Thirteen women and a young girl smile for a posed group photo at a bowling alley.

Our Team

WIF advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries—to achieve parity and transform culture

WE BELIEVE

Gender parity—defined by equal opportunity, pay, and representation—is a requirement of healthy civil society.

Despite progress, systemic bias in the screen industries persists; it manifests in forms both conscious and unconscious.

This bias is intersectional across race, ethnicity, ability, age, class, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Awareness of systemic imbalance is the precedent to Culture Change. Culture Change is the precedent to Policy Change.

Parity is only possible when decision-makers change culture and policy, and hold themselves, their teams, and their businesses accountable for its implementation.

Parity is good business. Parity, inclusivity, and equal representation are non-negotiable requirements of sustainable media businesses.

OUR TEAM

STAFF

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Kirsten Schaffer

Kirsten Schaffer

Chief Executive Officer

Kirsten Schaffer

Chief Executive Officer

Kirsten Schaffer is the Chief Executive Officer of WIF, the preeminent organization that advocates for women in the screen industries—to achieve parity and transform culture. She has been instrumental in launching ReFrame, an industry-wide initiative to advance inclusivity and gender equity, as well as starting a variety of programs at WIF to increase the skill set and opportunity for film and TV makers. Previously she was the Director of Programming and then Executive Director of Outfest. She is widely credited as having grown Outfest into the leading LGBT media arts organization that it is. During Schaffer’s tenure at Outfest, she shepherded three new programs for the organization: the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, the Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival, and OutSet, the Young Filmmakers Project. Kirsten has extensive experience in film programming, small business management, and arts administration. She is a graduate of the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, AIM (Arts Innovation and Management), and the Wells Fargo New Executive Director Institute. Kirsten was named one of POWER UP’s “Top 10 Women in Show Business,” and was the recipient of a “Women in Business” Award from Senator Liu. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Maikiko James

Maikiko James

Director of Programs

Maikiko James

Director of Programs

Maikiko is Director of Programs of WIF, overseeing member programs including the Production Program, Mentoring, the Financing Strategy Intensive with Sundance Institute, the WIF/Black List Episodic and Feature Labs, and the Film Finishing Fund, among others. She co-founded INSIGHT, a WIF community for women of color in entertainment, in 2018. She previously produced impact campaigns with Active Voice, including those for Food Inc., Welcome to Shelbyville, Gideon’s Army, and Kids for Cash, and was a Special Project Advisor on the WIF-supported documentary Seeking Asian Female. An Upright Citizens Brigade and Groundlings-trained improviser, she performs regularly around Los Angeles. Maikiko holds a BFA in Dramatic Writing from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

mjames@wif.org

Andria Wilson Mirza

Director, ReFrame

Andria Wilson Mirza

Director, ReFrame

As of 2021, Andria Wilson Mirza is the Director of ReFrame™, the coalition of industry professionals and partner companies founded in 2017 by WIF and Sundance Institute with the mission to increase the number of women of all backgrounds working in the screen industries.

Previously, she was the Executive Director of Inside Out in Toronto, Canada, one of the world’s largest LGBTQ film festivals and the home of the International LGBTQ Film Financing Forum, which was launched during her tenure. While at Inside Out, Andria also led the development of strategic partnerships that focused on industry advocacy and professional development for underrepresented filmmakers. She co-founded the North American Queer Festival Alliance and the LGBTQ talent database Out on Set, launched an endowment fund for queer women and trans emerging directors, and spearheaded a four-year partnership between Inside Out and Netflix to expand career and content development programs for LGBTQ filmmakers.

In her role at ReFrame, Andria will work with the ReFrame Ambassadors and partner companies to implement the initiative’s key programs, including: the distribution of the ReFrame Stamp (a mark of distinction for productions that demonstrate gender-balanced hiring practices), the ReFrame Rise program in support of mid-career women directors, and the expansion of the organization’s Culture Change Handbook into the interactive ReFrame Playbook, which will launch in 2021.

awmirza@wif.org

Courtney LaBarge Bell

Director of Development

Courtney LaBarge Bell

Director of Development

Courtney is Director of Development of WIF, overseeing fundraising for the organization. Prior to joining WIF, Courtney was Assistant Director of Corporate Partnerships at Sundance Institute and head of business development and partnerships at Future of StoryTelling. While at Sundance, Courtney raised millions of dollars in critical support for the organization and spearheaded fundraising for programs like Women at Sundance and New Frontier, building new models to support independent artists with grants, resources and support from corporations. She has worked for many of the nation’s top film festivals, including Tribeca, Telluride, Full Frame and SFIFF in sponsorship, operations, and programming. She holds a B.A. in Film & Media Culture from Middlebury College. Born and bred in Chicago, Courtney now lives in Los Angeles.

clabargebell@wif.org

Genevieve Winters

Genevieve Winters

Director of the WIF Help Line

Genevieve Winters

Director of the WIF Help Line

Genevieve Winters is the Director of WIF’s Help Line. She came onboard in late 2017 to launch the program and support victims and survivors in Hollywood. She began working in entertainment as an assistant at Topple Productions, and went on to be an Associate Producer on Transparent, season four, and I Love Dick. Previously she has been an event producer, sex worker’s rights advocate, and an advocate for survivors of sexual violence. She studied Anthropology at Reed College and at the MAPSS Program at the University of Chicago.

If you have experienced sexual harassment or misconduct while working in entertainment, and are looking for support, please call the Help Line at 855.WIF.LINE. The Help Line does not conduct services over email. If you would like to get in touch with us regarding the program, please email Genevieve at gwinters@wif.org.

Ashley Chrisman

Ashley Chrisman

Director of Operations and Events

Ashley Chrisman

Director of Operations and Events

Ashley Chrisman was born in Oakland, California, and raised on the south side of Chicago. She developed a strong passion for the arts at a very young age and has worked to cultivate and mold this passion into her focused disciplines of film and theatre. Ashley completed her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University, where she double majored in Psychology and Film Studies. Ashley went on to complete her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Film & Television Production at the University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts. While studying at USC, Ashley produced several advanced projects, thesis films, and other short projects that have been shown at various festivals around the world.

achrisman@wif.org

Katherine Spada

Communications Manager

Katherine Spada

Communications Manager

Katherine Spada is a writer, storyteller, and L.A. native. After receiving her B.A. with a dual major in Literature and Film Studies, and a stint living in Sydney, Australia, she began her career working at Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, and Columbia Pictures. In 2008 she became one of the founding board members of the Claremont Colleges’ entertainment and media alumni network. Her shift into the nonprofit space led her to work as the Social Media Manager for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Forbes, LAist, and more. As a digital marketing professional, she has received a PRism Award from the Public Relations Society of America, L.A. chapter, a Poppy Award from Visit California, and guest lectured at UCLA. Outside of work, she hosts the popular Beverly Hills 90210 podcast “The Blaze with Lizzie and Kat,” and has performed onstage at venues including the Upright Citizens Brigade, Flappers Comedy Club, the Hollywood Fringe Festival, and Comic Con.

