Variety announces the return of Inclusion, a gathering of leaders and innovators supporting film, TV and digital media that speaks best to our current audiences worldwide, reflective of different genders, disabilities, sexual identities, ethnicities, ages and more.
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Ticket includes access to full-day summit, networking lunch and cocktail reception.
Ticket quantities are limited at each price level and are subject to change. Tickets are non-refundable but will be transferable upon request.
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8:00 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. Registration and Networking Breakfast
8:50 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Opening Remarks
9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Keynote Conversation
Chelsea Handler, Host & Executive Producer
Anita Hill, Civil Rights Activist and Attorney
9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Exploring CAA’s 2017 Motion Picture Cast Diversity Study
Jay Tucker, Executive Director, Center for Media, Entertainment & Sports (MEMES), UCLA Anderson School of Management
Talitha Watkins, Executive and Motion Picture Agent, CAA
9:45 a.m. to 10:05 a.m. Diversity in Film – An Honest Portrayal of Native American Struggle in the US
Steven Gaydos, VP & Executive Editor, Variety
Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Entertainment Studios
10:05 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Hollywood Finds its Voice for Change Presented by Easterseals
Living in such a politically charged world, there is no better time than now for Hollywood’s most influential talent to speak up in support of equal treatment and opportunity for all communities – spanning ethnicity, disabilities, gender and LGBTQ identity. The entertainment industry is taking a stand against social injustices, such as unsupportive and hurtful policies toward the #BlackLivesMatter, as well as LGBTQ and women’s rights movements. How is Hollywood taking advantage of its powerful voice through various organizations, alliances and entertainment projects? Creative leaders and influencers explain how they are rallying their fans to join them in the fight for inclusion and social change.
Malina Saval, Associate Features Editor, Variety
Rowan Blanchard, Actor (Girl Meets World) and LGBT Activist
Yvette Nicole Brown, Actor (Community, The Mayor)
Cindy Chu, Actor (MacGyver, New Girl)
Lou Diamond Phillips, Actor, Director & Writer
Nic Novicki, Founder, Easterseals Disability Film Challenge
Danny Woodburn, Actor Co-Vice-Chair SAG-AFTRA Performers With Disabilities Committee
10:45 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. Networking Break
11:05 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. Inclusive Brand Innovators
Entertainment and consumer brands are recognizing that it is vital to develop and market products that authentically speak to today’s society and its diversity. How can inclusive hiring at a company impact their ability to connect to diverse consumers? Which brands are succeeding in their inclusion missions? Executives from leading brands discuss how they have evolved their inclusive strategies in order to effectively reach a wide array of communities.
Gayle Fuguitt, Chief of Customer Insights and Innovation, Foursquare
Geoff Edwards, Co-Head of Creative, CAA Marketing
Diana Mogollón, SVP and General Manager of Stage 13, Warner Bros. Digital Network
Sejal Shah Miller, VP Barbie Global Marketing, Mattel
Tiffany Warren, SVP and Chief Diversity Officer at Omnicom Group & Founder and President, ADCOLOR®
11:50 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. How to Become Self Made in the Entertainment Industry
Do you want to make money while you sleep and maintain a profit during economic ups and downs? Having learned from billionaire bosses and clients, Nely Galán understands the importance of cultivating relationships with banks, the SBA and investors, in addition to creative tracks. Galán takes you through her trajectory in entertainment from Station manager of a local Television station, to President of Entertainment of Telemundo, to producer, to entrepreneur.
Steven Shapiro, SVP Entertainment, City National Bank
Nely Galán, Entrepreneur, Producer and Best-Selling Author
12:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. Networking Lunch
1:10 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Native Americans in Film and Television
Indian Country is a diverse and vibrant part of this nation with tribes spanning 34 states. Over centuries, Native Americans have faced a myriad of challenges – from ethnic persecution to economic dislocation to political disenfranchisement, so bringing positive stories to light has never been more important. RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World is a feature documentary that tells the story of Native American and indigenous musicians and their influence on the history of American music. The film features music icons such as Jimi Hendrix and reflections from Martin Scorsese, Tony Bennett and Quincy Jones.
Steven Gaydos, VP & Executive Editor, Variety
Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Nation Enterprises CEO
Stevie Salas, Executive Producer on RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World
1:30 p.m. to 2:10 p.m. Recognizing the Opportunity for Content that Resonates with Grownups
The best film and TV engages with great characters and gripping stories – many times starring our most experienced actors. How is Hollywood approaching storytelling decisions when it comes to actors reaching middle age or older? Are producers, directors and writers avoiding stereotypes, and creating the right roles to fit experienced actors’ caliber of talent? How might recent breakout projects for and about grownups be impacting the current development process? Top storytellers will explore how they are creating compelling film and TV where experience matters above all else.
Lorrie Lynch, Features Director, AARP Media
Lee Daniels, Filmmaker (Empire)
Jonathan King, President, Participant Media
Beatrice Springborn, VP and Head of Content Development, Hulu
Elizabeth Marvel, Actor (Homeland, Law & Order:Special Victims Unit, Meyerowitz Stories, New and Collected)
2:10 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. Keynote Conversation
Peter Debruge, Chief Film Critic, Variety
Jordan Peele, Director, Producer & Writer (Get Out, The Last O.G.)
2:40 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. The Future of Inclusive Storytelling presented by Color of Change
There have been a number of high-profile wins for inclusive storytelling, including Moonlight, landing the Oscar for Best Picture earlier this year. That success was followed up by the Academy of Motion Arts and Pictures inviting their most diverse group of members yet in 2017. However, some of today’s most inclusive TV series, were canceled in recent months. How is Hollywood working to craft inclusive stories while simultaneously connecting with audiences? Further, what content is breaking through to fill the void and speak to a neglected, under-served community? Top storytellers share their strategies and successes.
Debra Birnbaum, Executive Editor, TV, Variety
Nnamdi Asomugha, Actor and Producer (Crown Heights, Beasts of No Nation)
Lourdes Diaz, President, Entertainment, Univision
Charles D. King, Founder & CEO, MACRO (Fences, Roman J. Israel Esq.) and Producer (Mudbound)
John Singleton, Director, Producer, Writer
Paul Young, Executive Producer, Black-ish, Key and Peele
3:20 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Networking Break
3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. The Fight for Gender Balance in the Entertainment Industry
Malina Saval, Associate Features Editor, Variety
Geena Davis, Actor and Founder, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
3:45 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. Ending Sexual Harassment in Hollywood
Leading executives and creative talent discuss next steps for ensuring a safe and productive working environment in Hollywood, following horrifying revelations about alleged sexual harassment and abuse by perpetrators such as movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, writer-director James Toback, Amazon Studios Entertainment Chief Roy Price and others.
