Women’s Impact Report
The 2017 Women’s Impact Report highlights the achievements of a wide range of talents, from the C-suite to the backlot.
The 2017 Women’s Impact Report highlights the achievements of a wide range of talents, from the C-suite to the backlot.
After the record-breaking box office success of Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman,” which grossed more than $820 million worldwide, Arguelles expertly negotiated a historic deal for Jenkins to write, direct and produce the film’s sequel. “It’s incredibly rewarding to have been with Patty on this journey from the beginning,” Arguelles says, noting she signed Jenkins in 2003 after reading her “Monster” script. While Jenkins’ exact salary remains undisclosed, sources have said the figure is in the $8 million range, with additional bonuses on the backend, making her the highest-paid female director of all time. “If anyone was going to shatter the glass ceiling for female filmmakers, it’s entirely fitting that it was Patty,” adds Arguelles, who also worked on Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” deal, another source of pride for the agent. “I suspect and hope the emotional impact that movie will have on audiences — particularly young girls and people of color — will be enormous,” says Arguelles. She also represents “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi and “Star Wars: Episode IX” scribe Chris Terrio.
Managing Partner, The Forum
Five years after a $150 million renovation — and on its 50th anniversary as a venue — Inglewood’s 17,500-capacity venue known as the Fabulous Forum is living up to its name. Credit Azoff, who, with an all-female staff, has reenergized the arena while rehabbing the interior to include top-of-the-line amenities and concession offerings, a new VIP club and superior backstage quarters devoid of the locker room odors and pipe and drape that typify most sports arenas. In fact, it’s the absence of balls and pucks that draws such plum bookings as The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, J Cole, Eric Clapton and Neil Diamond, along with events including the MTV Video Music Awards, to the Inglewood outpost. “Standard is never an option,” says Azoff. “The Forum team spends hours developing creative ideas and are constantly pushing the envelope. In the last year I have seen several venues do some of the things we started here. I like that we are the trendsetter and inspire others to reach higher.”
VP, Development and Production
Bernstein, who is not only exec producer on “Better Call Saul,” but also held that title on groundbreaking series “Breaking Bad,” will tell you Vince Gilligan — who created both series — thinks deeply about every aspect of a show, “and as Vince often says: ‘The devil [or God] is in the details.’” Bernstein’s varied career includes National Geographic’s Explorer series and SundanceTV’s “Rectify.” The producer now heads television production and development for Gran Via Prods., which is behind AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire” and the anticipated “Galaxy Quest” TV series for Amazon. “I am a big fan of my high school’s motto ‘inveniam viam aut faciam,’ which translates roughly to: find a way or make one. I think that imperative applies in our industry, especially for women, so pay attention and make yourself indispensable,” says Bernstein.
EVP, Programming & Development, Freeform
With the Freeform rebrand complete, Burke is focused on building the network with new series including this summer’s “The Bold Type.” “I’m proud of the fact that we have female executive producers on, I believe, all but one of our new series,” Burke says. New shows for 2018 include Kenya Barris’ “grown-ish,” The Lonely Island’s “Alone Together,” a buzzed-about killer-mermaid drama “Siren” and the Marvel series “Cloak and Dagger.” “One reason I was so interested in taking this job is because I have a house full of millennials. To be able to work at a channel that strives to make relevant content for young adults who are the future of this country was a great opportunity.”
Talent Partner, UTA
When your clients include Bryan Cranston, Carrie Coon and Claire Foy, there’s almost no end to the projects a hungry Hollywood may offer, but it’s up to Clossey to bring them projects they can trust. “They have to have faith it’s worth their time,” says the
Cleveland-born, Brown-educated Clossey. And it’s also about avoiding typecasting. For example, Foy (who also starred as Anne Boleyn in “Wolf Hall”) wanted something “antithetical” to playing another queen, and so will now star in Sony’s edgy “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” an adaptation of the fourth thriller in the Lisbeth Salander series. “My interest in the arts stems from my interest in the human experience,” she says. “I love artists who are driven by the same thing.”
Senior VP, City National Bank
Brooklyn native Colletta grew up in a family that loved music — from the Beatles to jazz to Motown sounds. And as she worked her way up through the ranks of the financial industry from a teller position, she came to believe she could build inroads into the music industry. After starting from scratch, the senior veep of the entertainment division is now in charge of a portfolio valued at nearly $1 billion in loans and deposits. In 2016, she led a team that arranged a $500 million credit facility for Toronto-based independent music publishing and rights management company Ole, one of the largest recent transactions in independent music. Colletta also works with clients Hans Zimmer, Steve Kofsky of Remote Control Prods., UTA and Downtown Music Publishing, and handles the Latin Grammy and Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation. She is a member of the Advisory Council for the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF), and chair of MPTF’s Professional Advisory Network. “I think you need to be very visionary … and you need to make sure your skills and your team remain relevant to add value to the (music) industry,” Colletta says.
With her role as the grieving and stoic Nora in HBO’s “The Leftovers,” as well as the conflicted Sheriff Gloria Bungle on FX anthology drama “Fargo,” Coon became an overnight sensation after 10 years in the biz. “The characters of Nora and Gloria are very different, but the writing for both shows was strong and specific. Each role asked a lot of me,” Coon says. “It was such a joy to be asked to use that many parts of myself.” The theater-trained actress spent time doing corporate voiceovers and motion capture work for video games, as well as editing dissertations. But now is grateful to be making a mark on the industry during a “particularly fruitful epoch for women.” She says: “I have faith that women’s voices are getting clearer and that our participation in discussions from which we’ve historically been omitted will lead to the pioneering thinking we need to meet the challenges of our time.”
Global Head of Original Content, YouTube
The digital platform has always had lots of user-generated original content, but the 2015 hire of Daniels, who’s worked everywhere from OWN to MTV, stepped up the game. This year she oversaw a four-day Witness Worldwide livestream, drawing 50 million viewers, and the ongoing expansion of YouTube Red, which has so far released more than 40 series and films. Up next: “Cobra Kai,” an updated look at “The Karate Kid,” and partnering with director Doug Liman on “Impulse.” Diversity, says the Harvard-educated Daniels, is crucial: “We make it a point to … place women in lead roles in front of and behind the camera. … All of us in Hollywood can do better.”
