TICHI WILKERSON KASSEL
An innovative businesswoman, Tichi Wilkerson Kassel was publisher emeritus of The Hollywood Reporter. As founder of The World Film Institute (formerly The Hollywood Reporter Industries Foundation), she distinguished herself with continued devotion and service to the entertainment industry. In founding Women In Film, Tichi’s intent was to aid women in the entertainment business by increasing their visibility, helping them to network with their peers, and unifying professional women in the industry. Benefits from the original concept are being enjoyed today by thousands of creative women nationally and in 20 countries around the world.
Academy AwardTM winning producer Cathy Schulman became President of Mandalay Pictures in January 2007. As President of Mandalay Pictures, Schulman is a part of an elite group of women who head self-financed production companies. She also sits on the Board of Mandalay Vision, Mandalay’s independent financing and production label, where she oversees the division’s creative affairs. Her experience as both an executive and producer dates back to 1987.
Schulman just completed the Mandalay film HORNS, directed by Alex Aja, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, Juno Temple, Kelli Garner and Heather Graham, and based on Joe Hill’s best-selling novel. The film will be released by Dimension / RADiUS-TWC in 2014. Schulman also recently wrapped Marjane Satrapi’s latest film VOICES, starring Ryan Reynolds, Jacki Weaver, Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick and DARK PLACES, based on Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel, directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner and starring Charlize Theron, Chloe Moretz, Nicholas Hoult and Samantha Morton. Mandalay will also release its film WHEN THE GAME STANDS TALL through Sony Pictures in 2014.
Hannah Minghella has served as president of Production for Columbia Pictures since October 2010. In that role, Minghella works closely with Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad to oversee all aspects of development and production at the legendary motion picture label.
Her current projects include Captain Phillips, directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks, American Hustle, starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence, and directed by David O. Russell, and The Monuments Men, starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett, which Clooney also directs. She also recently oversaw the #1 hits 21 Jump Street, starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, The Amazing Spider-Man™, starring Andrew Garfield and directed by Marc Webb; Skyfall, the most successful James Bond film of all time; and the animated hit Hotel Transylvania.
Jane Fleming is a founding partner of Court Five, a multifaceted media company focused on developing and converting diverse intellectual property and brands into filmed entertainment for distribution in all media worldwide. Over the last three years, she has been a prolific producer of films with her partner Mark Ordesky, including Lovely Molly; The Frozen Ground with Nic Cage, John Cusack and Vanessa Hudgens and Exists, a terrifying take on Bigfoot.
Court Five is in post-production on its first television series, “The Quest” for ABC, a ground-breaking reality/scripted hybrid. The Quest reflects Court Five’s commitment to creating new programming paradigms in the entertainment industry.
Chief Financial Officer
Bill Harris is a Managing Director at Nigro Karlin Segal & Feldstein, LLP is a Certified Public Accounting firm based in Westwood in Los Angeles. Originally established in 1981, we are one of the premier accounting firms in Southern California.
In 1996 he started his career as a Business Manager working with production companies and he now works with clients in all areas of the Entertainment Industry. He has been involved with some of the industry’s biggest names, guiding them through the financial aspects of both their professional and personal lives. Bill is committed to making sure that his clients receive the individualized support they need in order for them to “Sleep through the night”.
Beginning her career as an assistant at International Creative Management (ICM), Iris Grossman quickly climbed the ranks and was upped to talent agent. After several years with the agency, Grossman was given the opportunity to become the Senior Vice President of Talent and Casting for Turner Network Television (TNT). In that capacity, Grossman oversaw all talent and casting issues related to TNT Original films and series. She spent nine years at TNT, and in October 2001, Grossman returned to ICM as a talent agent. In 2013 Grossman became an agent for Paradigm.
GHEN LARAYA LONG
Ghen Laraya Long is an experienced international technology and entertainment attorney and the current VP of Technology for the Executive board. She specializes in transactional contracts for the creation, production and distribution of traditional media content over new media platforms. She is the current VP of Business and Legal Affairs for Mandalay Digital Group Inc. and it’s wholly owned subsidiary Digital Turbine Inc., specializing in B2B mobile applications. She also has a roster of technotainment clients ranging from producers, directors, writers, musicians and actors as well as startups for whom she provides advice and production attorney services.