Claudia Eller, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Variety
Effie Brown, Producer
Dawn Hudson, CEO, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Paul Feig, Writer, Director, Producer, Actor
Connie Nielsen, Actor
Sheila E., Musician
4:25 p.m. to 5:05 p.m. Mentoring the Entertainment and Media Industry
Top-notch executives from well-respected An exploration into efforts at entertainment and media companies to mentor new generations of talent, and support an increase of inclusion among its ranks. What programs are succeeding across film, TV, music and digital to help boost success among underrepresented communities? Who are today’s mentors who are devoted to advancing inclusive policies at their companies? Champions for increasing representation for all marginalized groups in media will discuss their work.
Dr. Stacy Smith, Associate Professor of Communication, USC Annenberg School
Vicky Colf, Chief Technology Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment
Rodrigo Garcia, Director (Bull, Big Love, Last Days in the Desert) and CO-CEO, Indigenous Media
Alex Grimwade, Chief Information Officer, 20th Century Fox
Sue Obeidi, Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Hollywood Bureau (MPAC)
Karyn Spencer, VP, Creator Lab – AT&T
5:05 p.m. to 6:05 p.m. Networking Reception
Who Is Speaking?
- Jordan PeeleActor, Comedian, Writer, Producer & Director
- Anita HillCivil Rights Activist and Attorney
- Chelsea HandlerHost & Executive Producer
- Lorrie LynchAARP Media
Lorrie Lynch is Feature Director for AARP Media, where her responsibilities include entertainment content development for print and online platforms with a focus on Movies and TV for Grownups.
Lynch honed her expertise in entertainment journalism at both USA TODAY and the Sunday magazine USA WEEKEND. She covered Hollywood and its ceremonies — Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes —as well as White House state dinners, presidential inaugurals and and royal weddings.
As People editor at USA TODAY and columnist at USA WEEKEND, Lynch interviewed scores of stars. Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta, Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts and George Clooney were among the many who became her cover story subjects.
Lynch was on the founding staff of USA TODAY. As the national newspaper’s San Francisco Bureau Chief, she covered the AIDS crisis and other breaking national stories. Lynch also worked in metro newspapers in California and Michigan, where she won awards for feature and enterprise reporting.
The author of a textbook for high school students, Exploring Journalism and The Media, published in 2009, Lynch also has been an adjunct professor at American University in Washington, D.C., where she lives.
- Dawn HudsonAcademy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
- Cindy ChuActor
- Connie NielsenActor
Connie Nielsen is a world-renowned actress and philanthropist with a career spanning three decades. Her diverse range of roles, both on screen and off, have garnered her acclaim across the globe.
This summer, Nielsen was seen as Queen Hippolyta starring alongside Gal Gadot and Chris Pine in the highly successful WONDER WOMAN. Nielsen recently finished production on CATCHER WAS A SPY with Tom Wilkinson and Sienna Miller. In November, she will reprise her role in JUSTICE LEAGUE.
Nielsen is currently starring in LE CONFESSIONI opposite Toni Servillo, which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and released theatrically on July 7th. She will also be seen in director Asif Kapadia’s ALI AND NINO opposite Mandy Patinkin, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016.
Other upcoming projects include: STRATTON alongside Dominic Cooper, Tom Felton, and Derek Jacobi, the Norwegian Film THE LION WOMAN, and MUSIC, WAR, & LOVE opposite Stellan Skársgard, produced by Fred Roos and directed by Martha Coolidge. Other recent credits include THE RUNNER opposite Nicolas Cage; McG’s THREE DAYS TO KILL opposite Kevin Costner; Lars Von Trier’s NYMPHOMANIAC, and Sean Hanish’s independent feature RETURN TO ZERO with Minnie Driver and Alfred Molina.
In the Golden Globe Award-nominated series BOSS, Nielsen played the female lead opposite Kelsey Grammer. Other television credits include a series regular role in the second season of FOX’s THE FOLLOWING opposite Kevin Bacon, a recurring arc on CBS’s THE GOOD WIFE, and a recurring arc on LAW AND ORDER: SVU.
Nielsen’s other film credits include THE HUNTED opposite Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro; BASIC with John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson; ONE HOUR PHOTO alongside Robin Williams; MISSION TO MARS opposite Gary Sinise; THE DEVILS ADVOCATE with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves, and the female lead in the Academy Award Winning Best Picture GLADIATOR opposite Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix.
Other notable credits include Olivier Assayas’ critically acclaimed DEMON LOVER, Suzanne Bier’s award winning BROTHERS, and THE ICE HARVEST, LOST IN AFRICA, A SHINE OF RAINBOWS, BATTLE IN SEATTLE, THE SITUATION, , RETURN TO SENDER, RUSHMORE and PERMANENT MIDNIGHT.
Nielsen is the recipient of the Best Actress Awards at the San Sebastian Film Festival, the Bodil Awards, the Zulu Awards, and the Empire Awards. Connie also received nominations for Best Actress Awards at the European Film Awards and for outstanding performance by the ensemble cast for GLADIATOR at the Screen Actor Guild Awards.
In addition, Connie Nielsen is committed to serving the environment and alleviating poverty around the world. In June 2010, Nielsen co-founded the Human Needs Project. This non-profit provides clean water, infrastructure, and empowerment services to residents of Kibera, Kenya. Nielsen was shooting LOST IN AFRICA when she visited this slum of Nairobi. She continues balance her work in film while being fully committed to Human Needs Project and her other philanthropic endeavor, the Road to Freedom Scholarships program scholarship program. The latter organization provides children of slums with scholarship opportunities to further their educational opportunities. Recently, Nielsen was awarded the Nelson Mandela Changemaker Award at the 2017 PTTOW Summit for her work with Human Needs Project.
Connie Nielsen serves on the board of the Danish national Corporate Social Responsibility Foundation, and their annual Awards ceremony. She collaborates with the Nordic Fashion Institute on the UN sponsored NICE (Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical), a joint commitment from the Nordic fashion industry which focuses on social and environmental issues.
She was the keynote speaker at multiple major conferences including the Near Future Summit 2017, Virgin Unite Leadership conference in Necker Island 2014, the Gates Foundation Sanitation Summit 2013, Opportunity International 2012.
- Geena DavisActor
Academy Award winner Geena Davis is one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, appearing in several roles that became cultural landmarks.
Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the offbeat dog trainer Muriel Pritchett in Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist. She was again nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her performance in Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise, in which she co-starred with Susan Sarandon. Davis went on to receive a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal of baseball phenomenon ‘Dottie Hinson’ in A League of Their Own.
Earning the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show Commander in Chief.
Davis made her feature film debut starring opposite Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. She went on to star in such films as The Fly, Beetlejuice, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Stuart Little.
Few have achieved such remarkable success in as many different fields as Davis has: she is not only an Oscar and Golden Globe winning actor, but a world-class athlete (at one time the nation’s 13th-ranked archer), a member of the genius society Mensa, and is now recognized for her tireless advocacy of women and girls nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentages of female characters — and reduce gender stereotyping — in media made for children 11 and under.
Davis was appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Davis is also an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide.