Nominated in two Emmy categories this year — supporting actress in a drama series for “The Handmaid’s Tale” and guest actress in “The Leftovers” — Dowd won for her portrayal of Aunt Lydia in “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Dowd, a fierce advocate of foster care when not busy acting, says love inspires all her work. “You fall in love with a character and think, ‘I’m in,’” she says. “It’s that falling in love process that lets you realize: I will do anything to let this character be heard. I will let her know me and hope she will let me know her. And then we will move forward together.” Dowd returns for another season of TNT’s “Good Behavior” and is filming season two of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Actress, Producer, Philanthropist
An Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actress, Ferrera is a co-producer and star on NBC’s “Superstore,” back for its third season on NBC. “I love playing Amy,” says Ferrera. “‘Superstore’ depicts the lives of average working-class Americans with humor, intelligence and dignity. I believe it is incredibly important that we all see ourselves reflected in the culture around us and that our lives and experiences are valued and validated.” Ferrera is also an active philanthropist who teamed up with her husband, Ryan Piers Williams, and actor Wilmer Valderrama to create Harness, whose goal is “to amplify the voices of the organizers and leaders working on the frontlines for social justice.” Ferrera adds: “Too often our mainstream narrative surrounding social issues leave out the very voices that are most impacted by the issues.”
Actor, Producer, Writer
“I try to operate by the rule of making shows I would actually want to watch,” says Fey, the nine-time Emmy Award winner who is the executive producer/writer behind Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and NBC’s “Great News.” Fey and her husband, Jeff Richmond, have also been hard at work on “Mean Girls: The Musical,” an adaptation of her hit 2004 movie. It is headed to Broadway in April, following its pre-Broadway run in Washington, D.C., this month. “I learned anything I know about producing from Lorne Michaels,” says Fey. She adds that she was also “lucky enough to be shepherded through my first movie process by Sherry Lansing” and is “inspired every day by friends like Beth McCarthy-Miller, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph.” Her advice? “Follow your instincts. Speak up. Hire other women.”
“This was the biggest thing that ever happened to me,” says the Israel-born Gadot of her titular role in “Wonder Woman,” the DC Comics superhero blockbuster that took in $818 million worldwide at the box office and has Hollywood rethinking superhero films starring women, directed by women. And it’s all still happening to her: Gadot will appear as Wonder Woman in a sequel, also directed by Patty Jenkins, and November’s “Justice League”; she hints at another yet-to-be-announced project, too. “I never wanted to be famous,” says the martial artist-turned-role model. “It’s not about the fame and glory; it’s about setting a good example, and being positive.”
Women wrestlers in the 1980s might not seem to have the makings of a quirky hit show, but Netflix’s “GLOW,” created and headed up by “Nurse Jackie” vets Flahive and Mensch, is one of the streaming service’s most buzzed-about series. “We always felt it was a weird show, but it’s the show we intended to make,” Flahive says. The pair are hard at work on the second season, but are quick to point out they’ve gone to the mat to hire women actors, crew and writers. “The ratio is often flipped in the opposite direction,” she says. “We wanted to create a ton of opportunities for women to do their jobs.”
Senior VP, Development, Lucasfilm
Sure, she’s excited about “The Last Jedi,” but Hart, who oversees all storytelling properties in the “Star Wars” franchise, is especially proud of Lucasfilm’s company-wide commitment to showcasing strong female characters. “As a mom of a 5-year-old boy, I care a lot about the kinds of heroes he discovers. A lot of us are parents and remember what ‘Star Wars’ meant to us as kids — the power of a Princess Leia or a Padme as characters we could connect to, look up to, and aspire to.” The animated series “Force of Destiny” continues the tradition. “It’s really special to be working in ‘Star Wars’ when there’s so much focus and attention on bringing these characters to life.”
VP, Content Acquisition & Original Series, Netflix
With Holland’s help, Netflix received 91 Emmy Award nominations this year. “We were thrilled to have artists from 27 different titles be nominated,” she says. “Our 104 million members around the world are diverse and have differing and eclectic tastes. Our goal is to provide programming that reflects that diversity. It is important for people to see themselves reflected in characters onscreen.” Holland remembers “seeing Kate Jackson in ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and thinking ‘brains, pants and a Pinto. I want all of that!’” She jokes, “I have better taste in cars now.” Holland says she’s excited for Netflix to next launch “big, epic series in both adult sci-fi and family adventure — ‘Altered Carbon,’ and a reimagining of ‘Lost in Space,’ respectively.”
Agent, APA Agency
“We are in such a unique position to be change-makers,” says Howard, who brokered the deal for Gina Rodriguez’s CBS TV Studios-based I Can & I Will Prods. “[Gina is] a strong woman who wanted to utilize her platform to tell stories from underrepresented voices with honesty and integrity,” Howard says. “There are far too many groups of people who feel that they don’t see themselves represented on television or in films. Growing up, and knowing that I was gay, viewing any character I could relate to
during that personal struggle was a rare beacon of light.” Howard also helped launch APA’s Women’s Empowerment initiative earlier this spring. “Everything about this program, right down to the acronym ‘WE APA’ is about inclusiveness and teamwork.”
Music Supervisor “Big Little Lies,” & Co-Owner Big Yellow Dog Publishing
“I think we were connected at birth,” says Emmy-winning music supervisor Jacobs of her longtime friend and collaborator Wallace, co-owner of Nashville-based Big Yellow Dog Publishing. The two got to know each other through a mutual acquaintance, Al Anderson of country-rock band NRBQ. “Sometime between ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ and ‘My Idiot Brother,’” Jacobs says with a laugh. As both their careers flourished — Jacobs’ work with a trifecta of directors, Julian Schnabel, David O. Russell and Jean-Marc Vallée, reached new heights, while Wallace’s roster grew to include hitmaker Meghan Trainor and country breakthrough Maren Morris — so did their bond rooted in music. In a way, both a music supervisor and a publisher have common goals: to expose a worthy piece of music to as large an audience as possible, and to discover and help break out new artists. “Finding a real contribution to music, something that everyone stops to hear,” is at the top of Wallace’s list when it comes to signing talent, which, she says “might not fit a certain mold.” Adds Jacobs: “For me, it’s always about whatever it takes to facilitate [the director’s] vision. When I first brought a film to Carla, she didn’t send me 40 different songs, she sent me one guy. He and I met at a bar, I showed him some scenes and a trailer, and within 24 hours he wrote this amazing song.” Considering Jacobs is the first winner of the new Emmy category for music supervision (for “Big Little Lies”), and that Wallace runs a top 10 publishing house in the U.S., it begs the question: Is there a particular skill-set that women have, or something more visceral — an ear for music and picture — that allows them to thrive? Jacobs has one theory: “Patience is a really big part of it,” she says. “And it’s about being really comfortable being a facilitator. Maybe that’s a strength women have over men — not being so goal-oriented.”
