Each year Variety’s New Leaders feature profiles the most prominent up-and-comers in the entertainment business. To determine this year’s worthies, Variety looked across disciplines, from television, digital, music and film, to law and finance, as well as content creators. They were proposed by their bosses and peers who have worked with them and seen their rise. All are age 40 or under, and Variety has measured them by the progress of their career trajectories: do they take calculated risks? How fast have they risen in their companies? Are they innovative and employ solutions to problems that are creative? As part of the salute to the qualities that keep the town humming, filmmaker/producer Travis Knight, who founded Laika Studios and is finishing up the anticipated “Bumblebee” for Paramount, as well as Variety‘s 10 Assistants to Watch along with the New Leaders will be recognized Oct. 17, at the Jeremy Hotel rooftop in West Hollywood.
VP of Social Impact, Participant Media, 38
As a teen, Chen’s life changed when she saw a documentary about migrant workers. Years later, she recognized the power documentary storytelling has to highlight important issues. That’s why she’s so excited about Participant Media being certified as a B-Corp, a standard given only to companies that meet the highest level of social and environmental performance. “I believe deeply in Participant’s model,” says Chen, who spent much of the year working on a campaign for the award-winning documentary “The Price of Free.” “Not many businesses can say that the more products they sell, the better the world is. We are strict about ensuring that our films are commercially viable, and that works because ultimately, we only make impact when we have reach.”
VP Operations, Entertainment Industry Foundation, 39
After 11 years dedicating her career to building the Music for Relief fund within the music community, Showler jumped at the chance to expand it across the entertainment industry. “This is the first time there’s been a system in place in advance for the entertainment community, offering expertise and tools for their disaster response,” Showler says, noting that collaboration is key to harnessing the collective power of the entertainment industry to help humanitarian organizations when natural disasters strike. “We can do a better job and help more people in need when we work together, so implementing these programs and showing the results is really exciting,” she says.