kspada@wif.org

Melissa Verdugo

Melissa Verdugo

Manager of Career Programs

Melissa Verdugo

Manager of Career Programs

Melissa Verdugo is a versatile producer in the television, film, and live event space. She got her start in theater production and arts education before moving to the live comedy space as the Director of Corporate Booking for LEG Live. She soon combined her backgrounds to become a Talent Manager for Levity Entertainment, building a strong roster of stand-up comedians and comedic and Broadway actors over the course of six years before moving on to producing full time. Her credits include producing over 15 stand-up specials for Comedy Central, HBO, and Showtime; numerous pilots for Travel Channel and Food Network; national campaigns for Taco Bell, Dr. Pepper, and Angel Soft with Deutsch LA; the inaugural year of the Cabo Comedy Festival; and the 2016 Financing Intensive for WIF. Melissa is currently in development on numerous scripted projects and strives to tell stories that positively impact our world.

mverdugo@wif.org

Ebony Adams

Manager of Public Programs

Ebony Adams

Manager of Public Programs

Ebony Adams, Ph.D. is a writer, activist, and former college educator whose work foregrounds the lives and work of black women in the diaspora. She currently oversees public programming for WIF, where she works with a team to celebrate, elevate, and support the work of female filmmakers through film screenings, masterclasses, workshops, and panel discussions. She writes widely on film criticism, social justice, and pop culture, and is the co-author of History vs Women, a middle-grade non-fiction work that aims to recover the stories of some of history’s most dynamic (and devilish) women. In her spare time, she co-hosts several pop culture-focused podcasts for Feminist Frequency.

eadams@wif.org

Toni-Marie Gallardo

Toni-Marie Gallardo

Development Coordinator and Community Lead

Toni-Marie Gallardo

Development Coordinator and Community Lead

Toni-Marie Gallardo is a L.A.-born filmmaker who seeks to subvert The System from within! She also hosts knowledge-sharing and community-building events among other women and non-binary filmmakers of color. Currently, she works as the Communications and Development Coordinator at WIF. She holds a B.F.A. in Drama from NYU Tisch School of the Arts; the first of her family to leave California since her grandparents immigrated to the U.S. Her work has been featured in Refinery29, IndieWire, WearYourVoiceMag, and more.

tmgallardo@wif.org

Angel Hunter

Angel Hunter

Program Coordinator

Angel Hunter

Program Coordinator

Angel Hunter grew up in Orange County, CA. While attending California State University, Long Beach, she created various short narrative films and documentaries, became a McNair Scholar, and graduated with a B.A. in Film Production with an emphasis in Documentary Film. Following her graduation, Angel started with Fox Studios in the Post Production Sound Department, which included both the Ford Mixing and the Newman Scoring Stages. She then transitioned to the Global Security Department as a department coordinator where she assisted the department’s Sr. VP and then became head of tours for the original Fox Lot in Century City. In 2018, Angel joined the WIF team as the Office Coordinator and assistant to the Executive Director. She then transitioned to the Programs team as the Program Coordinator. In her free time, Angel is a story editor and creative producer for various filmmakers and their projects. She currently resides in Los Angeles with a stray cat who has adopted her and her husband.

ahunter@wif.org

Rebecca Koelling LaMantia

ReFrame Coordinator

Rebecca Koelling LaMantia

ReFrame Coordinator

Rebecca Koelling LaMantia is a writer and producer who began her career as an improviser and sketch performer. She is a graduate of The Second City and has also performed at iO Chicago and The Annoyance Theatre. With a GFA in Producing for Film and Television, she has worked with BBA Talent, Paul Feig’s Feigco Entertainment, and Chris Hemsworth’s Thematic Entertainment. As ReFrame Coordinator, she focuses on the ReFrame Stamp in partnership with IMDbPro, a mark of distinction for gender-balanced productions.

rlamantia@wif.org

Ari Grant

Communications Coordinator

Ari Grant

Communications Coordinator

Hailing from Washington D.C., Ari Grant now calls Los Angeles home. She is a marketing maven that produces dynamic results. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Ari currently is WIF’s Communications Coordinator. Ari’s experience working in various industries equips her with a rich perspective that is unmatched. She has worked directly on marketing and communications teams with established organizations including The National Academies Press, Oklahoma City Thunder – National Basketball Association (NBA), and United Negro College Fund to name a few. Ari looks forward to contributing much to furthering WIF’s mission and vision.

agrant@wif.org

Guadalupe Arellanes Castro

Guadalupe Arellanes

Help Line Advocate

Guadalupe Arellanes

Help Line Advocate

Guadalupe Arellanes joined WIF as a Help Line Advocate in July 2019 with a background working directly with survivors of human trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Her current research utilizes decolonial methods and queer of color critique to address sexual violence, racial ecologies, and environmental displacement in our increasingly globalized world. She earned an M.A. in Latin American Studies and a B.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In her free time she teaches yoga and meditation.

If you have experienced sexual harassment or misconduct and are looking for support, please call the Help Line at 855.WIF.LINE.

Ashley Merriman

Ashley Merriman

Help Line Advocate

Ashley Merriman

Help Line Advocate

Ashley Merriman is an L.A. native who grew up in an entertainment family. She is an anti-racist community organizer/educator and social worker, with a Master of Social Work degree from New York University. She has spent her career supporting and advocating for people with marginalized identities as an HR professional, case manager, after-abortion counselor, and tutor. In her free time, she enjoys traveling the globe, crafting, and cooking vegan food.

If you have experienced sexual harassment or misconduct and are looking for support, please call the Help Line at 855.WIF.LINE.

Raissa Reis

Raissa Reis

Office Coordinator

Raissa Reis

Office Coordinator

Raissa Reis (Hi-ee-sa Heys) hails from a small city called Framingham, MA. Ever since she was eleven years old, she knew she wanted to move to Los Angeles and pursue a career in the entertainment industry. She graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2017 and earned her B.A. in English and Media Studies. Raissa moved to Los Angeles post-college and went on to earn a certificate from the UCLA Writing for Television program. Before WIF, Raissa worked at an experiential marketing firm and freelanced for live events like the Teen Vogue Summit, MTV VMAs, MTV Movie & TV Awards, the Grammys, and the Emmys. She currently resides in Echo Park and enjoys riding her bike and obsessing over a different TV show with sapphic undertones every other week.

rreis@wif.org

Amy Bear

Amy Baer

President

Amy Baer

President

Amy Baer’s career in the entertainment industry uniquely spans major studios, independent financiers, and producing. Collectively, the films she has supervised and/or produced have grossed over $2 billion worldwide.

Baer’s most recent endeavor is Landline Pictures, a joint venture with MRC Films (BABY DRIVER, KNIVES OUT) to produce feature film content for a 50+ audience. Launched in February 2020, it will generate 2-4 films per year, starting in 2021, for both theatrical and streaming distribution.