Bruna Papandrea: Executive Producer
Liane Moriarty: Novelist
Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon: Executive Producers
HBO’s “Big Little Lies” proved to be a critical darling with mass appeal as it dominated this year’s Emmy Awards. “What was so wonderful is that we had so many people, men and women of different ages, watching the show that went far beyond what we expected,” Kidman told reporters in the Emmy press room, after the series and its performances racked up eight wins including best limited series. “So much joy has come from watching men and women devour the show,” Papandrea says, “but I also believe that the more we keep putting women at the center of our stories it proves the case that it’s not only the right thing to do, it’s also great business.” Papandrea still remembers the excitement she felt discovering Moriarty’s book. “My entire focus the last few years had been trying to find stories with complex women at the center,” she says. “When I read Liane’s [Moriarty] amazing book, my heart [started] beating really fast.” The women became close off camera. “I never expected the genuine warmth and friendship I received from all of the executive producers,” admits author Moriarty. “They made sure I felt like I was part of the process every step of the way through emails, phone calls and visits to my home in Sydney.
“There has been a lot of laughter and it’s been such a pleasure to make new friends. From that very first meeting with Nicole in a Sydney cafe to walking the red carpet at the Emmys; it’s been a joy.” As for a second season, “we are thinking about it,” Witherspoon told reporters backstage at the Emmys, “but [there’s] nothing definitive yet.”
Arianne Sutner, Deborah Cook, Georina Hayns, Rosemary Colliver, Suzanne Johnson, Erin Baldwin
The Portland-based stop-motion animation studio had a tremendous year thanks to the success of their film “Kubo and the Two Strings,” which received Oscar nominations for animated film and visual effects. “That kind of recognition only helps our cause,” says Sutner, who produced both “Kubo” and 2012’s “ParaNorman.” “It helps get the word out and expands our audience,” she adds. “I believe people are recognizing our unique place in the market; our movies look and feel like no others and I think people respond to our genuine, meaningful storytelling.” Colliver adds: “Everyone benefits from interacting with heartfelt characters.” Meanwhile, Cook credits Laika’s CEO Travis Knight for seeking out the “bravest” and most “curious artists” for projects. “Each movie’s artistry gets stronger and more finessed,” says the costume designer. “We even have a patent pending for an element of our costume building that we’ve invented to facilitate our future objectives.” Hayns says: “There’s been a greater demand to see and understand our behind-the-scenes process,” which is why a Laika retrospective is opening this month at the Portland Art Museum. “The exhibition will delve into all aspects of the stop-motion filmmaking process we have developed here at Laika; from puppetry to costuming, visual effects, set design, rigging and animation techniques.”
As head of human resources, Johnson says she hopes to help pave the way for other women in the workplace. “At Laika, we look for opportunities to encourage women to work in areas that may be traditionally male-dominated,” she says. The company offers shadow programs and testing opportunities via internships, trainee programs and department share opportunities. For her part, Baldwin says: “I have always appreciated the fact that Laika values what an individual brings to the table and how one enhances the team versus it being a boys’ club.”
Director, Producer, Actress
Jolie has a history of playing powerful women. From the slick adventurer Lara Croft to the impeccable kung fu warrior tigress or the misunderstood witch Maleficent, Jolie has always been one to demonstrate the meaning of “girl power.” Jolie has also had success with directing. Her latest film, “First They Killed My Father,” which details the life of Cambodian author and activist Loung Ung under the Khmer Rouge regime, has earned raves at the Telluride and Toronto festivals. She also produced the animated film “The Breadwinner,” about a young Afghani girl who dresses as a boy to help provide for her family. That Nora Twomey-directed film will be released by GKids and wowed audiences and critics when it premiered at Toronto. “I started directing and I asked myself at one point, ‘What are the stories that I think are the most important and that matter?,’” Jolie said at Toronto.
As co-creator (with husband Jonathan Nolan) and writer on HBO’s “Westworld,” Joy celebrated the series’ 20 Emmy noms, as well as the critical appreciation of the show’s well-developed female characters, in stark contrast to the 1973 film on which it is based. “In Westerns, there’s always been the virgin/whore paradigm, and I wanted to get under the hood of that and show how those are just artificial distinctions,” she says. Joy adds it’s important for women to get the same treatment as men during the hiring process. “People assume, ‘Oh, you’re a woman, maybe you don’t want to do action,’ or ‘You’re a woman, maybe you only want to write women’ and that’s just not been true for me. So when I look at hiring people, I try to rid myself of biases and it opens you up to so much potential in the talent pool and so many incredible finds.” In May, Joy re-upped her overall deal with Warner Bros. TV.
President of Television, Secret Hideout
Kadin started working with Alex Kurtzman when she was an ABC executive and he was working on “Alias.” Seeing her role as “taking care” of her writers then allowed her to develop a relationship that has carried through the years into a partnership at Secret Hideout. “We’re a writer-driven company. We put the writer first and have their back,” Kadin says. This year alone, Kadin has served as executive producer on drama series “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Scorpion,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Salvation” and the upcoming “Instinct.” Inspired by such women as Susan Lyne, Dawn Steele and Lynda Obst when she was first coming up in the business, Kadin is excited to offer a role model in the female-driven “Discovery.” She says: “For me, the most satisfying thing will be for girls and women to look at it and say ‘Wow, I can be a scientist or a space explorer too.’”
Senior Vice President, Original Production, HBO Asia
Bringing the vastly diverse Asian cinema onto a new storytelling format is Kam’s mission. “I’d like to leverage my film production expertise and resources around the region to contribute to the new Asian series we are creating and to uphold the quality that the HBO brand represents,” she says. A television and film producer with a career spanning more than 20 years, Kam founded production house Heart Farm Co. with a focus on co-productions between China and foreign countries. Feature film “The Piano in a Factory” (2011), which she produced, enjoyed wild success. Last year she co-produced “Coffee,” the first Chinese-Italian co-production, which scored a producer nomination at Italy’s David di Donatello Film Awards. She is busy beefing up the new original program slate for HBO Asia. “We already have shows being developed and produced in more than half a dozen languages and countries. We will be making announcements for 2018 in a couple of months,” says Kam.