Deborah Liebling is President of Television for Red Hour Films where she is partnered with Ben Stiller. They are premiering two series, THE BIRTHDAY BOYS at IFC on Oct. 18th and THE MELTDOWN WITH JONAH AND KUMAIL at Comedy Central, and are currently producing two more pilots for Comedy Central (BIG TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, FL and ANOTHER PERIOD). They are also developing REALITY BITES for TV at NBC and have scripts at HBO, Showtime, FOX and ABC.
Elizabeth Raposo is Senior Vice President of Production for Paramount Pictures. She joined the company in 2005 as a Director of Development. While at Paramount, Raposo has worked on such films as MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL, STAR TREK, SUPER 8, JACK REACHER, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and INTERSTELLAR.
VALERIE VAN GALDER
Valerie Van Galder had a very successful ten year tenure at Sony Pictures, joining to launch Screen Gems in 1999, and being named President of Marketing in 2006 for Columbia Pictures. Since leaving Sony at the end of 2009 she has been consulting for such clients as the Walt Disney Company, Facebook, Walden Entertainment, MARV Productions (Matthew Vaughn), John Wells Productions, Summit Entertainment, and Vendome Entertainment.
BOARD of DIRECTORS
Orly Adelson, President of ITV Studios America, the US arm for the largest commercial broadcaster in the UK, oversees all aspects of the company, including the signature shows Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and The First 48. Adelson leads teams located on both the West and East coasts, that produce an extensive slate of series with major networks and syndicators.
Adriana Alberghetti is a partner and agent at William Morris Entertainment in the Motion Picture Literary department. Her clients include writers and directors Shane Black (Iron Man 3); Scott Derrickson (The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Day the Earth Stood Still); Mike Newell (Great Expectations); Michael Cuesta ("Homeland"); Gary Fleder (Runaway Jury, The Express); Rodrigo Garcia ("In Treatment", Mother and Child); Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island); Kevin Lima (Enchanted); Kevin Macdonald (Last King of Scotland) Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger (Kung Fu Panda); Hossein Amini (Drive); Marti Noxon ("Mad Men", Fright Night); John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (Crazy Stupid Love) Josh Schwartz ("Gossip Girl”, “Chuck”); Stuart Blumberg (The Kids are Alright) and Jamie Vanderbilt (White House Down, Zodiac, Spiderman).
Stephanie Allain, Director of the Los Angeles Film Festival, is an accomplished film producer and former studio executive who has been an advocate for visionary filmmakers for more than two decades.
As a Columbia Pictures executive, Ms.Allain was instrumental in the making of John Singleton’s Boyz N The Hood, which garnered Singleton two Academy Award nominations and set the bar for contemporary urban dramas. She spent a decade at the studio launching the careers of first time filmmakers including Singleton, Robert Rodriguez and Darnell Martin. Several of the films she supervised, including El Mariachi and I Like It Like That garnered awards at Cannes, Telluride and the Sundance Film Festivals. During her tenure at Columbia Pictures, she rose through the ranks to become Senior Vice President of Production – the highest creative production position for an African-American for over a decade.
Rowena Arguelles is a Motion Picture agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), an entertainment and sports agency based in Los Angeles with offices in New York, London, Nashville, and Beijing. Arguelles, based in the Los Angeles office, represents clients including directors Susanne Bier (SERENA; IN A BETTER WORLD), Joe Cornish (ATTACK THE BLOCK), Catherine Hardwicke (TWILIGHT; THIRTEEN), Justin Lin (FAST AND FURIOUS; BETTER LUCK TOMORROW), Robert Luketic (21; LEGALLY BLONDE), John Madden (BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL; THE DEBT), Michael Sucsy (THE VOW; GREY GARDENS), Edgar Wright (SCOTT PILGRIM; SHAUN OF THE DEAD); screenwriters Abi Morgan (IRON LADY; SHAME), Charles Randolph (LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS; THE INTERPRETER), Erin Cressida Wilson (CHLOE; SECRETARY), Brian Nelson (DEVIL; HARD CANDY); writer/directors Sacha Gervasi (HITCHCOCK; ANVIL), Patty Jenkins (MONSTER), Rebecca Miller (THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE; PERSONAL VELOCITY); producer Bruce Cohen (MILK; AMERICAN BEAUTY) and actors Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Jessica Chastain, Katherine Heigl, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts and Renee Zellweger.
