World Cup and Olympics. In 2012 and 2013, he traveled to Brazil to develop his understanding of Brazil and shoot material for a sizzle reel.  Hs journeys convinced him that Beautiful Game could be a classic film series celebrating the richness of a nation of soccer lovers its experience of  a seminal moment in the life the Brazilian people. More information



William Nix is the Chairman of the Creative Projects Group, a creative incubator for the development and production of motion pictures, television programs, music, interactive videogames, live entertainment, multimedia installations and events.

Will served as Co-Chair of Baker Botts' Entertainment, Media and Sports Practice Group, as VP of Business Affairs for NBA Properties where he had worldwide responsibilities for commercial development and marketing including the sponsorship and consumer product areas of licensed merchandise, publishing, trading cards, and new media such as CD-ROM/interactive games, edumedia, and online programming, and other services. He was also involved with NBA Entertainment's global marketing of its video, broadcast, satellite, and cable television programming. Will was the lead executive of the Internet group that created and launched the web site for the League and its Member Teams. as well as its predecessor venture with Microsoft, "Complete NBA Basketball" and worked on the digital conversion of NBA Entertainment's still photo and video library, and a global dissemination program for public relations and other release purposes as well as the NBA's project with IBM to develop the League's courtside real-time collection-and-dissemination statistics systems.

Will was the Executive Producer of Firedancer, a film about the Afghan Diaspora in the U.S. and the first Afghan feature film to be submitted for Oscar consideration, that had its world premiere in Kabul and its U.S. premiere at the Tribecca Film Festival in New York and served in the same capacity on the companion documentary, Return to Afghanistan, that premiered at the U.N. Film Festival in New York in October 2007. He also served as both production counsel and Executive Producer for the Spanish language documentary feature, !Ya Basta! that premiered at SXSW in March 2007, which focused on the abduction phenomenon in Mexico.

Executive Producer Will Nix and Producer Salma Hayek.  Kahil Gibran's  The Prophet  was released theatrically on August 7, 2015    Photo Courtesy of the AAI Foundation

Executive Producer Will Nix and Producer Salma Hayek.  Kahil Gibran's The Prophet was released theatrically on August 7, 2015

Photo Courtesy of the AAI Foundation

Will is currently involved with two features, one as Executive Producer of a "globally collaborative" film entitled Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, which is being theatrically released in August 2015. It involves Oscar and other award-winning animators, narrators, composers and musicians from around the world who were led by Roger Allers, the Oscar-nominated animation director (The Lion KingBeauty and the Beast), and lead Producer Salma Hayek. He is also the Producer of a biographical feature, entitled Gibran, which is currently in pre-production with principal photography targeted for Montreal (with second units in Boston, New York and Lebanon) in 2016, as well as a multi-city art North American art exhibition tour of Gibran's collected works and an accompanying art book, which is slated to be curated and released by the prestigious Skira Rizzoli publishing house and an October 2015 showcase performance of a play entitled "Rest Upon the Wind" at the NYU/Skirball Theatre in Manhattan. He is also serving as the Executive Producer of This Is Ragtime: The Birth of American Music, a 90-minute television music/documentary for distribution to the PBS network.

Will has a Masters degree in History/Teaching and has taught in the public schools of Washington, D.C. as well as in graduate schools in both New York and Los Angeles. He currently serves on the Advisory Boards of Journeys in Film , part of USC's Rossier School of Education, and International Cinema Education (ICE)™ . He is a lifetime voting Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS),the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and a Member of the Academy of Television Arts and Science (ATAS), and actively serves on Award Nominating Screening Juries for both the International Documentary Association (IDA) and AMPAS, as well as a member of the AMPAS Educational Grants and Festivals Committee. Further background and details available at and


Steve Solot is founder and President of the Latin American Training Center-LATC, (Centro Latino-Americano de Treinamento e Assessoria Audiovisual) a regional media consulting and training center in Rio de Janeiro.  LATC offers a broad range of audiovisual project consulting services and international representation for content producers, film commissions, film festivals and other industry players, as well as creative training programs for content producers in Latin America.

Prior to establishing LATC, he served as Senior VP, Latin American Operations of the Motion Picture Association of America - MPAA, the US film industry trade association, and was responsible for government relations and management in all-media sectors for major studios in the region, including: theatrical, home entertainment, broadcast television, Pay-TV and protection of intellectual property rights in digital environments.

Steve Solot is currently also President of the Rio Film Commission in Rio de Janeiro, and Executive Director of the Brazilian Film Commission Network (Rede Brasileira de Film Commissions-REBRAFIC), the national Film Commission association which includes 9 established film commissions, as well 16 others in the process of formation in 14 states and the federal district.



John Freeman Smith is a tax and business lawyer with years of experience with management-led buyouts; mergers and acquisitions; domestic and foreign structured financings and private equity, venture capital and hedge fund investments.  As to things Brazilian, he is a big fan of the speed and delicate power of the guitarist, Bola Sete, thedancing gait and good cheer of Campolina horses, the agile stealth and fierce strength of jaguars and the high spirits and integrity of the Beautiful Game project.