Agent, Paradigm Talent Agency
It’s been a great year for Klein and her clients at Paradigm, especially those involved with such properties as “Black-ish” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” “Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ was one of the most important shows of the season, and I was proud to have been a part of that deal with Paradigm clients Daniel Wilson and Eric Tuchman, co-controlling the feature film rights and co-executive producing, respectively,” Klein says, who adds, “Paradigm’s TV lit department just packaged ‘Cobra Kai’ for YouTube Red, our lit and digital departments packaged the podcast ‘Bronzeville’ … I love seeing all the new platforms that develop; we’re ready for the challenge of whatever the next platform is and how we can get our clients involved.”
Senior Vice President and Co-Head West Coast A&R
These two senior publishing executives have been integral to Sony/ATV’s West Coast operations since 2012, when Berman-Hill joined the company as vice president, creative, following the takeover of EMI Music Publishing. Knoepfle had been at the company since May 2009, as senior director of creative before assuming her current role, signing such songwriters as Jack Antonoff, along with Leon Bridges, Grimes, Charli XCX and Grammy-winner Joy Williams, among others. Her most recent accomplishment was teaming up “Royals” writer-producer Joel Little with Khalid for the latter’s debut record, co-writing several songs, including “Young, Dumb & Broke.” Berman-Hill’s signings include Sia co-writer Jesse Shatkin, Rachel Platten and multi-Grammy winning Adele collaborator Greg Kurstin, who recently launched a joint venture with Sony/ATV to sign songwriters and musicians. “Women need to continue mentoring, supporting and providing opportunities to each other,” says Berman-Hill. Adds Knoepfle: “There needs to be more women working in music across the board in all jobs, with a higher visibility.”
Knoepfle’s favorite recent synch: Lord Huron’s “The Night We Met” for Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why”: “It was a gorgeous use across an entire episode and one of the most thoughtful and powerful uses I’ve ever seen. [Music supervisor] Season Kent put that together. It’s brilliant.” Berman-Hill: “Hillary Clinton using Rachel Platten’s ‘Fight Song’ throughout her campaign.”
Overcoming her lifelong dyslexia, this self-described “rock ’n’ roll attorney” studied classical guitar at hometown SUNY New Paltz and moonlighted as a tour manager for Kiss’ Eric Carr before attending law school at unaccredited JFK University in Walnut Creek, Calif., passing the bar. “It was my gay activism that convinced me to become a lawyer,” says the mother of twin 4-year-old boys with her wife, RCA Records’ senior promo exec Wendy Goodman. LaPolt’s clients include Steven Tyler, preventing Donald Trump from using “Dream On” at his campaign rallies; Fifth Harmony, enabling the group to control the rights to their name and music; deadmau5, fending off Disney’s trademark battle over his ears; and Britney Spears. She also pleaded a historic case on behalf of the Songwriters of North America, filing a 2016 lawsuit fighting the Dept. of Justice’s decree for 100% licensing at the major performance rights organizations. Says LaPolt: “I never listened to anyone who told me what I couldn’t do.”
Partner, Head of Creative Licensing/Creative Services, Songs Music Publishing
The L.A. county native grew up making eclectic mixtapes for her friends before embarking on a career in the music business with stints at Elektra Records, DreamWorks Publishing and Universal Music Publishing Group. She opened Songs’ West Coast office in 2006 as one of three principal partners with founder/CEO Matt Pincus and president/head of A&R Ron Perry. Marshall looks at her job, which includes synch rights, as “service” rather than “sales,” citing a recent placement of client Davie’s “Testify” — as well as an appearance by the writer himself — in Matthew McConaughey’s debut TV spot for Wild Turkey as creative director. The mother of a 4-year-old and two stepchildren says about the power of gender: “I’ve been very lucky in that there are so many females who are music supervisors or women running music departments at film studios.”
Her favorite recent synch: New York duo Sofi Tukker’s “Best Friend” featuring Nervo, the Knocks and Alisa Ueno for
an iPhone X TV spot.
Through her Emmy-nominated role of Kate Pearson on NBC’s hit series “This Is Us,” Metz has become a pioneer in breaking barriers for body-image acceptance. Though Metz’s Kate struggles with her appearance, the actress recognizes the importance of her character’s storyline not just revolving around her weight. “People are layered and more complicated and more complex,” she says. “Being a plus-sized woman doesn’t mean that’s all that I am.” Metz also praised creator Dan Fogelman for having the courage to write such a role. “When you educate people, it removes the fear. Now there are so many women who are accepting themselves for who they are, which we have to do to get to the place we want to get to,” Metz says. “Art eventually catches up to life.” The second season premiere of “This Is Us” on Sept. 26 drew a record number of viewers in the series’ key demos and set social media on fire.
After securing Emmy noms in two categories (cinematographer on HBO’s “Divorce,” director on Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale) Moran made history on Emmy night by becoming the first woman in 22 years to win for series directing. She’s preparing for the release of a new feature that she directed and shot, “I Think We’re Alone Now,” and will helm Paramount’s Blake Lively-starring spy thriller “The Rhythm Section” next. Morano is doing well, but recognizes it’s still hard out there for women: “It’s sad for Hollywood that they don’t share all these great distinct female voices,” she says. “Things need to change, and they are. They’re just changing slowly.”
Actress, Playwright, Author, Screenwriter
Morisseau has range. The “Shameless” scribe’s thought-provoking play “Pipeline,”which premiered to raves at Lincoln Center this year, explores issues facing young black men across the country; she also wrote the book for a new musical, “Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations.” “I make these lists of things that scare me: creatively, personally, professionally. And I try to go straight to those fears,” Morisseau says. She scratched writing a musical and writing for TV off the list. “They were thrilling and scary all along the way.” She’d like to do another musical, or something with original music, and her own TV ideas. “These are things that terrify me, so I know that means I’m ready to press go.”
Not only does Moss star in “The Handmaid’s Tale” — she recently won an Emmy for her portrayal of June/Offred — she’s also a producer on the series. Moss has developed a reputation for tackling complex roles, and says choosing projects always comes down to writing. “You can have an experienced director or a first-timer, a lot of money or a micro budget, but if you don’t have a great script nothing else matters,” says Moss, who discovered she enjoys producing. “It’s given me a whole new perspective on my acting. I love developing projects and collaborating with people,” she says. “It becomes personal to you. It’s also twice as much work so it’s a real challenge, which I love, of course.”
“We’re pinching ourselves,” Muschietti says of brother Andy’s and her recent record-breaking box office success. Their film “It” has made more than $478 million worldwide and counting. After working abroad in commercials and documentaries, the Argentinian filmmakers found success in Hollywood with 2013’s “Mama,” which started as a three-minute short that caught the attention of Guillermo del Toro. “It was an incredible experience to have a mentor like Guillermo,” she says, adding that it’s an opportunity she hopes to one day pay forward. Next up the Muschietti siblings are working on a television pilot for Hulu called “Locke and Key” with Carlton Cuse. “It has been such a high that it’s going to feel really good to land in cold Halifax,” she says laughing. “I’m looking forward to going back to set. And then we’ll work on the second part of ‘It: Chapter Two,’ which is not a sequel. It’s finishing the story we started.”