Additionally, Baer recently executive produced her first television show—the CW variety special “Women In Film Presents: Make it Work!” which featured musical and comedy acts, celebrity testimonials and insightful conversations regarding industry women returning to work. “Make It Work!” was part of WIF’s Hire Her Back campaign, which seeks to provide grants to women in the screen industries whose livelihoods have been jeopardized by the ongoing COVID pandemic, and also urges diversification in rehiring as Hollywood inches its way to re-opening after the COVID-19 shutdown.

In 2012, Baer raised a 7-figure development fund and launched Gidden Media, one of the industry’s only female-led, independently financed content incubation companies. Her first film as a producer was the 2013 hit LAST VEGAS (starring Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline) which grossed $136MM worldwide. She has also produced the romantic drama MARY SHELLEY, starring Elle Fanning (“The Great”) and directed by Haifaa Al Mansour (WADJDA), which had its World Premiere at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival, and the inspirational true story BRIAN BANKS, which premiered at the 2018 LA FILM FESTIVAL and won the LAFF Audience Award.

Before starting her own company, Baer served as President & CEO of CBS Films (2007–2011), launching the division for CBS Corp. Baer spent the previous 17 years at Sony Pictures Entertainment, where she oversaw such hit films as 1997’s MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING, Oscar nominated ADAPTATION (2001), S.W.A.T. (2002), SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE (2003), and the 2006 holiday hit THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, which earned Will Smith an Oscar nomination. She also developed the 2011 Oscar-nominated Sony hit MONEYBALL, starring Brad Pitt. She began her career at Creative Artists Agency in 1988 as an assistant to the late Jay Moloney.

Baer became Board President of Women In Film in June 2018, stepping into the role at a critical juncture in Hollywood, as the entertainment industry faced a broad reckoning over gender disparities and sexual harassment. Founded in 1973, Women In Film advocates for and advances the careers of women working in the screen industries—to achieve parity and transform culture.

Baer graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 1988 with a B.A. in English literature. She is married to producer Matt Baer (UNBROKEN) and has two sons.

Syrinthia Studer

Syrinthia Studer

Executive Vice President

Syrinthia Studer

Executive Vice President

Syrinthia Studer serves as Executive Vice President of Live Action Films for Nickelodeon Awesomeness Live Action Studio. She is responsible for all aspects of live action feature content for the Kids and Family Studio, which encompasses development, production, acquisitions, and co-financing. A 20-year industry veteran, Studer most recently served as Paramount Pictures’ Executive Vice President, Worldwide Acquisitions, where she oversaw the global content acquisitions business, acquiring films for domestic and international theatrical release and distribution across multiple home entertainment platforms including streaming and digital VOD.

Studer is known for her ability to identify and nurture films across genres for global audiences. Among her notable acquisitions are the breakout comedy BOOK CLUB starring Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen, and Candice Bergen, which grossed $100M in the worldwide box office; Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD, for which she acquired home media rights via a multi-picture relationship with IFC Films; and numerous internationally distributed film festival favorites.

Prior to Paramount, her career included business development and promotional marketing roles with national theater circuit Loews Cineplex Entertainment and Fortune 500 companies including General Mills and IBM.

She serves as Vice President of the Board of WIF, a legacy advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the careers of women working across the screen industries. She is a returning executive mentor and newly appointed Board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles. And, she is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and two dogs.

Margie Moreno

Margie Moreno

Vice President

Margie Moreno

Vice President

Margie Moreno serves as International Creative Lead for YouTube Originals, for which she oversees LatAm content (series, films, documentaries) and global initiatives. As an accomplished television executive she has produced Emmy-nominated titles and record-breaking shows (scripted and unscripted) for both international and U.S. markets.

Prior to YouTube, she served as the Vice President of Production and Development for NBC UNIVERSO, led the U.S. creative division of international production company Promofilm/Globomedia, and held various posts at such notable media companies as Turner Networks’ TBS Superstations, Lionsgate, and Mandalay Entertainment.

Outside of the office, Moreno serves as Chair of NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers) where she began the Diverse Women In Media Initiative, Vice Chair of Step Up Women’s Network Western Region Board, and is the Vice Chair of Programs for Colour Entertainment.

Stasia Washington

Treasurer

Stasia Washington

Treasurer

Stasia Washington works directly with high net worth individuals and families to create customized plans to protect and grow wealth, often across multiple generations. She also helps nonprofit foundations, exempt organizations, and endowments to realize their short- and long-term financial objectives through strategy and asset management.

Ms. Washington is active outside of First Foundation. Currently, she serves as Board Chair, Driving Force Group, Executive Board Member, and Treasurer for WIF; and as a Board member for CAST LA. She is also a Board Advisor for Bay Cities Metal Products. Most recently, she served on the Board of Directors of MusiCares Foundation for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, KCET Public Broadcasting, and West Angeles Community Development Corporation, just to name a few.

Recognized throughout her career, Ms. Washington’s honors include the National Sales Network’s Women in Sales Excellence Award, National STEM Top Woman of Color in Finance Award, the American Cancer Society Award of Merit, and the Los Angeles NAACP Outstanding Outstanding Leader of the Year Award. In 2019, Ms. Washington received the Distinguished Alumnus Award at Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. She was also recognized as one of the 2018 Los Angeles Business Journal‘s Most Influential Wealth Managers and received the Outstanding Banker of the Year Award from the Los Angeles Urban Bankers’ Association.

Ms. Washington has served as a keynote and featured speaker for the 2019 Graziadio School of Business commencement, American Banker Association’s National Wealth Management Conference, American Public Radio’s Marketplace, She Built It podcast, Blackbird Collective podcast, Minds Matter, and First Foundation’s Focus on Women Practice.

Ms. Washington earned a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. She is a graduate of the UCLA Executive Leadership Institute at Anderson Business School.

Tara Kole

Tara Kole

Secretary

Tara Kole

Secretary

Tara Kole is a partner at Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, one of the world’s leading boutique entertainment law firms, and has an extensive film and television practice, representing some of the most successful actors, directors, producers, and writers in their entertainment and creative endeavors in the U.S. and globally. She also advises some of the most notable performers in the world of music.

Kole has structured and negotiated groundbreaking transactions in the media and entertainment industries, resulting in lucrative financial deals for her clients, which provide her clients with extensive creative control and align with their values and principles. She has helped her clients identify and create important ancillary revenue sources, such as publishing, endorsements, and merchandising, in connection with some of the most significant international brands. She has also worked with her clients to build major digital, merchandising, and production companies that have challenged and shifted traditional paradigms in the entertainment, fashion, and lifestyle business. Kole’s business spans the globe, with a specific focus on clients who work in both the U.S. and internationally, and she has developed expertise in the often-complex navigation of the global marketplace.

