A refugee from the legal financial infrastructure, Alan Klingenstein spent 12 years as a corporate lawyer and investment banker before taking a sharp detour into the film business.
Armed with a BA from Princeton, and a law degree and MBA from Cornell , Al spent the early 1980's working as a corporate and securities lawyer at McCutcheon, Doyle, Brown & Enerson in San Francisco. From there, he spent two years travelling through Asia as General Counsel and VP, Strategic Planning for Shakey's International, negotiating international acquisitions, licensing the chain's territorial expansion, and paving the way for the company's expansion in the Pacific Rim. This led to a VP position in the Global Real Estate Capital Markets group at Bankers Trust where he worked in both London and New York for six years to structure billions of dollars of domestic and international transactions on behalf of the bank's corporate, institutional, and developer clients.
But after 12 years in the corporate world, Al decided he'd had it crunching numbers and chasing deals. Seeking to do something more fun, he fled the business world looking to explore new career ventures. In 1996, he made the half-hour documentary "THE CHURCH OF SAINT COLTRANE" with friend and former NBC DATELINE producer Jeff Swimmer. The short film won awards at seven film festivals and aired on BRAVO in the fall of 1998, and then was successfully sold to several cable outlets in Europe and Asia. Shortly after, he formed Filbert Steps Productions with private capital from Wall Street.
Since then, Al has produced all of the company's four films for very low budgets. Beating the odds, each one has been selected in turn for major world class film festivals and then sold to global entertainment outlets. "TWO FAMILY HOUSE" won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2000, garnered two Independent Spirit Award nominations, was released theatrically by Lions Gate Films, and was cited on a number of year-end best film lists for 2000 (National Board of Review, Premiere Magazine, The Baltimore Sun and influential website Ain¹t It Cool News.com). "FOREVER FABULOUS"starring Jean Smart and Robert Wagner, ran for 2 years on the Lifetime Movie Network and is now closing a home video deal with Netflix. "RUNAWAY", starring Aaron Stanford and Robin Tunney, premiered at Tribeca and the Toronto film festivals in 2005, went on to win the award for Best Narrative Feature at the Austin Film Festival, and is now being acquired by Starz domestically and licensed internationally by Dream Entertainment. Finally, "TRUMBO" which premiered this past September at the Toronto film festival to glowing reviews by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Variety, was recently acquired by the Samuel Goldwyn Company for a theatrical release in 2008.