VP of Original Documentary and Stand-Up Comedy Programming, Netflix
Nishimura loves working with risk-taking storytellers, which is why Netflix’s documentaries are earning acclaim. Projects range from docs like “The Keepers,” and “Icarus” to comedy specials by Dave Chappelle and Jerry Seinfeld. “The purity of the opportunity itself is what I find so inspiring. When you think of the size and scope of the global audience and the immeasurable talent of our creative partners — [and knowing] that we are not limited by format or timeslots to traditional conventions—all this allows for real innovation and creative to take the wheel.” Nishimura’s excited about the upcoming “Wormwood,” by Errol Morris. “He breaks the mold. At Netflix we love working with filmmakers who take risks and seek to reinvent formats and challenge conventions.”
Partner and Co-Head, ICM Partners
Norton is proud of her clients’ accomplishments, but she also wants ICM to be a powerful advocate on their behalf. “Whether it’s voicing our ideas on the CA tax credit with lawmakers or securing the desired job, I’m inspired by the laser-focused work we do at ICM Partners. It’s the extra time we spend that makes the difference,” Norton says. Passionate about children, youth and families, she says: “I want to see our industry embrace and nurture underprivileged youth. We should be in concert with some of the great organizations in L.A. and N.Y. that are already doing great things to introduce the many different crafts our industry offers.”
in hindsight, “Girls Trip” couldn’t fail. Just pile powerhouse African-American actresses into a roadtrip/friendship comedy and shake vigorously. Everyone knew it would be one of the year’s top comedies and rake in $114.5 million in domestic box office. Right?
Wrong. “There was a lot of concern about how women open a movie, how do African-American women open a movie, how do African-American women of a certain age open a movie,” says Hall, who co-starred with Pinkett-Smith, Latifah and Haddish, among others, in the Universal film.
Of course, once the numbers started rolling in, she adds, everything changed. “I think it’s made studios wonder, ‘Are we forgetting our women?’”
That’s a familiar question. Oliver, who co-wrote “Girls Trip” with “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris, says when she came out of film school a few years ago, “the landscape was pretty bleak for movies starring women of color.
“I was often advised to stop writing movies that featured diverse characters if I wanted to make a living in this business,” she adds. But “Trip’s” success has already opened doors for her. “Now I have something to point to. We can pitch bigger ideas than that.”
Haddish remains well aware of the effect the film is having, not just on her career but in Hollywood in general. “I know we all had an impact on the box office this year, and that makes me really happy,” she says. “You can achieve anything, just as long as you put in the work.”
As for what’s next, the actresses all have projects in the works, while Oliver is working on a romantic comedy. But what about “Girls Trip 2”?
“If all the pieces come together, it’d be great to do it again,” says Hall. “We had a ball.”
Holly Jacobs, Dawn Steinberg, Karen Tatevosian, Helen Verno, Lauren Stein , and Suzanne Patmore Gibbs
“it’s an exciting time at Sony to see so many women running divisions,” says Jacobs, whose department is responsible for “Shark Tank” and “The Dr. Oz Show,” as well as a slew of other network and syndicated hits. “Leadership roles for women don’t come easy and I have a deep respect for the dedication, drive and fierce passion it took for each of these women to get here.” Tatevosian agrees, “Working alongside such powerhouses means together we continue to collaborate, invigorate and build on the success of Sony Pictures Television.” Patmore Gibbs credits a supportive environment with contributing to the company’s success. “It’s wonderful to be able to lean on my female colleagues for guidance and advice and to be able to offer the same in return,” says the executive whose department is shopping around a pitch based on the book “Maestra” with Erin Cressida Wilson and Amy Pascal. Steinberg adds, “We remember and have shared the struggles of being young girls starting out, working our [butts] off to succeed, not really knowing what that even looked like because there were so few women in executive roles that we could look to at the time.” Verno says mentoring is an important part of any company and individual’s growth. “I have actively sought out intelligent, powerful, creative, and innovative people as role models and mentors,” she says. Meanwhile, Stein’s advice to women is simple. “Don’t wait for an invitation to come to the table,” she says.
President of Production, Film & Television, Live Nation
Since February, Parry’s department at Live Nation has released intimate, revealing documentaries on Lady Gaga (“Five Foot Two”), Bad Boy Records (“Can’t Stop Won’t Stop”) and the Eagles of Death Metal’s return to Paris after the Bataclan tragedy. In the works are docs on Noah Cyrus, Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds, the company’s first scripted project, Russell Simmons’ “The After Party,” and “A Star Is Born,” the feature starring Gaga and Bradley Cooper. If it seems like the projects came out of nowhere, they didn’t: Parry has been quietly working away since taking the job in December 2015 after 12 years at MTV News and Films and 10 at Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison; her role at Live Nation combines the skills and contacts she developed at both companies. “In the age of social media, everyone’s telling their own story,” she says. “So how do you tell an even better story? That’s what I want to do.”
President, Paramount Television & Digital Entertainment
Powell is leading the charge to bring high-quality storytelling into new and emerging spaces. Chief among the programs she has been responsible for include “13 Reasons Why” and “Maniac” for Netflix, “Shooter” for USA, “Berlin Station” for Epix and “The Alienist” for TNT. “The vision that we had was to make shows that were about something and create conversation,” Powell says of her team’s “disrupter” energy. Powell got her undergraduate degree in literature and has been passionate about reading since childhood; 90% of her shows, therefore, are adapted from books, which she calls a “great thrill” of her career. “Your taste equals your reputation and equals your relationship, and you have to remain true to your instincts,” she notes. “You have to build your brand based on the material and talent you want to attract.”
Actress, “Kevin Can Wait,” Executive Producer, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath”
Remini believes that trusting your instincts and believing in yourself is essential to working in the industry. “When you are up and are working, it’s amazing and it has many rewards, but when you are not working, it’s tough,” she says. “It’s tough to wake up and have nowhere to go. You feel lost and that you have no value. It’s in those moments, you have to believe in yourself. It’s in those moments, you have to persevere. It’s in those moments, you know who you really are.” But it’s also crucial for those “The Aftermath” follows, and Remini works hard to shine the light so anyone struggling understands they are not alone. “I am fiercely protective of our contributors,” Remini says. “Mike Rinder and I know what it means to go public with exposing Scientology and we don’t take that lightly.”
