Skift Live

Jonathan Olsberg, Executive Chair at Olsberg/SPI Limited. Speaker at Skift Global Forum East 2023 in Dubai.

Jonathan Olsberg

Executive Chair

Olsberg/SPI Limited

Jonathan founded SPI in 1992 and has guided the company to its present position as one of the leading global consultancies for the creative industries.
His work as executive chair ranges across all areas of the firm’s expertise and he has led the company’s expansion, with clients now in most parts of the world. Jonathan’s previous roles in production, distribution and finance have facilitated SPI’s practical understanding of the screen sector that helps deliver focused consultancy services to governments and businesses, including a large proportion of repeat clients.

Responsible for devising many innovative services and reports, Jonathan’s current and recent projects include presenting SPI’s economic impact studies to the Australian government in Canberra; leading an SPI team on advising the World Bank on production infrastructure in several African countries; advising a global streaming client on the availability of incentives, studios, workforce and film commissions in dozens of jurisdictions around the world; and advising a special committee, established by New Zealand’s Prime Minister, tasked with creating a 10-year strategic framework for the development of the screen sector of Aotearoa-New Zealand.

Following a first career in international finance on Wall Street and the City of London, Jonathan’s film career started in New York as an international sales agent, handling titles such as My Beautiful Launderette. He then became a distributor of specialised films in the U.S. from directors like Resnais, Godard, Verhoeven and Peter Greenaway. In 1989 Jonathan returned to London as Managing Director of international distributor and sales agent Glinwood Films (The Last Emperor).

Jonathan has also been a producer and executive producer, involved with over a dozen international co-productions. He founded Dakota Films (with then-partner Luc Roeg) in 1992 to produce high quality, independent, director-driven films, such as Oliver Parker’s Othello.

Jonathan is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the British Screen Forum and the European Film Academy.