Lauren Vilchik

Lauren Vilchik is a film producer and production attorney, specializing in independent film finance, as well as production. In 1998 she started her own company, Tonic Films, LLC, which is based out of Los Angeles. At the helm of Tonic Films, she has produced 10 feature films, including the 2003 venerated horror hit “Cabin Fever,” purchased by Lionsgate in one of the largest bidding wars in the history of the Toronto Film Festival.

Students in Vilchik's classes learn to develop an appreciation for how the key creative talent must come together to inform a single vision and bring that vision to fruition. In Producing, inspiration is instilled through student-driven discussion of story ideas and guided creative collaboration towards the development of student inspired ideas. By fostering the entrepreneurial spirit, students are taught all aspects of producing – from story development, budgets and schedules to intellectual property law, finance, marketing and distribution. The students are prepared for a full range of job opportunities: from studio development to on-set production, and are even equipped to start their own venture.

By encouraging the students to articulate and defend their point-of-view on subject matter they care about most, they learn the art of listening, as well as the art of persuasion.

Lauren Vilchik


  • Founded Tonic Films, LLC, in 1999.
  • Served as a juror, mentor, speaker and panelist at several film festivals, including Cannes, SXSW, the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, where she was a member of the prestigious Movers and Shakers Producer’s Panel.
  • Speaking engagements include IFP’s Foreign and Domestic Incentives for the Independent panel at the American Film Market, AFI Fest’s Kodak Connect and the IFP Independent Producer Series Panel, Running the Set.

Career Highlights

  • “Briar Patch” earning the Grand Jury Prize nomination 2003 Slamdance Film Festival
  • “Cabin Fever” nominated for a 2004 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film
  • Co-Produced “Amy’s O,” which won the Audience Choice Award at both the Santa Barbara Film Festival and the Long Beach Film Festival in 2001.
  • “Shifting Gears,” a family film centered around dirt track racing and produced in partnership with Alderman Company in High Point, N.C.

Awards, Recognitions and Honors

  • UNCSA Excellence in Teaching Award, 2021
  • Nominated for the 2004 Independent Spirit Awards Producer’s Award for Outstanding Achievement for a Body of Work
  • Variety’s “Top Ten Producers to Watch,” 2004


  • Active member of the State Bar of California


J.D.Southwestern University School of Law

B.A. Psychology and PhilosophyTulane University