Geena Davis and festival co-founder Trevor Drinkwater founded the Bentonville Film Festival in 2015 to champion women and minorities in media. BFF’s mission is to encourage content creation in film and other forms of media that reflects the diverse — and half female — world we live in. BFF proactively supports content creation by minorities and women with a platform to showcase their work and, with the help of our partners, is the only film competition in the world to guarantee theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners. The Festival takes place in early May in Bentonville, Arkansas and is research based and commercially driven.
Currently, Davis is starring in the critically acclaimed film, Marjorie Prime, based on the Award-Winning Play by Jordan Harrison and is the voice of the Emmy nominated, Dear Angelica, one of the first VR narrative films from Oculus.
Recently Davis starred in 20 Century Fox’s The Exorcist, a serialized psychological thriller based on the 1971 book of the same name.
Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.
- Rowan BlanchardActor
One of Young Hollywood’s rising stars, Rowan Blanchard is quickly becoming an industry “go to” and a versatile talent to watch.
Next up for Blanchard is the highly touted A Wrinkle in Time, based on the best selling book. The film is directed by Ava Duvernay and is expected to release in April 2018. She will also be seen in a recurring role on the ABC hit show The Goldbergs throughout the 2017-2018 season.
Also in the Spring of 2018, Blanchard will be publishing her first book entitled “Still Here.” The book is a curation of visual art, poetry, and writing from Rowan and other artists, based around the shared experience of growing up.
Blanchard is best known for her role as Riley Matthews, a teenager learning to navigate her relationship with family and friends as well as the bumpy journey of her teenage years in Disney Channel’s comedy series Girl Meets World.
Born in Los Angeles, Blanchard began acting at the age of five, when she was cast in an the first of what would be more than a dozen national network commercials to her credit. With a steady commercial career under her belt, Blanchard was soon cast as a series regular on the Disney Junior series Dance-A-Lot Robot in 2010. She was next cast in the FOX pilot Little in Common, opposite Rob Corddry and Gabrielle Union. This fall, Blanchard will be seen starring in the Disney Channel Original Movie, Invisible Sister.
In addition to her work in commercials and television, Blanchard has made an impact onscreen with several feature films including The Back-Up Plan with Jennifer Lopez, and a starring role in Spy Kids: All The Time In The World 4D also starring Jessica Alba and Joel McHale.
Blanchard is a passionate humanitarian and has become educated in areas such as feminism, human rights, and gun violence. She has spoken at the UN Women and US National Committee’s annual conference as part of #TeamHeForShe, and continues to take action and get involved on behalf of her generation in these important areas. She was also recently selected as the Feminist Celebrity of the Year for 2015 by the Ms. Foundation and Cosmopolitan Magazine and “Celebs to Watch for 2016” on DoSomething.org’s “Celebs Gone Good” award.
Blanchard currently resides in Los Angeles with her family.
- Lou Diamond PhillipsActor, Director & Writer
Lou Diamond Phillips has enjoyed great success as an actor, director, writer, and
producer across a myriad of platforms, including feature films, television, and theatre.
On television, Phillips recently wrapped on the acclaimed Netflix series, “Longmire,”
based on the Walt Longmire mystery novels by Craig Johnson. He starred as ‘Henry Standing
Bear,’ Longmire’s closest friend. In addition, Phillips is a recurring character on the Disney
animated series, “Elena of Avalor,” for which he voices the villain, ‘Victor.’ Last year, Phillips
received an Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Drama or Comedy” for his
role in the History Channel’s “Crossroads of History.” Other recent credits include a pivotal role
on the NBC series “Blindspot,” in addition to guest star roles on CBS’ “Training Day,” “Hawaii
Five-0,” “Graves” for EPIX, FX’s “You’re the Worst,” Amazon’s “Goliath,” and most recently
recurring roles on Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and Netflix’s “The Ranch.”
In 2013, Phillips won the “Best Supporting Actor” Award at the Milan International Film
Festival and “Best Actor” Award at the 2012 Imagen Awards for his performance as ‘Jose
Tonorio,’ opposite Gina Rodriguez in the Sundance Festival favorite “Filly Brown.” He was also
nominated for an Imagen Award in 2016 for his performance as ‘Don Lucho’ in the Warner Bros
and Alcon Entertainment film, “The 33,” opposite Antonio Banderas and Juliet Binoche, which
chronicled the story of the Chilean Miners that were trapped underground for several weeks.
Most recently, the Imagens have honored Lou with another nomination for “Best Actor” for his
role as ‘Monsignor Renzulli’ in CREATED EQUAL directed by Bill Duke.
Phillips is a dedicated veterans’ advocate and most recently, was honored to accept the
offer to serve as the National Salute Chairman for 2017. He is currently the National
Spokesperson for the Veterans of Foreign Wars as well. In 1993, he was the recipient of the
Oxfam America Award for his dedication to ending world hunger. As a passion project, Phillips
hosted “An Officer and a Movie” on the Military Channel.
Phillips is also passionate about music and appeared in the 2013 MTV VMA-nominated
music video “Radioactive” for the Grammy Award-winning artist Imagine Dragons. Phillips’
other passions include cooking and poker. As a cook, he is known for his American Fusion style,
and for “Sundays with Lou” on the set of his films, making glorious meals for the cast and crew
as a way of bringing people together. He has also taken his talent to the celebrity cooking world
and appeared on, and even won, numerous cooking competition shows, including “Rachel vs.
Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off” and “Sauce Boss,” while also being asked to serve as a celebrity judge
on “Iron Chef America” and competing on “Chopped Tournament of Stars.”
Phillips, originally born in the Philippines, was raised in Texas and is a graduate of
University of Texas at Arlington with a BFA in Drama.
- Nnamdi AsomughaActor & Producer
In his first feature film lead role in Amazon/IFC’s “Crown Heights” (in which Asomugha produced as well), actor Nnamdi Asomugha is quickly making a name for himself having earned strong critical reviews in what many are calling a breakout performance. “Crown Heights” follows the true story of Colin Warner (Stanfield), a young man who spent 20 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. Asomugha plays ‘Carl King,’ Colin’s best friend who dedicated his life to providing his innocence. “Crown Heights” won the Audience Award in the Dramatic Competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival this past year.
Prior to his film career, Asomugha played in the National Football League with the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles for 11 years. A Northern California native (and graduate of Cal Berkley), Asomugha currently resides in Los Angeles with his family.
- Karyn SpencerAT&T
Karyn Spencer was a talent agent in Hollywood when she received an interesting offer from Ashton Kutcher: give up her job, her assistant, and become his assistant. She took the leap, and spent the next five years helping him build Katalyst, a production company for film, TV, and digital media.
Karyn was promoted to VP of Production at Katalyst, but her attentions were diverted away from film and towards social media when Ashton launched his quest to become the first person on Twitter to reach 1 million followers. There was no turning back once the doors to the internet were opened.