Director, writer and actor Lake Bell has proven herself a true triple threat with the recent release of her film, "In A World..." VARIETY's John Anderson said, "To call Lake Bell a magnetic, intelligent, blithely screwball leading lady in the Carole Lombard tradition might be selling her short. With "In a World ... ," a rollicking laffer about the cutthroat voiceover biz in Los Angeles, she proves herself a comedy screenwriter to be reckoned with. She's also a curator of talent that makes her debut feature a giddy, inside-Hollywood romp.
Robbie Brenner serves as President, Production at Relativity Media where she continues to shepherd Relativity’s homegrown productions while leading the production team and overseeing all production and acquisitions. Brenner was promoted from Executive Vice President, Production in September 2011.
Susanne Daniels is President of Programming for MTV and a strategic consultant to broadcast, cable and on-line networks. She served as The President of The WB Network (now The CW); President of Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Networks; Vice President Comedy for FOX; Director of Reality, Variety & Specials for ABC; and began her career as an assistant to Lorne Michaels at Saturday Night Live. Daniels has consulted for various media companies, including Nickelodeon (Teen Nick); OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network); MRC (Media Rights Capital) and DECA.com.
Carrie Frazier, a native to Los Angles, grew up with divorced parents who agreed on one thing - stay away from show business.
Yet, the love of films was there. While working as an intern at AFI, Frazier met Directing Fellow, Amy Heckerling. One of a few woman directors, Heckerling saw passion and value in Frazier and offered her a job as her assistant - provided Heckerling ever got a job, that is. Woman directors were rare, and convincing a studio that a woman could be in charge was beyond challenging. Talent was there, but timing and luck were needed. Universal had a big film starting production and the small budgeted Fast Times at Ridgemont High was not the concern. Heckerling got her chance and brought Frazier on board with her.
Tara Kole is a partner at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown. She focuses her practice on entertainment law, representing many established and emerging film and television directors, writers, actors and producers.
Tara has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter as part of their “Top 35 Execs 35 and Under” issue in 2009, and Variety has featured her twice, first as part of their “Dealmakers Up Next” report in 2009, and again in 2012 as part of their “Dealmakers Impact Report” issue.
Laura Lewis is an agent in the Film Finance and Sales Group at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Nashville, and Beijing. Lewis works in the Los Angeles office and specializes in the packaging, financing, and distribution of independently financed films.
Lionsgate’s Head Of Film Music Tracy McKnight has earned a place in the entertainment industry as a highly respected corporate executive, music supervisor, record producer, and label co-founder. Her kinetic enthusiasm pushes her to find new ways of sharing her passions with an ever-growing audience seeking quality films and music.
Lauren is an agent in the talent department at ICM Partners, where she began her career in 2008 working for Sean Freidin in the TV Literary department. She was promoted to agent In 2010, and represents clients such as Robbie Amell (“Tomorrow People”), Italia Ricci (“Chasing Life), Kevin Dillon (“Entourage”), Daisy Betts (“The Last Resort”), Brittany Snow (“Pitch Perfect”), Jessica Stroup (“The Following”), Emma Bell (“Dallas”), Kylie Bunbury (“Twisted”), Noel Wells (“SNL”), Pablo Schreiber (“Orange is the New Black”), Jason Butler Harner (“Non Stop”), Clara Mamet (“Neighbors”), Gabe Basso (“Kings of Summer”), Jane Curtin (“Unforgettable”), Ruby Jerins (“Nurse Jackie”), Brian Austin Green (“Anger Management”), and Edi Gathegi (“Twilight”).