“I was never taught to be afraid, which I’ve been thinking lately has nearly everything to do with my successes in life,” says Romanski, the Academy Award-winning producer of “Moonlight.” “What I was taught from an early age was not to hear ‘no’ as an answer.” Not surprisingly, Romanski has heard “yes” a lot lately. Pastel, the company she co-founded with “Moonlight” helmer Barry Jenkins, Sarah Murphy and Mark Ceryak, just signed a two-year production deal with Annapurna. The producer’s upcoming slate includes the Jenkins-helmed film “If Beale Street Could Talk” and limited series “The Underground Railroad.”
EP, Owner, Shondaland
Shondaland has long been a force to be reckoned with thanks to hit television shows “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” but Rhimes recently altered the tried-and-true television paradigm by bucking a long-term relationship with ABC in favor of a multi-year development deal at Netflix. “Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company,” Rhimes said in a statement earlier this year. While the exact terms of their agreement remain undisclosed, it’s been reported that Netflix will provide overhead for Shondaland as Rhimes and Betsy Beers produce new series for the streaming service. Despite the recent moves, Shondaland has a “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff in the works for ABC. The 10-episode drama follows a group of firefighters. The series is slated for midseason. Meanwhile, the shingle partnered with Hearst for a lifestyle website, Shondaland.com, which includes interviews, features and news on politics, health, style, and pop culture. Beers is quick to credit her employees with helping the production company thrive. “People ask, ‘How do you do it?’ And I say, ‘I don’t, but I’ll introduce you to the hundreds of people who do on a regular basis,’” Beers told Variety in an interview last year. “There are so many incredible, great people and we have an incredible group on Shondaland and on the shows.”
Sophie Watts, Alissa Grayson, Jada Miranda, Amy Elkins, Keri Moore
“a female voice has been central to the company from inception,” says Watts. Eight of STX’s first 13 film releases have been female-driven projects. Following the success of such films as “Bad Moms” and “The Edge of Seventeen,” it’s safe to say it’s a smart approach. “STX and all its divisions are committed to bringing these stories to life in engaging and entertaining ways,” adds Watts. “Empowering female talent is one of our core responsibilities as content creators.” Other female-focused films on the horizon include “A Bad Moms Christmas,” “Molly’s Game,” “The Happytime Murders,” “I Feel Pretty,” “Adrift,” “Gringo” and “Second Act.” “This next movie ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ feels like it is revealing other essential, uniquely female truths,” Moore says. “I believe that if you can’t ‘see her’ it’s harder to be her,” adds Elkins. “Creating a hit is meaningless to me if I’m not proud of HOW it happened,” says Miranda. “If under-represented voices aren’t at the table, I’m not proud of how that happened.” STX also has a number of scripted TV series starring women in the works and is developing unscripted and digital projects in addition to launching a VR channel with Google and opening an office in China. “Audiences are declining, but at STX we believe that we can keep our audience engaged and interested by delivering compelling and inspiring content — in any form, not just film,” Grayson says.
President, Skydance Television
Ross, who was tapped in 2013 to build Skydance’s TV unit, lives to put together teams of talent to create series like WGN’s “Manhattan” and Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie,” but the exec who made her career on such shows as “Glee,” “New Girl” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” found her voice when her parents enrolled her in an acting class as a kid. “I’m not jaded,” says Ross. “I’m not cynical and believe this creative process is a gift and it’s an honor to do what we do.” Her latest show, “Ten Days in the Valley,” starring Kyra Sedgwick, premiered Oct. 1 on ABC. The unit also has inked a slew of deals with content creators, including Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn of Mockingbird Pictures and Marti Noxon (the upcoming AMC television series “Dietland”), Laeta Kalogridis (“Altered Carbon”), and Sam Raimi and his TV producing partner Debbie Liebling.
CMO, Fox Television Group
Already a star at Fox, Ryan has been behind launches of such shows as “Empire,” “Glee” and “New Girl.” In June she earned an official promotion to CMO, where her team oversaw marketing for “The Orville,” helping make it the net’s most-watched drama since “Empire,” with 14 million views. She’s focusing on campaigns for “The Gifted” and “Ghosted,” among others, and isn’t afraid of noisy activations to break through the premiere-season clutter. “Ultimately, it’s really about keeping our heads down and staying focused because things are moving so fast, and there is SO MUCH work to do,” she says.
President, Berlanti Prods. & Berlanti Films
When Schechter was starting out in the business, female role models were very important to her because she felt they were “proof of concept.” “Ultimately, I think you find your own path, but knowing how many paths there are can be very comforting,” she says. Schechter joined Greg Berlanti’s company in 2014, working on a diverse slate of films and television projects that cross genres and distribution platforms. On shows including NBC crime drama “Blindspot” and the upcoming psychological thriller “You” for Lifetime — not to mention the films the company produces — Schechter notes her role is akin to that of a baseball manager, “assembling the whole team.” Schechter takes the most pride in “helping writers get their words said by actors” and also shepherding projects she has immense passion for, such as the CW’s “Riverdale,” as well as “stories about strong women and people that don’t always get their stories told.”
Founding Partner, Del Moonves shaw Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano
“The opportunity that the deal on [Hulu’s] ‘Queen Sugar’ brings for so many women to become directors in television will have a ripple effect,” says entertainment attorney Shaw of her latest work with client Ava DuVernay. Shaw, who received the Crystal Award from Women in Film in 2005, has also brokered deals for Jamie Foxx, James Earl Jones, Robert Guillaume and Nick Cannon. “I’m always interested in the intricacies of putting deals together,” says the partner at Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano. “I’m advocating for what my client is due and that’s very satisfying.”
VP, Content Development, Hulu
Having launched the series that landed the streaming service eight Emmys in early September is no small feat; “The Handmaid’s Tale” has burnished Springborn’s star significantly, and she now heads up a team of 15 direct reports. Springborn is overseeing season two of “Tale,” Sarah Silverman’s “I Love You, America” weekly show, and series including “Castle Rock” and “Future Man.” “I had a pitch from a dominatrix recently who told me the newest theme in dungeons is ‘Handmaid’s Tale,’” she says. “That’s how you know your show has crossed into the cultural zeitgeist.”