She went on to lead social initiatives for startups and celebrities like 50 Cent and Tyra Banks. As the VP of Brands at theAudience, a multichannel publisher founded by Sean Parker, Ari Emanuel and Oliver Luckett, she brought influencers and brands together to amplify their communications. As the Creator Development Lead at Twitter for Vine, she shepherded Vine stars around the globe into unforgettable content opportunities, like creating Vines at the White House with Michelle Obama.
Now as the VP of Creator Lab at AT&T, Karyn leads talent partnerships with digital creators and traditional celebrities.
- Geoff EdwardsCreative Artists Agency
Featured on the cover of Creativity Magazine’s inaugural “Creativity 50” and Boards Magazine’s “Top 50 Art Directors” in America, Geoff Edwards’ acute sensitivity to the potential of storytelling has fueled his career while inspiring others at the same time.
As Co-Head of Creative at CAA Marketing, Geoff provides creative solutions for a list of Fortune 500 Companies by leveraging the power of entertainment to build brands and drive business results. In 2016 Geoff co-founded SATURDAY MORNING, a coalition for Peace with Industry heavyweights, Keith Cartwright, Jimmy Smith, and Jayanta Jenkins. Geoff is the custodian of the CAA belief that “When we take care of each other, good things happen.”
Geoff founded DOJO with offices in San Francisco and NYC, and prior Geoff was Executive Creative Director at T.A.G. a creative boutique of McCann World Group. He’s a multiple Grand Prix winner and Cannes Advertiser of the Year recipient: 2006 for adidas ‘IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING’ campaign, 2008 for Microsoft XBOX 360 launch, and for Halo 3 ‘Believe’ campaign. His work and writings have been covered in every publication from the New York Times and USA Today to WIRED and Fast Company, and eight pieces of his marketing work are on permanent exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
- Talitha WatkinsCreative Artists Agency
- Steven ShapiroCity National Bank
- Rodrigo GarciaDirector
Rodrigo Garcia has directed a variety of independent films including award winning “Nine Lives,” the three-time Academy Award-nominated feature “Albert Nobbs,” “Last Days in the Desert” and “Mother and Child.” As Co-CEO of next gen studio Indigenous Media, Rodrigo Garcia has served as executive producer, writer and/or director on numerous projects including the award-winning scripted channel WIGS, the first scripted Snapchat feature film “Sickhouse,”, Condé Nast Entertainment, Turkeyfoot Productions and Indigenous Media’s The Big Script incubator, digital portrait series “Lives of Women,” and the upcoming Project Her incubator. Garcia served as executive producer and showrunner for the first season of the television cable series, “In Treatment,” and received a Writers Guild of America Award in the New Series Category for his work. Other TV credits include “Bull,” “The Sopranos,” “Six Feet Under,” “Blue,” “Carnivale,” and “Big Love,” for which he directed the pilot episode and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.
- John SingletonDirector, Producer & Screenwriter
Oscar and Emmy nominated director John Singleton exploded onto the scene with his first film, Boyz N the Hood (1991), a tough, intelligent, plain-speaking look at friends in gang-ridden South Central L.A. It earned him an Oscar® nomination for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director, becoming the first African-American (and the youngest filmmaker) ever to do so.
He directed 2 Fast 2 Furious starring Paul Walker, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris and Four Brothers starring Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese Gibson and Andre “3000” Benjamin. Baby Boy, a film he wrote, produced and directed starring Tyrese, Ving Rhames, Snoop Dogg and newcomer Taraji P. Henson, received four NAACP Award nominations. Singleton wrote, produced and directed the remake of the 70’s classic Shaft starring Samuel Jackson for Paramount Pictures. Before that, he wrote, produced and directed Higher Learning starring Omar Epps and Laurence Fishburne, and wrote produced and directed Poetic Justice staring Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur. He also produced and funded the independent film, Hustle and Flow, starring Academy Award® nominee Terrence Howard and Anthony Anderson. This film went on to receive an Academy Award for Best Song of 2005 entitled It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp.
In the past two years, Singleton has made a successful transition into the television arena, and was recently nominated for a 2016 Emmy award for his directorial work on the mega hit event series for FX entitled, People v. O.J. Simpson: An American Crime Story. Singleton directed the controversial episode 5, “The Race Card” and received a 2016 Emmy nomination for Directing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special.
He entered 2017 with two series greenlit to air, “Rebel” a female cop drama that premiered on BET in March and had a successful first season. His second series, that is already garnering Golden Globe buzz, premiered in early July on FX and is entitled, “Snowfall.” The highly anticipated series tells the story of how crack cocaine entered into the streets of Los Angeles in the 1980’s. John also recently received a 2017 Emmy nomination for his A&E directed documentary on the LA Riots entitled, “L.A Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later.”
In his spare time, Singleton is privately mentoring emerging filmmakers in areas such as story content (writing) and independent filmmaking. He is also on the Board of the Western Directors Council, Member of University of California SCA Alumni Development Council, and the Academy Film Scholars – Institutional Grants Committee.
- Nic NovickiEasterseals Disability Film Challenge
Nic Novicki is an actor, comedian and producer who has performed on six continents.
His television credits include: Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, AXS Gotham Comedy Live, Jack and Triumph, The Neighbors, Austin and Alley, Private Practice and Drop Dead Diva. He has appeared in several movies, such as Life Happens, November Rule, The Last 5 Years, Boston Girls and Breaking Wind and will soon be seen in the upcoming Dead Ant.
Nic has produced several feature films, television pilots and web series for companies including Sony, CBS, Air China, Maxim and Universal and is an active member in the Producers Guild of America’s Diversity Committee. Nic wrote for the CBS Diversity Showcase and has also written and directed several short films including A Little Broke, which was acquired by the TV station Shorts HD.
As a stand-up comedian, Nic has toured all over the world, including several tours for the troops overseas through Armed Forces Entertainment. He has performed stand up on AXS Gotham Comedy Live.
He is the Founder and Director of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.
- Byron AllenEntertainment Studios
Comedian, producer, media mogul, and philanthropist Byron Allen founded his global media company, Entertainment Studios, in 1993. He now owns seven 24-hour HD cable television networks and also produces, distributes, and sells advertising for 41 broadcast and cable television programs, making Entertainment Studios one of the largest independent producers/distributors of television programming. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Entertainment Studios has offices in New York, Chicago, Denver and Raleigh. In 2015, Entertainment Studios purchased Freestyle Releasing, now called Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, a full-service, global theatrical motion picture distribution company. Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures released 2017’s highest-grossing independent movie, the shark thriller 47 METERS DOWN and has plans to release 17 theatrical motion pictures in 2018. Entertainment Studios is the first African American-owned studio producing/distributing wide-release motion pictures. In 2016, Entertainment Studios purchased TheGrio, a digital video-centric news community platform devoted to providing African-Americans with compelling stories and perspectives currently underrepresented in existing national news outlets. TheGrio features aggregated and original video packages, news articles and blogs on topics that include breaking news, politics, health, business and entertainment. The digital platform remains focused on curating engaging digital content and currently has more than 20 million annual visitors.