With a deep commitment to charitable endeavors, Kole is a member of the Board of Directors of WIF, where she serves on the Executive Committee, and as a mentor to aspiring female filmmakers and writers. In 2014 she helped found the organization Film2Future, which provides education and technical skills focused on the entertainment industry to diverse high school students living in underserved communities. She is also a member of the Director’s Council Acquisitions Group at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

Kole is also an adjunct professor at Harvard Law School, where she teaches a course in entertainment law and negotiations. She previously taught at the University of Southern California School of Law. She has been recognized by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the 100 Power Lawyers in the Entertainment Industry, and has been featured multiple times in Variety‘s annual “Dealmaker’s Impact Report.” She has been featured in The New York Times and The Guardian, has been an op-ed contributor to the Washington Post, and is a regular speaker at entertainment industry events, including USC and UCLA entertainment law symposia and the Harvard Law School Bicentennial, and speaks regularly on matters related to the U.S. Supreme Court and the judiciary, in addition to the entertainment industry.

Prior to law school, Kole was an executive in the Acquisitions department at Lionsgate Films, where she also started and ran their New Media division. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College with a B.A. in English and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard law School, where she served on the Harvard Law Review. Before joining Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.

Lake Bell

Lake Bell

Lake Bell

Director, writer, and actor Lake Bell is an unabashed creative force. After executive producing, directing, and starring in two seasons of her show “Bless This Mess” on ABC, Bell is developing a slate of television series under a deal with 20th Century Fox. She is currently developing her third feature film, which she wrote and will direct and star in. Bell most recently starred as the lead voice in the animated, award-winning Sundance film CRYPTOZOO directed by Dash Shaw. In 2013, Bell made waves at the Sundance Film Festival when she premiered her debut feature IN A WORLD…, which she wrote, directed, and in which she starred. The film received rave reviews and Bell won a myriad of awards including the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance. The film was named one of the Top 10 Independent Films of 2013. In 2017, Bell directed her second feature film, I DO…UNTIL I DON’T, which she also wrote and starred in opposite Ed Helms, Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser, Amber Heard, Wyatt Cenac, and Dolly Wells.

Other film credits include NO ESCAPE, MAN UP, IT’S COMPLICATED, WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS, HOME AGAIN, BLACK ROCK, PRIDE AND GLORY, and MILLION DOLLAR ARM. Bell currently stars as Poison Ivy in DC Universe’s “Harley Quinn.”

Nicole Brown

Nicole Brown

Nicole Brown

Nicole Brown is the President of TriStar Pictures, Sony’s specialty division that she helped restart with Tom Rothman in 2013. At TriStar, she’s overseen movies such as the LGBTQ+ holiday romcom HAPPIEST SEASON, the highly acclaimed A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD starring Tom Hanks, the breakout hit BABY DRIVER directed by Edgar Wright, Danny Boyle’s sequel to TRAINSPOTTING, Jodie Foster’s MONEY MONSTER starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and Jonathan Demme’s RICKI AND THE FLASH starring Meryl Streep. She has several projects in development including the Whitney Houston biopic I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY, MATILDA THE MUSICAL, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s next film THE WOMAN KING starring Viola Davis, and an adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s best-selling novel The Nightingale.

Before TriStar, Brown was an EVP at Good Universe, originally formed as Mandate Pictures, where she oversaw the development of the company’s slate of films. Movies she shepherded and helped produce during this time include NEIGHBORS, THIS IS THE END, LAST VEGAS, EVIL DEAD, the HAROLD AND KUMAR franchise, Independent Spirit Award-winning 50/50, NICK & NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST, THE POSSESSION, and WHIP IT. A Los Angeles native, Brown got her start interning at Miramax while attending Columbia University. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa, she was accepted into the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC, but instead chose to work for producer Marc Platt where she worked on projects such as the LEGALLY BLONDE franchise, HONEY, and the hit musical WICKED. Brown is an Academy member and a mentor for ReFrame Rise and Sony’s Mentorship Initiative.

Esther Chang

Esther Chang

Esther Chang

Esther Chang is a partner at WME in the Talent department. She represents a diverse roster of leading talent and filmmakers such as Andra Day, Ben Stiller, Bob Odenkirk, Charlize Theron, Dave Franco, Daveed Diggs, Deborah Chow, Elisabeth Moss, Gemma Chan, Karena Evans, Michael B. Jordan, Naomie Harris, Olivia Rodrigo, Whoopi Goldberg, and Yifei Liu.

Chang began her career at the William Morris Agency. She is a graduate of Columbia University, where she majored in English literature and minored in Asian American studies.

Chang is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is also on the Board of both WIF and the American Cinematheque. Chang resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two young children.

Bonnie Eskenazi

Bonnie Eskenazi

Bonnie Eskenazi

Bonnie Eskenazi, a partner in Greenberg Glusker’s Entertainment Litigation practice, regularly handles some of Hollywood’s most high profile and landmark entertainment disputes for some of the industry’s leading performers, directors, writers, producers, rights holders, studios, and talent agents.

Eskenazi’s practice is international in scope and she has extensive experience in all aspects of the entertainment industry, media, and intellectual property matters, including royalties and profit participations, idea theft, contracts, defamation and reputation protection, invasion of privacy, trademarks, copyright, merchandise and licensing, music distribution, music publishing, motion picture production and distribution, and new technology.

Her passion for advancing the careers of women led her to join the Board of WIF and to create and launch its sexual harassment Help Line, which includes a pro bono legal aid panel in addition to therapeutic assistance for survivors of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.

Eskenazi has served on Greenberg Glusker’s management committee for the past 15 years. She teaches a course in entertainment law at Stanford Law School and is an annual guest lecturer at Harvard Law School.

Nisha Ganatra

Nisha Ganatra

Nisha Ganatra

Nisha Ganatra is a Golden Globe winner and an Emmy nominee for her work as the Director/Producer of “Transparent.” Recently she directed THE HIGH NOTE for Working Title and Focus Features, starring Tracee Ellis Ross, Ice Cube, June Diane Raphael, Dakota Johnson, and Kelvin Harrison Jr.

Ganatra’s previous film LATE NIGHT, starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling, premiered at Sundance. It sold to Amazon in a record-breaking deal and garnered the highest streaming numbers of the year.

Her acclaimed debut feature CHUTNEY POPCORN, with Jill Hennessy and Sakina Jaffrey, won audience awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, Newport Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles, and many more. Her sophomore feature COSMOPOLITAN, starring Carol Kane and Roshan Seth, premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

In television, Ganatra directed Liz Sarnoff’s pilot, “Highland,” and sold a drama project to ABC and a comedy pilot to NBC, with Amy Poehler producing. She was the Co-Executive Producer/Director for “Better Things” with Pamela Adlon and the Co-Executive Producer/Director on “You Me Her.” She also created CODE ACADEMY for the ITVS/PBS series “FutureStates.” Ganatra has directed episodes of “Girls,” “Dear White People,” “Future Man,” “Mr. Robot,” “Shameless,” “Married,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Last Man on Earth,” “Love,” and “Black Monday.”