Keri Putnam is the Executive Director of the non-profit Sundance Institute whose mission is to discover and develop independent artists and introduce audiences to their new work. Putnam oversees the Institute’s annual Sundance Film Festival, as well as the Feature Film, Documentary, Film Music, Theatre and Native & Indigenous Programs, which support artists through labs and workshops, direct granting, and ongoing mentorship in the U.S. and around the world. Since joining the Sundance Institute in 2010, Putnam has advanced the Institute’s international work, expanded its involvement in arts advocacy, and launched new programs bringing technology and film together to enable wider distribution and explore new forms of storytelling.
MICHELLE RAIMO KOUYATE
Michelle Raimo Kouyate is president of production for Sony Pictures Animation and is responsible for overseeing the development and production of all films on the Sony Pictures Animation slate.
Under Raimo Kouyate the animation studio recently began production on Hotel Transylvania with Adam Sandler voicing the lead role of Dracula and Genndy Tartakovsky directing. She is overseeing the develop of other projects in Sony Picture Animation’s pipeline such as The Familiars, with executive producers Sam Raimi & Josh Donen, and director Doug Sweetland, the Academy Award®-nominated director of the 2008 Pixar short Presto; the sequels to The Smurfs and the 2009 hit Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs; Janet Foxley’s Muncle Trogg, the 2010 Times (of London)/Chicken House book prize winner; Popeye with executive producer Avi Arad; Kazorn and the Unicorn, a comedy fantasy also with executive producers Sam Raimi & Josh Donen.
Rena Ronson is co-head of the Independent Film Group at leading talent and literary agency UTA. One of the industry’s pre-eminent packaging and finance executives in independent film, Ronson is focused on developing global film finance, distribution and marketing strategies for independent and co-financed studio features.
Ronson also oversees an indie group known for packaging and/or representing many of the highest-profile and critically-praised independently-financed films from a diverse range of American and international filmmakers including Wes Anderson, James Ponsoldt, Andrew Adamson, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, David Michôd, Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris, Noah Baumbach, Mike Mills, Drake Doremus, Sean Durkin, and Joachim Trier, as well as new voices such as Haifaa Al-Mansour and Asghar Farhadi.
MARION ROSENBERG, O.B.E.
Marion Rosenberg graduated from the Universities of Manchester, England and Grenoble, France. She started her show business career in the Bands and Acts Department of MCA. From 1960 to 1976 she worked in production on both sides of the Atlantic, on such films as I COULD GO ON SINGING (Judy Garland), THE BEST MAN (Henry Fonda), WHERE EAGLES DARE (Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood) and THE MISSOURI BREAKS (Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson). In l976 she became head of EMI Films in Los Angeles, and set up such productions as THE DRIVER, CONVOY and THE DEERHUNTER, on which she served as Associate Producer.
Nell Scovell began her career as a sportswriter for The Boston Globe while still a senior in college. In 1986, she was the first staff writer hired at SPY magazine, the satirical New York monthly. A year later, she became a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair and still contributes to the magazine and website. Since 2001 she has also been a contributing editor to the Style section at the New York Times Magazine.
Octavia Spencer is a native of Montgomery, Alabama and holds a BS in Liberal Arts from Auburn University. A “closet” lover of acting, this practical Alabamian knew that she’d someday work in the film industry, but never dreamed it would be in front of the camera. In 1995, acclaimed director Joel Schumacher changed all that by giving her a small part opposite Sandra Bullock in the hit film A Time to Kill. In 1996, she teamed up with Bullock again in Bullock’s directorial debut of Making Sandwiches, a short film that premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival.
Sandra Stern is Chief Operating Officer of Television for Lionsgate and co-runs the TV division with Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs. Responsible for running all business, legal, administrative and operational aspects of the division, she spearheads its strategy, transactions, negotiations and business development, exploring innovative production, distribution and new media options to grow the television unit.
Alissa Vradenburg is currently a talent manager with Untitled Entertainment in Los Angeles where she has worked for over a decade. Untitled Entertainment, one of the industry's premiere management companies, represents actors, writers, directors and musicians. Alissa's primary focus is guiding actors' careers in the film and television businesses as well as building out their brands in publishing, commercials, and producing.