- Nely GalánEntrepreneur, Producer & Best-Selling Author
Nely Galán is self-made media mogul. She was the first Latina President of Entertainment for a U.S. television network, Telemundo, an Emmy Award winning producer of over 700 television shows in English and Spanish, and the founder of The Adelante Movement to empower and train Latina Entrepreneurs. Her women’s entrepreneurship manifesto, is a New York Times Bestselling book, SELF MADE, Becoming Empowered, Self Reliant and Rich in Every Way.
- Paul YoungExecutive Producer
Paul Young is the founding partner of Principato-Young Entertainment (PYE), one of Hollywood’s premiere management-production companies. Paul won an Emmy in 2016 as an executive producer of the Comedy Central series “Key & Peele.” PYE also produces the ABC Emmy-nominated comedy “black-ish.” Paul won a Webby in 2016 for producing “The Skinny,” Jessie Kahnweiler’s comedic series about bulimia. That same year Paul produced the hit films “Central Intelligence” and “Keanu.” Paul sold his stake in PYE in June to form a management-production venture focused on producing original content from singular voices. Paul is currently executive producing “thisclose” for AMC’s Sundance Now, the first-ever show created by and starring deaf artists. Paul served as Paramount Pictures director of creative affairs in 1995–1996, and was a Daily Variety reporter from 1994–1995. He graduated from Swarthmore College with honors in 1992.
- Stevie SalasExecutive Producer, Guitarist
Executive Producer on RUMBLE, is also a world-renowned guitarist and producer of music, film, and television. As a guitar player, Stevie Salas has recorded, written, and produced with artists as diverse as George Clinton, Mick Jagger, Public Enemy, Justin Timberlake, T.I., and Rod Stewart. A major label recording artist who has sold over two million solo albums around the world, Guitar Player magazine named Stevie is regarded as one of the top 50 guitarists of all time. He was Music Director and consultant on American Idol when it had top ratings, 2006 to 2010. Stevie is also an accomplished composer, credited with providing the score for several films including Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. A Native American (Apache), Stevie has been involved in prominent projects that support Indigenous communities. Notably, he served as the Advisor for Contemporary Music at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and co-created the music exhibit “Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians In Popular Culture” that had amazingly successful runs in Washington, DC and New York City. For his efforts in support of Native American culture, Stevie received the Native American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2009.
- Gayle FuguittFoursquare
- Beatrice SpringbornHulu
Beatrice Springborn is Vice President of Content Development at Hulu. Since joining the Hulu team in 2015, Beatrice has played an integral role in developing and greenlighting straight-to-series orders for Hulu’s acclaimed and award-winning slate of originals, including the Emmy Award-winning The Handmaid’s Tale, as well as the upcoming Future Man, Castle Rock and The Looming Tower. She also ushered in and led development efforts on Hulu Originals including the Golden Globe nominated Casual, a comedy series from Oscar® nominated Director Jason Reitman which earned Hulu its first Golden Globe nomination; critically acclaimed comedy series The Mindy Project; Difficult People, a half hour comedy series produced by Amy Poehler with stars Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner; The Path, a drama series from Universal Television and Jason Katims’ True Jack Productions; 11.22.63, an original event series starring James Franco from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, based on Stephen King’s best-selling book; and drama series Chance and Shut Eye.
Prior to joining Hulu, Springborn was head of Television for Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’s Storyline Entertainment, who have deals with Universal TV, NBC International and Sony Pictures TV. At Storyline, Springborn developed and produced the MTV series Happyland, which premieres this fall. Prior to Storyline, Springborn was SVP for Caryn Mandabach Productions (Peaky Blinders) where she oversaw the development of genre and book-based series for the international marketplace. She previously was the EVP of TV and film production and development at Gale Anne Hurd’s Valhalla Motion Pictures (The Walking Dead). Springborn started her executive career in features, serving as the manager of development at Pixar where she worked on Ratatouille and Finding Nemo. She was also the VP of production and development for FilmNation Entertainment, which specializes in international sales and production for producer Aaron Ryder. While at FilmNation, Springborn worked on The Prestige, The TV Set, Hamlet 2 and House At The End Of The Street.
Prior to Pixar, Springborn was a journalist and worked at CNN, Texas Monthly and a magazine all about UNIX computing.
- Sejal Shah MillerMattel
Sejal Shah Miller serves as Vice President, Global Marketing for the iconic Barbie brand. With responsibility for all aspects of brand marketing, product development marketing and commercial go-to-market strategies, Sejal serves as a key member of the Barbie leadership team, and has played a major role in architecting the brand’s recent evolution. During her tenure, the Barbie brand has experienced significant sales growth, driven in large part by a series of highly-impactful marketing campaigns designed to make the brand more relevant to consumers.
Prior to joining Mattel in 2014, Sejal held a variety of leadership roles with L’Oréal’s Luxury Division, including Vice President, Marketing for the European Designer Fragrances portfolio and Assistant Vice President, US Sales for the International Designer Fragrance division. Additionally, she gained significant international brand management experience, first with an assignment in France as Marketing Director on the Biotherm brand, then as Regional Marketing Director for the India/Middle East/Africa/Pacific Rim Zone, where she was responsible for developing the Luxury Division in India.
Over the course of nearly a decade spent with L’Oréal, Sejal managed marketing and branding for prestige beauty and fragrance brands including Lancôme, Biotherm, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Viktor & Rolf, Stella McCartney, and Diesel. During her tenure, the Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb brand experienced significant revenue and profitability growth, catapulting the brand into the top-five women’s fragrance rankings. In her last role, she reported to L’Oréal’s CMO where she was responsible for driving innovation and identifying new business models across L’Oréal’s Hair Care practice.
Before joining L’Oréal, Sejal held sales and marketing positions with J.P. Morgan Chase, where she focused on the firm’s Institutional Asset Management business. She holds a BA in both Economics and Psychology from New York University, an MBA in Marketing and Management from Columbia Business School, and a Certificate in Digital Media Marketing from New York University.
- Sue ObeidiMuslim Public Affairs Council
Sue Obeidi has lived in the suburbs of Los Angeles since she was five years old. Growing up, she dreamed of becoming an actress, and escaped the stresses of daily life by watching movies and TV. Now, she is thankful to God that her early dream did not come to fruition, because she found that her true passion lies in changing the narrative about Islam and Muslims, both on-screen and behind the camera. Sue loves a good story, and has always understood the power of pop culture to transform, educate us, and change our opinions about people who are different from ourselves.
Her experience and expertise is highly valued, and she has been interviewed and quoted in major news and industry publications including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, The Wrap, The Huffington Post, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
Sue has written extensively on the industry’s inclusion and representation of Islam and Muslims. Her op-eds have been published in the top trades, including The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, The Wrap, and others.