Laura W. Gordon

Laura W. Gordon, CPA

Laura W. Gordon, CPA

Laura W. Gordon, CPA founded Gordon & Associates, An Accountancy Corporation, in January 1992, which is currently located in Encino, California. Gordon & Associates is a business management firm representing elite entertainers, professional athletes, small business owners, executives, and high net worth individuals. Gordon & Associates has emerged as a premiere boutique firm with an internationally-renowned clientele. Clients include award-winning actors, comedians, recording artists, writers, directors, and producers. Clients have won multiple awards including Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, Grammys, Image Awards, Stellar Awards, and Video Music Awards.

Gordon & Associates also provides accounting, tax, and small business consulting services. The firm helps clients build wealth, protect assets, and secure their financial future. The firm’s comprehensive financial services include: wealth management, small business development, strategic budgeting, tax planning, and preparation.

Gordon & Associates’ mission is to provide business management and accounting services at the highest level of professionalism and integrity based on sound business practices and biblical principles.

Gordon began her career with a regional CPA firm specializing in governmental and nonprofit audits. She graduated from the King’s University Seminary with a Master of Divinity, and from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

Helen Huang

Helen Huang

Helen Huang

Prior to writing-producing, Helen Huang procured over 1,500+ titles—cutting-edge stand up comedy specials, award-winning documentaries, and feature films—for Showtime Networks, where she worked for 12 years in Content Acquisitions. In 2011, she was recognized by the State of California for her volunteer leadership, and in 2016, she was a Nominated Changemaker at the United State of Women—the inaugural women’s summit convened by The White House during President Barack Obama’s tenure—and a participant of the U.S. Department of Labor’s second Worker Voice Summit. Huang has served as an Advisor to the L.A. Film Festival, on the Nominating Committee of the NAACP Image Awards, on the Board of Directors of WIF, on the Board of Directors of Junior League of Los Angeles, on the Board of Advisors of the Middleburg Film Festival, as a co-chair of ViacomCBS’ ERG for Asian American media professionals (AMP), and on the Seattle International Film Festival Official Competition Jury. A former member of SAG and CAPE, she is a current member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmy Awards), Hollywood Radio & Television Society (HRTS), and Colour TV (Executive branch). She is the first film acquisitions executive of Asian descent in U.S. television history.

Jamila Hunter

Jamila Hunter

Jamila Hunter

Jamila Hunter is the Executive Vice President of Programming and Development at Freeform, Disney’s millennial and Gen Z network that connects to its audience with bold original programming. She returned to Disney in January of 2020 after acting as President of Khalabo Ink Society, Kenya Barris’ production company. Prior to this position, Hunter was Senior Vice President of ABC Comedy. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing the development of all new network sitcoms. Under her leadership, ABC launched the highly rated reboot of “Roseanne” and “The Conners.” Before stepping into this position, Hunter was Vice President of ABC Comedy, where she worked on projects ranging from the Emmy-nominated “black-ish” to audience favorites “Fresh Off the Boat” and “Last Man Standing.” Hunter also developed short-form content for ABC’s digital initiative, abcd. Prior to joining ABC, she worked her way up the executive ranks through through various development roles in Comedy, Alternative, and Digital Programming at NBC, Bravo, OWN, and 20th Century Fox Television. Hunter started her career with NBC’s Olympic Division after graduating from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She resides in North Hollywood, CA with her husband and daughter.

Niija Kuykendall

Niija Kuykendall

Niija Kuykendall is the Executive Vice President of Production at Warner Bros. Pictures where she oversaw the films JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH starring Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield and JUST MERCY starring Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx. In her time at Warner Bros., Kuykendall has overseen the production of movies such as A STAR IS BORN, THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR, IT, KONG: SKULL ISLAND, Guy Ritchie’s KING ARTHUR, and EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, as well as MAGIC MIKE and MAGIC MIKE XXL.

Kuykendall is a graduate of Brown University and began her career as an Editorial Associate in Corporate Communications for Viacom Inc. in New York City. In 2004, Kuykendall moved home to Los Angeles to work in film as a Development Assistant for Beacon Pictures. She then moved to Twentieth Century Fox as a Feature Film Creative Executive before joining Warner Bros. Pictures in 2008. She is on the Boards of Brown University’s Women Leadership Council and the Emma Bowen Foundation for Multicultural Interests in Media. Kuykendall is also a member of the Executive Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee is Director, Domestic Programming for Apple TV+. Joining Apple in 2017, Lee has creatively driven the Emmy, Critics Choice, and SAG Award-winning drama “The Morning Show” and Imagen Award-winning anthology series “Little America.” She is also shepherding upcoming series such as Nicole Kidman’s “Roar,” Rose Byrne’s “Physical,” Brie Larson’s “Lessons In Chemistry,” Joseph Gordon Levitt’s “Mr. Corman,” Nick Stoller’s “Platonic,” and the adaptation of the international bestseller Pachinko.

Prior to Apple, Lee served as the producing partner of Emmy Award-winning writer and showrunner Jason Katims (“Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood”). At their prolific Universal Television-based company, True Jack Productions, Lee developed and produced a variety of projects, including Hulu’s critically-acclaimed Aaron Paul/Michelle Monaghan drama “The Path” and the Matt Reeves/Hilary Swank Netflix space drama “Away.” Prior to that, Lee spent two years as Vice President of Television at the production company of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (“Sleepy Hollow,” “Fringe,” and the “Star Trek” franchise). She began her career as a television executive at the Mark Gordon Company (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Criminal Minds,” “Ray Donovan”).

She is also a graduate of the Peter Stark Producing Program at USC’s School of Cinema and Television.

Monica Levinson

Monica Levinson

Monica Levinson is a prolific film and television producer with an expansive career of diverse projects. Working alongside top innovators in entertainment, she is frequently lauded for her passion to protect and further the creative aspects of filmmaking, with a strong commitment to fiscal responsibility.

Her recent credits include: BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM (for which she won the 2021 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and has been nominated by the Producers Guild for the PGA Awards’ Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures), Tara Miele’s WANDER DARKLY, David Oyelowo’s THE WATER MAN, Aaron Sorkin’s THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7, and “Women In Film: Make it Work!” (CW’s virtual benefit highlighting WIG’s #HireHerBack initiative).

Levinson served as President of Production of ShivHans Pictures from its inception in 2014 through 2019 and oversaw all aspects of film and television development, production, post-production, financing, and distribution turnover. There she produced a distinctive slate of projects including TRUMBO, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, BEIRUT, THE POLKA KING, and BRIAN BANKS.

Before joining ShivHans, Levinson’s credits include BORAT, BRUNO, ZOOLANDER, DODGEBALL, and Larry David’s CLEAR HISTORY. Starting her career in broadcast news in her hometown of Washington, D.C., she made her transition into narrative storytelling working with visionary directors including Alan J. Pakula and Sidney Lumet.

Levinson is a member of AMPAS (Producers Branch), PGA, DGA, and on the leadership team for Women’s Production Society. On films she produces, she started a training program for underrepresented groups, is a founding member of INDIE (representing independent films in various endeavors), mentors young filmmakers, and often guest lectures at universities.

