In his 15 years as Lionsgate CEO, Jon Feltheimer has turned the once $50 million independent Canadian company into America’s seventh major studio generating almost $3 billion worth of revenue. And it all began with a two-page, handwritten business plan that kept a strong focus on audience demand and opportunities in the digital realm.
The dynamic studio head will now be honored with the Producers Guild of America Milestone Award at this year’s ceremonies on Jan. 24.
“It’s a privilege to be recognized by the people we admire and appreciate, and (to know) that they recognize that I have some role to play,” he says of receiving the award. “(Producers) are the ones who really create the magic, and we’re there to encourage them and support them in whatever ways we can.”
Over the years, as viewing habits changed, Lionsgate, under Feltheimer’s leadership, took aim at genre programming and supplied TV buyers with fresh content crafted for specific audiences, distributing groundbreaking hit series including AMC’s “Mad Men,” the Showtime comedy “Weeds” and Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black.”
“My greatest sense of accomplishment is that I haven’t been afraid to do things differently,” says Feltheimer.