As the Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Hollywood Bureau, Sue works with studio executives, producers, directors, and writers to create authentic, accurate and humanizing portrayals of Islam and of Muslims in film, television, and on digital platforms. Her goal, and that of the Hollywood Bureau, is to help the entertainment industry tell better stories about Islam and Muslims, a need that is now more pressing than ever. The Hollywood Bureau’s consulting credits include film and TV projects with Participant Media, CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, Showtime, FX, Hulu, Super Deluxe Television, and Nat Geo.
A believer that film and television have a powerful role to play in the cause of social justice, Sue also organizes MPAC’s Annual Media Awards, which honors “Voices of Courage and Conscience” in media. Honorees have included: Morgan Freeman, Alec Baldwin, Spike Lee, Anthony Bourdain, George Takei, Michael Moore, Hasan Minaj, Faran Tahir, Sharpen Obaid-Chinoy, Amy Goodman, and the talent behind Selma, Marvel Comics, Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Wife, and Bones.
Working tirelessly to reduce stereotypes and bridge the gap between American Muslims and the entertainment industry, Sue cultivates relationships with and recommends emerging talent to industry decision-makers for upcoming film, television, and digital projects.
Sue has an MBA and B.A. in Marketing and has been with the Muslim Public Affairs Council since November of 2000.
- Tiffany WarrenOmnicom & ADCOLOR
As Senior VP, Chief Diversity Officer for Omnicom Group, Tiffany leads the strategy that enhances the Omnicom vision to be a world class, benchmark company for sustainable diversity and inclusion and aligning this critical practice with the company’s business objectives and clients’ results. She oversees a team focused on Omnicom-wide change efforts for the advancement and retention of top performing talent inclusive of women, people of color and LGBT’s in an inclusive work culture.
Recognized as a leader and visionary in the field of diversity, Tiffany is a talent strategist with 20+ years of championing diverse professionals in the advertising industry. In 2005, she founded ADCOLOR, which has launched the ADCOLOR Industry Conference, ADCOLOR Awards and ADCOLOR University. As President of ADCOLOR, she is deeply involved in the direction the industry is taking around diversity. In addition to her roles with Omnicom and ADCOLOR, Tiffany serves on the board executive committees for several organizations such as GLAAD, The American Advertising Federation, and The Ghetto Film School. She is also a member of the 4A’s Diversity Committee and AAF’s Mosaic Center Executive Council, through which she helps prepare diverse talent to soar in careers with longevity and purpose.
Tiffany was honored as an Advertising Age Woman to Watch, AAF District 2 “Role Model” Diversity Achievement Award, AAF Hall of Achievement Inductee and The Jack Avrett Volunteer Award Recipient (the youngest in the awards history), Black Enterprise Top Executives in Diversity, AAF Pioneer in Diversity Award (Omnicom Group), 4A’s MAIP Gladiator Award, the National Association Black Journalists’ Patricia L. Tobin Media Professional Award Recipient, The European Diversity Awards’ Global Diversity Champion Award, the Woman of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, the Black Institute’s Media Leadership Award, AOL MAKER, the New York Urban League’s Frederick Douglass Medallion, the AAF Barton G. Cummings Gold Medal for Distinguished Service and the 4A’s List of 100 People Who Make Advertising Great.
A native Bostonian and the oldest of ten children, Tiffany is a proud graduate of The Winsor School and Bentley University and still finds the time to mentor 127 people personally.
- Ray HalbritterOneida Indian Nation
Ray Halbritter, Nation Representative of the Oneida Indian Nation since 1975 and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of its enterprises since 1990, has led the Oneida people to an economic and cultural renaissance over the past 30 years. His accomplishments include achieving federal government recognition of the Nation’s traditional form of government, creating numerous health and social programs for Nation Members, constructing new housing, and establishing education and culture programs.
Under Halbritter’s leadership, the Oneida Nation:
• Endowed a professorship at Harvard Law School for teaching American Indian law
• Sponsored the “True Spirit of Thanksgiving,” the first-ever American Indian-sponsored float in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
• Was one of the major donors to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and had the fourth floor named after the Oneida Indian Nation of New York
• Earned the 2007 Condé Nast Johansen “Most Excellent Resort” award for all resorts in the U.S. and Canada and the 2010 Condé Nast Johansen “Most Excellent Golf Resort” award
• Hosted the PGA TOUR Turning Stone Resort Championship from 2007 – 2010, the first regularly scheduled (and first “green”) PGA TOUR event to be held on tribal lands, which was honored for Best Branding and Signage in 2009.
The Oneida Nation’s businesses include Turning Stone Resort Casino and a chain of SavOn convenience stores, and a media production company. Halbritter is executive producer of:
• “People of the Standing Stone,” the documentary film about the Oneida Indian Nation’s unique role in America’s history. Narrated by Academy Award®-winner Kevin Costner and directed by award-winning documentarian Ric Burns, the film’s is shown daily at the newly opened Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.
• A Grammy-nominated record album
• “Raccoon & Crawfish,” a 3D animated short film that was screened at Cannes Film Festival and won numerous awards in the U.S. and abroad, including top animation honors at Moondance Film Festival and Big Bear International Film Festival
• “World of American Indian Dance,” which aired on NBC
• Interactive animated material on Oneida history in use at the Utica Children’s Museum, which won a Silver Davey Award, given to the best work by small firms worldwide
• Halbritter also assisted Disney with native music background for the Walt Disney World July 4th Celebration
Through its enterprises, the Nation has earned national and international recognition and honors, including Four Diamond ratings from AAA for the resort’s luxury hotels and one of its restaurants; being named the Academy of Country Music’s Casino of the Year; and inclusion of all three of Turning Stone’s championship-caliber golf courses in Golfweek magazine’s list of Top 100 courses in the country, among multiple other golf awards. The Nation’s Atunyote Golf Course hosts the annual Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge charity event, which Tiger Woods won in 2009.
Halbritter earned his law degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Syracuse University. He served as chairman of the Turning Stone Resort Championship and the Upstate New York Empowerment Fund, the charitable arm of the tournament, which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for dozens of Central New York charities and civic groups over the history of the tournament. He serves on the boards of directors of the Environmental Media Association, Harvard Native American Law Board and the Montpelier Spring Water Company. He is a member of the Recording Academy; the National Advisory Council for the American Indian Program at Cornell University; the National Congress of American Indians; and United South and Eastern Tribes.
He was named one of Temple Adath Yeshurun’s Citizens of the Year in 2008. He also won the “Person of Achievement” Award from the Syracuse Post-Standard, the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary Foundation, an award from the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce for “Outstanding Contribution to the Economic Vitality of the Community,” and the Central New York Sales & Marketing Executives Crystal Ball award, presented for business vision, commitment to improving the lives of his people, and the Nation’s economic contributions to Central New York. Syracuse University gave him its Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, and SU Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim presented Halbritter with the Coaches vs. Cancer Basketball Award and honored him as Fan of the Year in 2009.