Tracy McGrath

Tracy McGrath

Tracy McGrath

Tracy McGrath served as the Senior Vice President of Physical Production for Miramax/Dimension Films and The Weinstein Company, overseeing such films as GOOD WILL HUNTING, THE GREAT DEBATERS, and BAD SANTA, to name a few. She also was the Senior VP of Physical Production at CBS Films when they first formed in 2009, and was a contributor in establishing the nascent physical production department.

Previously, McGrath was Director of Physical Production and Production Finance for Disney’s Buena Vista Pictures where she oversaw film projects for Buena Vista, The Walt Disney Company, and Miramax/Dimension Films.  Some of these films included the critically acclaimed 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, COP LAND, and MUSIC OF THE HEART. In 2015 she joined New Regency Productions as the SVP of Physical Production where she oversaw production on ASSASSIN’S CREED as well as the completion of photography on THE REVENANT and pre-production of WIDOWS and AD ASTRA before joining Amazon Original Movies in 2017 as a Senior Physical Production Executive, where she is currently employed.

McGrath earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at the American Film Institute where she was awarded the Mary Pickford Foundation Scholarship for the work she completed there. She also received a Master’s degree in French literature and language from New York University while studying at the Université de Paris.

Tracy McKnight

Tracy McKnight

Tracy McKnight

Tracy McKnight is an award-winning music supervisor, record producer, label co-founder, and former Head of Film Music for Lionsgate. She’s a triple-film nominee for the 2020 Guild of Music Supervisors Awards with 1091/CNN Films’ critically-acclaimed documentary HALSTON (winner), CBS Films’ box office hit FIVE FEET APART, and Netflix’s TALL GIRL. McKnight has recently music-supervised Ed Burns’ new EPIX TV show “Bridge and Tunnel,” Mona Fastvold’s THE WORLD TO COME, and Pedro Kos’ REBEL HEARTS.

Her résumé of over 170 projects showcases a balance of studio films (A WRINKLE IN TIME, BAD SANTA 2, DRAFT DAY), acclaimed documentaries (FREE SOLO, SPACESHIP EARTH, MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A.), independent films (THE MESSENGER, OFF THE BLACK, COFFEE AND CIGARETTES), television series (HBO’s “The Vow”), and Netflix films (BABYSITTER 2: KILLER QUEEN, THE HALF OF IT, TALL GIRL).

McKnight co-runs Node Records, a boutique soundtrack label; recent releases include Academy Award winner Rachel Portman’s solo album ask the river and multi-instrumentalist Ariel Marx’s solo album Luthier. As well as Daniel Blumberg’s score to THE WORLD TO COME, NatGeo’s FREE SOLO Emmy-winning score composed by Marco Beltrami, and 1091/CNN Films’ HALSTON score composed by jazz legend Stanley Clarke.

Andrea Nelson Meigs

Andrea Nelson Meigs

Andrea Nelson Meigs

Andrea Nelson Meigs is a Partner/Agent in the Talent & Literary Departments at United Talent Agency (UTA), having built a clientele over 20 years that consists of actors, writers, producers, and directors. In addition to negotiating their deals in television, film, and theater, she has also secures multi-million dollar branding and book deals for them.

Nelson Meigs’ clients are ones that impact and influence pop culture all around the world. To name a few, she represents: Beyoncé Knowles Carter—multiple Grammy-winning artist, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee, international superstar and icon; Roger Ross Williams—Oscar-winning short film director and Emmy-winning documentarian; Quvenzhané Wallis—the youngest actress to be nominated for an Oscar in the history of the Motion Picture Academy for her performance in BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD; Ellen Burstyn—the Tony, Emmy, Oscar, and Golden Globe-winning actress known for films such as THE EXORCIST, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, and ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE; Stefon Bristol—winner of Best First Screenplay at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards for SEE YOU YESTERDAY; and Aunjanue Ellis—nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Ava DuVernay’s limited series “When They See Us,” who most recently can be seen in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” and Lifetime’s “The Clark Sisters,” which were just nominated for Critics Choice Awards.

Nelson Meigs received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University in Boston, her Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law, and is a member of the California State Bar. Later, she worked with Congresswoman Maxine Waters and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, but then she decided to change paths and pursue a career in the entertainment industry. She left practice of law and started in the mailroom at Creative Artists Agency, and in a relatively short period of time, she worked her way up the ranks to become a Motion Picture Talent Agent (only the second African-American in the history of the agency). She has since become a dominant force in the entertainment business as a trailblazer—breaking ground for other young women and people of color to follow.

Nelson Meigs accepted membership with the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2016, is an establishing Board member for TIME’S UP, and in 2018 she joined the Board of Directors for WIF. Along with being a member of the Council of Motion Picture and Television Fund, she is a steering committee member of the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), on the Advisory Committee for the Black Film Foundation (BFF), and is a new member of the Ebell Theater of Los Angeles.

Vanessa Morrison

Vanessa Morrison

Vanessa Morrison

Vanessa Morrison was named President, Streaming, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production in March 2020. She previously served as President of Fox Family since 2017 after a decade as President of Twentieth Century Fox Animation. Her prior roles include Executive Vice President at Twentieth Century Fox (live action), Senior Vice President of Production, and Vice President of Production.

In her current role, Morrison oversees Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture projects for Disney+, with the ability to leverage stories and characters from across the rich histories of both Disney and 20th Century, as well as original content. Current projects include CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN with producer Kenya Barris, animated content based on the ICE AGE characters, and projects based on NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM and DIARY OF A WIMPY KID.

During her time at Twentieth Century Fox Animation, Morrison oversaw the film FERDINAND from director Carlos Saldanha from Blue Sky Studios, which was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature.

In 2016, the studio released ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE, the fifth installment of the popular ICE AGE series, which has amassed more than $3.2 billion worldwide to date. It’s one of the highest-grossing animated franchises internationally.

In 2015, Morrison oversaw THE PEANUTS MOVIE, in which the gang we know and love from Charles Schulz’s timeless Peanuts comic strip made their big-screen debut like they’ve never been seen before, in state-of-the-art 3D and CG animation.

Along with Reel FX Animation Studios, she oversaw the critically-acclaimed BOOK OF LIFE, produced by Guillermo del Toro, directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez, and released in October 2014. Earlier in 2014 came RIO 2, the follow-up to Fox Animation Studios’ 2011 hit RIO. Together the films, directed by Carlos Saldanha, have grossed nearly a billion dollars worldwide. The 3D animated comedy-adventure EPIC, directed by Chris Wedge, was released in 2013.

Prior to that, Morrison oversaw several of the ICE AGE franchise films, which include the second- and third-largest worldwide grossing animated films, as well as the critically acclaimed FANTASTIC MR. FOX. She also contributed to the success of the $295 million worldwide grossing DR. SEUSS’ HORTON HEARS A WHO!, an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ beloved children’s book.

During her tenure at Twentieth Century Fox (live action), Morrison spearheaded the production of GARFIELD: THE MOVIE, GARFIELD: A TALE OF TWO KITTIES, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN 2, and DR. DOLITTLE 2, among many others.