She’s 28, has an Academy Award and is the highest-paid actress in Hollywood: Truly, Stone is one of Hollywood’s most determined, and determinedly exciting, actors. Having wowed voters and audiences in “La La Land,” she’s also getting raves as Billie Jean King in “Battle of the Sexes,” and is producing/starring opposite Jonah Hill (whose “Superbad” gave Stone her first big break in 2007) in Netflix’s “Maniac.” But as she noted humbly in her Oscar speech, “I still have a lot of growing to do.”
As head of All3Media, Turton heads 20 distinct entities that are primarily working in the unscripted area, including Studio Lambert (“Undercover Boss”) and Gordon Ramsay’s One Potato Two Potato. Turton wants to expand the reach of content. “The U.S. is growing really well,” says Turton. “We’re concentrating our efforts on giving the creatives resource. You give them whatever intelligence and whatever they need and say, ‘Right, guys, now you can take U.K., German, Dutch formats into America, and also create indigenous content.’“
Partner, O’Melveny & Myers
Competitive by nature, Vannini enjoys helping clients define their goals and then reach them — as she did with a complex $100 million television production financing venture between Imagine and Hong Kong-based TVB. “It expanded Imagine’s TV operations on a global scale while allowing the company for the first time to retain a larger profit participation,” she says. Working at a firm that’s been around and focused on entertainment and media since 1885 offers Vannini a unique perspective. “I look forward to parlaying our vast experience into solutions exclusively crafted for our clients in order to solve the most complex issues emerging from the digital revolution.”
“I’m a believer in setting goals that lead up to other ones. I can’t have a show until I’ve written on a show, and I can’t write on a show until I’ve worked on one, so my first goal was just to get a job,” says Waithe, the first female African-American Emmy nominee, let alone winner, for comedy writing. Waithe worked in Hollywood for 10 years, climbing the ladder to writer on Netflix’s “Master of None,” as well as creator and executive producer of Showtime’s upcoming “The Chi.” Her experience working for women including Mara Brock Akil and Ava DuVernay made Waithe aware that when she got to a position like theirs, she wanted to be a mentor, too. “I’m so adamant about changing this industry from the inside out, and the only way I can do that is by helping to shape and grow writers of color,” she says. “Make sure they have the tools they need to really shine and create great things, too.”
Partner and Agent, Talent, WME
The past year has been so good for Wechter she’s not sure what she’s more excited about: “It’s hard to decide between becoming a partner at WME or seeing the incredible reaction of the world to Gal Gadot in ‘Wonder Woman.’” As someone who likes to surprise people and push her clients to excel, it’s no shock that Wechter is excited about expanding her business. “My clients inspire me — the idea that I get to share in their success is what drives [me]. There are so few careers that are truly that way.” Perhaps her greatest source of inspiration is her son, Brooklyn. “He is everything,” Wechter says.
Weiner was part of the team that brokered the recent deal granting Showtime the rights to President Clinton and James Patterson’s upcoming book, “The President Is Missing.” She also packaged the film “Mudbound” with writer Virgil Williams. She loves representing socially conscious material. “We forge for authors the creative relationships that magnify their power to change the way we think about gender, race and culture. I’m proud to represent voices who bring us out of our comfort zones through authentic storytelling,” Weiner says. “I have the privilege of working with the most talented artists in this business. Discovering a new voice, understanding a new point of view and creating a path for that person to tell their story inspires me every day.”
Consulting Producer, “Fresh Off the Boat,” Actress, Standup Comic
Wong says all she ever wanted was to “tell jokes for a living.” Coming up through standup comedy, she learned very fast how important it was to “create your own opportunity” in the business. She set about doing so for herself by constantly collaborating with others and always writing. “Writing is the lifeblood of the entertainment industry,” she says. Wong joined the writing staff of ABC family sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat” in 2015, the same year she shot her Netflix comedy special “Baby Cobra.” But she moved into a consulting producer role last year so she could also juggle an acting gig on another Alphabet family sitcom, “American Housewife.” “If you wanted to get into the entertainment industry to create, then nothing should stop you right now, from doing just that,” Wong says.
Executive Producer: “American Crime Story,” “American Horror Story,” “Feud”
Woodall has been Ryan Murphy’s confidante for years, first working with him on “Nip/Tuck” and as exec producer on his FX series: “American Crime Story,” “American Horror Story,” and “Feud.” “My whole goal every day is to make the Ryan Murphy brand better because in doing so, I make myself better,” Woodall says. While “having confidence and knowing when to pick your battles” have been keys to success, so, too, is an emphasis on presentation. “I’m obsessed with presentation in my episodes, and it’s just as important to present yourself in a professional manner. You’re your own calling card.” Woodall is also involved in mentoring the female directors who come through Murphy’s Half Foundation.
Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Suzanne Todd
The hit comedy team will be back over the holidays with “A Bad Moms Christmas,” this time also enlisting the comic chops of Cheryl Hines, Christine Baranski and Susan Sarandon. The first “Bad Moms” grossed $189 million at the worldwide box office, so expectations are rightfully high for the Nov. 1 release.
President, Imagine Television
Imagine had global ratings success with “Genius”; season two stars Antonio Banderas as Pablo Picasso. Imagine also secured a $100 million production financing venture with Hong Kong-based TVB. Imagine’s “Empire” just returned for its fourth season on Fox.
Carteris oversaw the recent end of the video-game strike, helping to win the first modern union contract covering voiceover and stunt performers. She also worked to fight age discrimination in Hollywood through the IMDb Age Law, among other achievements.
Executive Producer “America’s Got Talent”
The FremantleMedia North America reality giant tapped a new host, Tyra Banks. The show averaged 16 million viewers per episode, with the season 12 finale capping the series’ most-watched season ever. The overall season reached more than 2.6 billion views across combined social platforms. Season 11 winner Grace VanderWaal is already making waves, having signed a deal with Columbia.
DuVernay won Emmys for “The 13th,” coming off Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. “Queen Sugar,” which she exec produces, has been renewed for season three on OWN, and she’s got the big-budget “A Wrinkle in Time” on deck for 2018. She’s also set to direct, exec produce and co-write “The Battle of Versailles” for HBO, while continuing her social activism.
President, ABC Entertainment
Dungey sees returning hits to the ABC lineup, such as “Black-ish,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “Speechless” and the blockbuster Shondaland lineup, with some buzzy new series such as “Ten Days in the Valley.” “Roseanne” will make a return to ABC, while she also took the audacious — some would say puzzling — gamble of grabbing “American Idol” for the Alphabet.
Producer, Sonia Friedman Prods.