An avid golfer, Halbritter passed the PGA Players Ability Test in 2009, the first stage to becoming a member of the Professional Golfers Association. Halbritter demonstrated his golfing prowess by carding rounds of 79-73 at Stoneybrook Golf Club in Estero, Fla. The grueling, one-day test hosted by the South Florida Section of the PGA required players to navigate the course for 36 holes from the Blue Tees. Halbritter’s 152-stroke total was two shots better than the passing target score of 154.
According to the PGA, out of the more than 64,000 who take the test, less than 20 percent achieve a passing score. Halbritter accomplished the feat in his first attempt at the age of 59. Less than 200 people have been able to achieve this at his age. The accomplishment means Halbritter is now registered as a PGA apprentice, ultimately leading to the distinction of a PGA club professional.
- Jonathan KingParticipant Media
Jonathan King serves as Participant Media’s President of Narrative Film & Television, managing the development and production of the company’s narrative feature films and television projects. He is currently overseeing the Company’s upcoming slate of narrative films including Stephen Chbosky’s Wonder starring Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, and Julia Roberts; Steven Spielberg’sThe Post; the thriller Entebbe from Jose Padilha and Working Title; and Rupert Wyatt’s Captive State. Additionally under King’s leadership, Participant’s first limited scripted drama series Central Park Five, directed by Ava DuVernay, will be released through Netflix
Prior to being promoted to his role as President, King served as EVP of Narrative Film at Participant overseeing a robust film slate including the 2016 Academy Award Best Picture winner Spotlight, Beasts of No Nation, The Help, Contagion, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Deepwater Horizon, and Shot Caller. In 2012, he launched Participant’s effort into making films in Latin America, which has produced Pablo Larrain’s No and Neruda, Sebastian Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman, and Alfonso Cuaron’s eagerly awaited return to Mexico with Roma. Prior to joining Participant in 2007, King worked as both a producer and an executive for companies including Focus Features, Laurence Mark Productions, and Miramax Films. He started his film career in MGM’s New York office, scouting books, theater, and independent films.
King currently serves on the board of advisors for the Outfest Legacy Project, a partnership with the UCLA Film and Television Archive that restores and preserves important works of queer cinema. He also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Florida State University Film School, and on the board of directors of the John Alexander Project, a nonprofit dedicated to nurturing and supporting innovative investigative journalism.
- Effie BrownProducer
Effie T. Brown is an award winning film and television Producer, known for her highly
acclaimed, multi-platform repertoire as well as championing inclusion and diversity in
Hollywood, both behind and in front of the camera.
Through her company, Duly Noted Inc., Brown has produced several critically acclaimed
HBO Films and award winning projects including Stranger Inside, Jane Campion’s In the
Cut, Real Women Have Curves, Everyday People and Rocket Science. In 2014, Brown
Produced the critically acclaimed independent film Dear White People that went on to
win numerous awards including the Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize for
With a love of multiple platforms Brown focused on digital episodic content and
produced over 130 episodes of WIGS, an award winning, original content channel funded
by Google/YouTube. In 2015, Brown joined Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as Producer
and Mentor in the controversial reboot of Project Greenlight.
Brown joined Lee Daniels Entertainment in 2016 to Executive Produce the hit series Star
on FOX. In keeping with her commitment to inclusive and diverse content Effie is
currently on board as the Executive Producer of Disney Channel’s Zombies, coming out
in 2018. The high school musical delivers an inspirational story about tolerance,
inclusion, individuality and conviction…but with zombies.
- Lee DanielsProducer & Director
Lee Daniels is an Academy Award® nominated filmmaker whose work is trademarked by authenticity and candor, providing audiences with a unique and refreshing experience and character insight with each of his projects. In 2013 he released the critically acclaimed box office smash LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER, an epic drama set against the tumultuous political backdrop of 20th century America that tells the story of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), an African American butler who served at the White House during seven presidential administrations between 1957 and 1986. The film, released by the Weinstein Company in August 2013, held the number one box office spot for three consecutive weeks and has to date grossed over $175 million worldwide.
Daniels is widely known for his Academy Award winning film PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE. The film was adapted from the New York Times-bestselling novel Push by Sapphire (a.k.a. Ramona Lofton). PRECIOUS was nominated for six Academy Awards, including nominations for Daniels in the category of “Achievement in Directing” and “Best Motion Picture of the Year, and wins in the categories of “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” and “Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay.”
Daniels was the first African American to be nominated for a Director’s Guild of America Award for “Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film” on behalf of PRECIOUS. The film won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, only the third film in Festival history to do so. It was also nominated for three Golden Globe awards including “Best Picture Drama,” and was nominated for eight NAACP Image Awards, six of which it won, in categories including “Outstanding Motion Picture” and “Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture, Theatrical or Television.” The film also garnered a total of five 2010 Independent Spirit Awards, including “Best Feature” and “Best Director.”
SHADOWBOXER marked Daniels’ directorial debut. Following the film’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Daniels was also nominated for the New Directors Award at the 2006 San Sebastian Film Festival.
Daniels’ production company, Lee Daniels Entertainment, made its feature film debut with MONSTER’S BALL, making Daniels the sole African-American producer of an Oscar®-winning and Oscar®-nominated film. Daniels also produced THE WOODSMAN which was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards. The film received the CICAE Arthouse Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the Jury Prize at the Deauville International Film Festival, and Special Mention for Excellence in Filmmaking from the National Board of Review.
In 2012, Daniels released THE PAPERBOY, which he wrote, directed, and also produced. The film, which stars Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, John Cusack, and Nicole Kidman, is based on the 1995 novel by Pete Dexter that centers on a reporter (McConaughey) and his younger brother (Efron), who investigate the events surrounding a murder to exonerate a man on death row (Cusack). The film premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and was released by Millennium Entertainment.
Daniels’ most recent work includes the hit television series EMPIRE for FOX, for which he wrote and directed the pilot and continues serves as a producer on the series. This one hour family drama is set in the world of a hip-hop empire that features both original and contemporary music. Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson star, with Timbaland producing the show’s original music. The show premiered in January 2015 and broke ratings records during its first season.
In 2015, Daniels went on to sign an overall development deal with Fox television, where he continues to create develop, write, direct and supervise new projects under his Lee Daniels Entertainment banner. His first project under the deal was the television series STAR, centered around three women in a musical group in Atlanta, starring Queen Latifah and Benjamin Bratt, along with three female newcomers. The show’s second season will start airing in September 2017, on the same night as EMPIRE.
In addition to his successful film career, Daniels is also a passionate advocate and philanthropist. Daniels sits on numerous boards including Ghetto Film School, a non-profit which helps to educate, develop, and celebrate the next generation of great American storytellers. Daniels is also a longtime LGBT activist, as well as a strong supporter of many charitable organizations.
- Charles D. KingProducer & Founder and CEO, Macro
Charles D. King is Founder & CEO of MACRO. Launched in 2015, MACRO is a multi-platform media company focused on
the new majority multicultural market. The disruptive entertainment company develops theatrical features, premium
television and cinematic digital content that reflect a more accurate portrayal of people of color but with universal
themes to which all people can relate and connect.