In 2019, Morrison was named on the WIF Board of Directors, and currently serves on the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Board of Visitors and the Women in Animation Advisory Board. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and UCLA’s MDA Program in Film and Television.

Chris Nee

Chris Nee

Peabody, Humanitas, NAACP, and Emmy Award-winner Chris Nee is the creator and executive producer of the acclaimed series “Doc McStuffins,” an imaginative animated series about a six-year-old girl who is a doctor to her stuffed animals and toys. She also developed for television and executive produced the hit animated series “Vampirina,” about a young vampire girl who faces being the new kid in town when her family moves from Transylvania to Pennsylvania.

In 2018 Nee began her multiyear overall deal at Netflix, where she now writes and executive produces across live action, animation, kids, teens, and adults. Nee’s first five project announcements and Netflix include “Ridley Jones,” “Dino Daycare,” “Ada Twist, Scientist,” which she is producing with Higher Ground Productions, with President Obama and Mrs. Obama serving as executive producers, and “Spirit Rangers,” which is created and executive produced by Native American Karissa Valencia and staffed with an entirely Native writing staff.

Nee’s production company, Laughing Wild, is focused on uplifting up-and-coming talent with diverse points of view. The recently announced “Antiracist Baby,” a series of musical animated shorts to be created with the work of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, fits squarely within the mission of Nee’s work.

An accomplished children’s television writer, Nee has also managed to juggle a successful career as a documentary and reality TV producer. While on location in Alaska for Discovery Channel’s cult hit documentary series “Deadliest Catch,” Nee was simultaneously writing the first “Wonder Pets” Christmas Special for Nickelodeon. Nee received Emmy Award nominations for her work on both series.

Nee has received sixteen Emmy Award nominations and won an Emmy in 2002 for her work on the series “Little Bill.” “Doc McStuffins” won the Peabody Award in 2014. Her series have attracted top voice talent with series regulars Lauren Graham, Loretta Devine, Wanda Sykes, Patti LuPone, and James Van Der Beek. Her series have also highlighted the voice talents of Michelle Obama, Ludacris, Carol Kane, Geena Davis, Portia di Rossi, Curtis Stone, Andrew Rannells, and Audra McDonald, amongst many others.

Nee began her career as an associate producer at Sesame Street International and spent time in Mexico, Finland, Israel, and Jordan working on the local productions of the award-winning show, before transitioning over to writing for Sesame Workshop.

Gaude Paez

Gaude Paez

Gaude Paez

Gaude Paez is Senior Vice President and Head of Global Corporate Affairs at Riot Games, where she lead’s Riot’s communications discipline, oversees the company’s corporate social responsibility (“Karma”) efforts, and is building Riot’s global government affairs function.

Ms. Paez is an accomplished communications expert with nearly two decades of leadership experience in the global media and entertainment, technology, and advertising industries. Most recently, she served as Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications at leading streaming service Hulu, where she sat on the executive management team and led the communications practice during a period of growth that saw Hulu’s paid subscriber base more than triple. Among many successes, Paez and team architected the company’s multi-year communications strategy supporting Hulu’s entrance into the live TV streaming market, helping drive Hulu + Live TV to become the largest digital MVPD service in the U.S. today.

Prior to Hulu, Paez held leadership roles at Fox Broadcasting Company, Veoh Networks, and Yahoo! Inc., and began her career in New York at global agency BSMG Worldwide (now Weber Shandwick). She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard University and is completing her Master of Business Administration at Oxford’s Said Business School.

Ilene Kahn Power

Ilene Kahn Power

Ilene Kahn Power

Ilene Kahn Power is an Emmy Award-winning and multiple Golden Globe-nominated executive producer of movies and event series such as GIA starring Angelina Jolie, ELVIS starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, “Traffic” the miniseries, STALIN for HBO starring Robert Duvall and Julia Ormand (for which she won the Emmy for Outstanding Motion Picture for Television), WHITE MILE starring Alan Alda, FATHERLAND starring Rutger Hauer and Miranda Richardson, and BUFFALO SOLDIERS starring Danny Glover. She is currently producing GONE MOM starring Annabeth Gish, the true crime tragedy of the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos which has captured the attention of the country in 2021. Kahn Power is a former Senior Vice President of HBO Films where she developed and oversaw the production of over sixty films. She is actively developing limited event series for several cable and streaming networks such as FX, Amazon, and Netflix. Most recently she was Executive Producer of the feature documentary MEDICINE MAN: THE STAN BROCK STORY. She was also Executive Producer of the award-winning REMOTE AREA MEDICAL, which played in theaters across the country. She sits on the Board of WIF where she Chairs and produces the Legacy Series, and is a member of Northwestern’s C-100 mentoring young female NU graduates. She is married to Derek Power with whom she is partnered in Kahn Power Pictures.

Pat Quinn

Pat Quinn

Pat Quinn

Pat Quinn of Quinn Media Management creates compelling strategic partnerships for U.S. and international companies that open doors to profitable new revenue streams in Hollywood. Her company specializes in routes to market, acquisitions, programming, and business development.

Quinn is an international format expert and represents the creators of international television series. She led the Big Mountain Productions team, setting up “Genealogy Roadshow” on PBS and was instrumental in Wild Rover Productions’ international productions of “Take the Money and Run.”

Quinn Media Management is a Los Angeles-based media consultancy. Current and recent clients include: Enterprise Ireland, ShinAwiL, the Numbers (movie financial analysts), the Canadian Media Producers Association, Indiepics, TRC, Wild Rover Productions, Big Mountain Productions, Northern Ireland Screen, TV2 (Norway), TV3 (Ireland), and Grace Blue (executive search).

Prior to forming Quinn Media Management, her extensive industry experience in Hollywood included senior positions at ICM, Metropolitan Talent Agency, Paradigm Agency, and Warner Bros. Television. Quinn is an Adjunct Professor in Film and Television Producing at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts/Chapman University, and teaches Television Economics at Carnegie Mellon’s MEIM program. She teaches Entertainment and Media Industries for NYU’s Global Program in L.A.

Shivani Rawat

Shivani Rawat

Shivani Rawat is the Founder and CEO of ShivHans Pictures, a production and finance company that supports the visions of independent filmmakers while collaborating with creatives to produce dynamic and groundbreaking feature films outside the Hollywood studio model. Rawat’s recent films include WANDER DARKLY, THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7, the Academy Award-nominated TRUMBO, the Academy Award-nominated CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, DANNY COLLINS, BEIRUT, and THE POLKA KING. Her upcoming films include THE WATER MAN, BADMASH, and THE ICE ROAD. In 2019 Rawat’s ShivHans Pictures expanded into distribution, including a co-distribution deal with Bleecker Street for U.S. rights to HOTEL MUMBAI, followed by BRIAN BANKS, which ShivHans also produced.