Among her recent hits are “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “The Ferryman,” “Ink,” “Farinelli and the King,” and the upcoming revival of Harold Pinter’s “The Birthday Party” with Pearl Mackie, Zoe Wanamaker, Toby Jones and Stephen Mangan. SFP took home 11 Olivier Awards earlier this year.
Universal Television President; President, Universal Television Alternative Studio
Universal Television saw record upfronts, including “Wisdom of the Crowd,” a new series pickup at CBS and all of NBC’s new series pickups for the 2017-18 season. There are also three more series pickups: the untitled Maya Rudolph & Fred Armisen comedy at Amazon, the untitled Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler series at Netflix and the “F.B.I.” drama (13 episodes) from Dick Wolf at CBS. Universal TV won some Emmys too, including for “Master of None.” Meanwhile, Ahr’s unit saw success with “The Wall” and “World of Dance.” UTAS sold “Hollywood Game Night” internationally in 17 countries, while “The Wall” bowed with strong numbers in France, Germany and Spain.
Barbara Zipperman, Gail Harrison, Janet Healy, Natalie Fischer
“Despicable Me 3” grossed $1.06 billion worldwide this year. Upcoming: “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” for Nov. 2018, “The Secret Life of Pets 2” for July 2019, “Minions 2” for the following July and Dec. 2020 release “Sing 2.”
President, Lucasfilm; EVP & General Manager
The keepers of Lucasfilm are not only charged with keeping a big piece of pop culture vital, but also with the production of the biggest blockbusters on the release calendar: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” made more than a billion dollars afters its Dec. 2016 release. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” continues the legend this Dec.
Sandra Stern, Laura Kennedy, Chris Selak, Jennifer O’Connell
Stern made groundbreaking television network and streaming platform deals for such series as “Step Up: High Water,” the TV adaptation of Lionsgate’s blockbuster film franchise for YouTube Red, “The Rook,” a co-production with Liberty Global for the Starz platform, “American Lion” for HBO and “White Famous,” executive produced by Jamie Foxx, for Showtime. Kennedy was one of the principal architects of Lionsgate’s 2016 acquisition of Starz and helped orchestrate its investment in reality producer Pilgrim Media Group. Selak was promoted earlier this year to Lionsgate exec VP and head of worldwide scripted television. Selak helped lead Lionsgate’s domestic television business to record-breaking revenue growth and is collaborating with Lionsgate UK CEO Zygi Kamasa and his team to ramp up its Brit TV business. O’Connell has seen success with a slate that includes “Kevin Hart: What the Fit?” fitness show for YouTube and “Kevin Hart: Lyft Legend,” one of the original series on Lionsgate’s new Laugh Out Loud comedy OTT platform.
McCarthy changed the way the world perceived White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Her depiction of “Spicey” on “Saturday Night Live” became an instant classic. Spicer resigned in July while McCarthy won an Emmy for her performance. McCarthy’s schedule includes a string of upcoming pics and season two of TV Land comedy “Nobodies.”
EVP, Original Content, CBS
The launch of “Star Trek: Discovery” on CBS All Access was a global event, while the service’s “The Good Fight” has been a success. McNamara recently added drama “Strange Angel,” created by Mark Heyman; comedy series “No Activity” from Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Funny or Die; and Jason Mosberg’s mystery “$1” to the platform.
President, DC Entertainment & Warner Bros. Consumer Products
The success of “Wonder Woman” gave a big boost to DC Ent, making it one of the hottest brands around. There are a slew of DC character movies on deck, as well as 14 DC TV shows on the air. The publishing arm has seen great success as well, with 40 million comics shipped last year and “Dark Nights: Metal” and “Doomsday Clock” upcoming.
Chief Revenue Officer for Univision Communications
O’Connor was recently promoted to chief revenue officer, a new position in the company. Recent accomplishments include the launch of UCI Live, an in-house experiential marketing unit, launching original programming on subscription video service Univision Now and securing the first Spanish-language premium movie streaming service deal between UCI and Lionsgate.
Jody Gerson, Michele Anthony, Michelle Jubelirer, Ethiopia Habtemariam, Wendy Goldstein
UMG keeps scoring hits: Under Anthony, UMG has released seven of 2017’s top 10 best-selling albums, including Kendrick Lamar’s “Damn,” Metallica’s “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” and Drake’s “More Life,” plus Universal Music Latin Ent’s monster global hit “Despacito.” Jubelirer has been crucial to a host of high-profile artist signings in the past year, including Migos and Lil Yachty through the company’s partnership with Quality Control (which Jubelirer played a significant role in establishing), while Habtemariam’s Motown surged with Kevin Ross, La’Porsha Renae and multiple-Grammy nominee BJ the Chicago Kid, among others. Goldstein put Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj together for the smash “Side to Side,” and worked with The Weeknd on blockbuster “Starboy.” UMPG chairman and chief executive Gerson has led the signing of such top tier acts as Bruce Springsteen and Jack White to the publishing powerhouse in addition to newcomers like Lil Yachty and Zedd.
President, Worldwide Marketing, Warner Bros.
“Wonder Woman” and “It” may have helped to save the summer box office, not to mention the hits “Dunkirk” and “Annabelle: Creation.” Upcoming is superhero blockbuster “Justice League,” while “Blade Runner 2049” is earning rave reviews.
Robbie helped produce Toronto hit “I, Tonya.” The is film generating awards talk. Next year, look for her as two icons: Queen Elizabeth I in “Mary, Queen of Scots” and Harley Quinn in “Suicide Squad 2.”
Salke took the lead on the net’s Female Forward initiative – NBC is is committing to have 10 female directors helm at least one episode of an NBC series after shadowing another director for three episodes. She also oversaw the runaway success of ‘This Is Us” and the return of the beloved “Will & Grace,” among other achievements.
Talent Agent, WME
Her clients include Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem (“Mother!,” “Loving Pablo”), Ellen Page (“Mercy,” “Flatliners”), Blake Lively (the Reed Moran-directed “Rhythm Section”) and Millie Bobby Brown.
“Wonder Woman” not only racked up millions, but it also opened a bigger dialogue about female directors in Hollywood, as well as women as heroes on the big screen. She and her husband, Zack Snyder, are part of the team backing the DC Extended Universe’s big screen franchise, with “Justice League” up next.
CEO & Co-Founder, Digitour Media
The woman who brings social media stars to fans IRL, raised $12.5 million in funding from Viacom, Conde Nast, Ryan Seacrest, Guy Oseary and Ben Silverman. She also offers internships to girls interested in the field and launched a record label this year, RMI Recordings, with husband Chris Rojas and Disney Music Group.