Formerly, King was Partner/Agent in the Motion Picture Department at William Morris Endeavor (WME). He was (and
still is) the first and only African American to rise from mailroom to partner in the 119+ year history of the company. His
career as an agent spanned over 15 years, during which he was known for his innovative deal making and his strategic
planning in developing brands for and around his clients.
MACRO and King’s first major studio feature was Fences, directed by and starring Denzel Washington along with Viola
Davis. The film, distributed by Paramount Pictures and co-financed by MACRO, grossed over $64 million at the box
office and received four 2017 Academy Award® nominations. The film won a myriad of awards including Davis’
Academy Award® and Golden Globe wins for Best Supporting Actress In a Motion Picture and Washington’s first-ever
SAG Award—Best Male Actor in a Motion Picture. King was an Executive Producer on the film.
MACRO has two highly anticipated films slated for release in November 2017. Mudbound; directed by Dee Rees starring
Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell and Mary J. Blige; premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to critical
acclaim and was acquired by Netflix in the highest sale of the festival. The film was produced and co-financed by
MACRO and King is a producer on the film. Roman J. Israel, Esq. is the company’s second major studio feature. The legal
drama, written and directed by Dan Gilroy with Denzel Washington and Colin Farrell starring, was co-financed by
MACRO along with Sony Pictures. King is an Executive Producer on the drama.
Projects that the company has in development include collaborations with dynamic content creators like Ryan Coogler,
Ava DuVernay, Rick Famuyiwa, Van Jones, Eva Longoria, Michael B. Jordan and Justin Simien. The director Boots Rileyhelmed
independent feature Sorry To Bother You; starring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yuen and Armie
Hammer; is co-financed by MACRO and now in post-production with an expected 2018 release. King is a producer.
MACRO’s digital studio has a robust pipeline of cinematic projects in various stages of production. The company
premiered its first digital series “Gente-fied” in the Short-Form Episodic Showcase at the 2017 Sundance Film
Festival. MACRO financed and executive produced the series with creative partner America Ferrera.
King has been featured in many national media outlets and publications including New York Times, Essence, The
Hollywood Reporter, Variety and Los Angeles Times. Fortune magazine named him as one of the nation’s most
influential Latino, Asian or African-Americans and he was included on Ebony magazine’s Power 100 list. He is also an
active angel investor in synergistic ventures at the nexus between the technology sector and the media content
A graduate of Vanderbilt University and Howard University’s School of Law, King resides in Los Angeles with his
wife Stacey, a fashion designer/executive and their two sons, Noah and Julian.
- Lourdes DiazUnivision Communications Inc.
Lourdes Diaz is the President of Entertainment for Univision Communications Inc. (UCI), the leading media company serving Hispanic America. In this role, Diaz spearheads UCI’s efforts to diversify its entertainment content through a mix of original productions and co-production, strategic acquisitions as well as the development of new content formats. She also works closely with Televisa on all scripted and non-scripted formats and specials for UCI.
Diaz joined UCI from Comedy Central International, where she last served in Global Production and Development. She was responsible for commissioning all scripted and non-scripted productions and was the Executive Producer of multiple international scripted series, including “I Live with Models,” “Brotherhood,” “Medics” and “Wasteman.” Prior to Comedy Central, Diaz served as the network and studio executive of multiple hit series for NBC and Universal Media Studios. She founded Agua Entertainment Group, specializing in film, television and new media projects.
A Miami native, now based in Los Angeles, Diaz graduated from Emerson College with a degree in Mass Communication, Film and Television Studies. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French and Italian.
- Stacy SmithUSC Annenberg School
- Diana MogollónWarner Bros. Digital Network
Diana is currently Senior Vice President and General Manager of Stage 13, one of Warner Bros. Digital Network’s original content creation businesses. Stage 13 is a multicultural digital entertainment brand creating and curating original premium scripted and unscripted series across genres for the connected millennial generation. The brand’s mission is to amplify original voices that reflect our world, redefine multicultural content, and transcend traditional categories. This is a role to which she transitioned to after serving in Business Strategy and Development at the Warner Bros. Television Group, where she led a core business team in the analysis of digitally delivered content as part of broader strategic initiatives for Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Previously, Diana served as a corporate executive at NBCUniversal as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the award-winning mun2 cable network, the leading lifestyle entertainment cable network targeting Latino millenials. In this capacity, she was responsible for developing and executing overall operational and P&L leadership for the business. She spearheaded the brand’s growth strategy across all business units, providing breakthrough leadership within the Telemundo, NBCUniversal, and Comcast divisional portfolio, yielding major achievements with all stakeholders.
Diana has been recognized as a “Woman of Impact” by Variety Magazine, one of the “Most Powerful Women in Cable” by CableFAX magazine, a “Wonder Woman to Watch” by Multichannel News, one of the “Most Influential Minorities in Cable” by CableFAX magazine, one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Latinos in Entertainment” by the Imagen Foundation, a “Top Woman in Music & Entertainment” by Billboard Magazine and a CableFAX Diversity Award nominee.
Diana was born in Los Angeles to Colombian and Mexican parents and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University. She is extremely proud of her bicultural heritage and its legacy for her family and two amazing children.
- Vicky ColfWarner Bros. Entertainment
Vicky Colf was named Chief Technology Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment in January 2017. As CTO, Colf oversees the Studio’s extensive portfolio of technology services and solutions. She is also responsible for the Studio’s technology strategy, research and development and reports to Thomas Gewecke, Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development.
Colf leads the global Warner Bros. Technology organization, which provides critical business and technology intelligence and services to all Studio business units. Warner Bros. Technology teams manage the Studio’s enterprise systems and solutions, information security, consumer intelligence and data governance, emerging technology research and development, content mastering and delivery, content preservation, and archives, among many other existing and emerging technology disciplines.
Prior to her promotion to CTO, Colf led the Studio’s technology teams as Executive Vice President and General Manager, Technology Solutions and Technical Operations. Before that, she served as Executive Vice President, Worldwide Content Servicing and Digital Solutions.
Colf oversaw the development of the entertainment industry’s first digital supply chain, Digital End-to-End (DETE). The Emmy Award-winning DETE managed content service disrupted the industry and changed the way that entertainment content is managed and delivered, driving increased efficiency and decreasing time to market.
She previously served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Advanced Digital Services and Technical Systems Development, having joined Warner Bros. Entertainment as Vice President, Corporate Business Development and Strategy in 2004. Colf began her career as a consultant for Andersen Consulting.
Colf holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Harvey Mudd College.
- Alex Grimwade20th Century Fox
- Sheila EMusician
- Danny WoodburnSAG-AFTRA Performers w/ Disabilities Committee
- Paul FeigWriter, Director, Producer, Actor
- Yvette Nicole BrownActor