Rawat is a Board member of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, as well as a member of the Producers Guild of America, WIF, and Film Independent. She is a supporter of various industry-related organizations including Time’s Up, the California Innocence Project, the Horizon Award, the Motion Picture & Television Fund, and in 2019 served as a sponsor for HUMANITAS, honoring film and television writing. She recently provided seed funding for WIF’s #HireHerBack initiative, which supports inclusive hiring in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rena Ronson

Rena Ronson

Rena Ronson

Rena Ronson is a Partner and the Co-Head of the Independent Film Group at leading global talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA). One of the industry’s preeminent packaging and finance executives, Ronson specializes in global film finance, distribution, and marketing strategies for independent and co-financed features, helping the world’s most acclaimed independent filmmakers see their work reach global audiences.

Throughout her career, Ronson has helped package, structure financing for, and sell numerous high profile films, including Oscar-winning I, TONYA, ROOM, and ICARUS, and Oscar-nominated films HIDDEN FIGURES, THE BIG SICK, LADY BIRD, and CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, among many others. She is also known for working with acclaimed filmmakers on their directorial debuts, including Greta Gerwig’s LADY BIRD, Haifaa al-Mansour’s WADJDA, Don Cheadle’s MILES AHEAD, Marielle Heller’s DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, Joey Soloway’s AFTERNOON DELIGHT, Crystal Moselle’s SKATE KITCHEN, and Emerald Fennell’s PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN. Additional films include THE FATHER starring Anthony Hopkins and THE MAURITANIAN starring Tahar Rahim, Jodie Foster, and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Ronson is a supporter of the growing documentary business and has expanded UTA’s reach working on several impactful documentaries including Lisa Cortés and Liz Garbus’ ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY, Jeff Orlowski’s THE SOCIAL DILEMMA, Bryan Fogel’s ICARUS and THE DISSIDENT, Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s ATHLETE A, Jon Chester’s THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM, and Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick’s ON THE RECORD.

Prior to joining UTA in 2009, Ronson was Co-Head of William Morris Independent, where she helped create the first global film finance division at a major talent agency. Before becoming an agent, Ronson was a veteran sales and distribution executive. She helped establish and ran Lakeshore International, a division of Lakeshore Entertainment, after leading its acquisition of the TransAtlantic Film Library, where she had previously worked.

Ronson is a perennial fixture on annual lists of the top women in filmmaking, and proudly serves on the Board of WIF, and as a ReFrame Ambassador.

Talitha Watkins

Talitha Watkins

Talitha Watkins

Talitha Watkins is President and Head of ColorCreative Management—a management and production company. ColorCreative was founded by Issa Rae and Deniese Davis with the mission of delivering women and people-of-color creators best-in-class representation to build career-defining brands through ownership, commercial success, artistic fulfillment, and visibility amongst the multicultural community and industry at large.

Formerly a Motion Picture Agent and Cultural Executive at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Watkins is based in Los Angeles and represents producers, writers, directors, and actors. In addition, Watkins helps build out CAA’s multicultural business and capabilities including the multicultural leadership event CAA Amplify.

Previous to CAA, Watkins spent seven years as Vice President of Multicultural Marketing at Universal Pictures, where she worked across all marketing divisions, including publicity, media, digital, creative, research, and partnerships, to maximize the studio’s outreach efforts to African American audiences. While at Universal, she worked on numerous films, including the multicultural blockbusters FAST & FURIOUS 6, FURIOUS 7, and the record-breaking STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON. She was also instrumental in supporting the success of African American films, such as the box office hits THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY and RIDE ALONG.

Prior to Universal Pictures. Watkins was an Assistant General Manager with Telepictures Productions, Inc. and oversaw operations, sales, and marketing for five female-focused digital properties in the Warner Bros. portfolio, including Ellentv.com, Extratv.com, and TyraShow.com, as well as worked in a development capacity for Essence.com.

Watkins is a Board member of the WIF, Saturday Morning, and Made in Her Image organizations.

Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams

Lauren Williams

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Lauren Williams began her career in 2008 working for Sean Freidin in the TV Literary department at ICM Partners. In 2010, she was promoted to Agent in their Talent department. Williams represents clients such as Italia Ricci (“Designated Survivor”), Eris Baker (“This Is Us”), Lotte Verbeek (“Outlander”), Annika Noelle (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), Gia Mantegna (“Life After First Failure”), and Dan Liu (director on “The Walking Dead”). She transitioned from ICM Partners to Echo Lake Entertainment in 2018, and now collaborates with her clients on their producorial pursuits as well as their talent careers. As a producer Williams has shows in development at Apple and 20th Century Fox.

Williams has served on the Board of WIF since 2013. Also an avid animal lover, she is a Board member of Much Love Animal Rescue. She recently joined the Motion Picture Television Fund Friends Committee. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Directing for the Theatre and a minor in Women’s Studies.

Ida Ziniti

Ida Ziniti

Ida Ziniti is Co-Head of the Motion Picture Literary Department at leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Ziniti works in the Los Angeles office and represents many of the world’s leading storytellers, including Margot Robbie, Julia Roberts, Emilia Clarke, Rachel Brosnahan, Matthew Heineman, Zazie Beetz, Ryan Gosling, Phil Johnston, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, Cathy Yan, and Maggie Betts, among others.

Ziniti began her career at Paradigm Talent Agency. She joined CAA in 2014.

She graduated from Boston University with a degree in Journalism. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and toddler.

Lisa Callif

Lisa Callif

Counsel

Lisa Callif

As a Founding Partner of Donaldson + Callif, Lisa Callif is the go-to attorney for all things clearance. With extensive experience in clearance, fair use, and copyright issues, she is a leader in overcoming legal hurdles, and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards—among her many accolades are recognition as a Hollywood Reporter Power Lawyer and a Daily Journal Top Entertainment Lawyer, as well as her ranking by Variety on the Dealmakers Impact Report and the Best and Brightest list. Callif’s practice focuses on representing independent filmmakers in all aspects of their moviemaking, including financing, production, and distribution. She cuts through red tape for her clients, enabling films to be made and distributed, and works tirelessly to preserve artists’ voices so that they can shine a light on stories that otherwise might not be told.

In addition to representing filmmakers, Callif serves as counsel to multiple non-profit organizations, including Film Independent, which produces the LA Film Festival and the Independent Spirit Awards, and WIF, whose mission is to promote gender parity in all aspects of media. Callif is also one of the few attorneys in Los Angeles to represent live theaters—she represents the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, and other Los Angeles-based theater companies.

Along with partner Michael Donaldson, she has co-written two books: The American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Independent Filmmaking and Clearance and Copyright, 4th Edition.

Callif regularly publishes articles about emerging issues in entertainment and copyright law, and is often quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Variety, Intellectual Property Magazine, and more. Callif and Donaldson were featured on the cover of Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, for which they co-authored an article about fair use and its application in documentary films.

Callif graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a B.S. in Communications, and worked in the music industry in New York City and Los Angles before obtaining her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law. She previously served as an adjunct professor at Southwestern, and is a frequent speaker at Film Independent, American Pavilion, the International Documentary Association, and UCLA, where she also teaches legal basics at the UCLA Summer Producer’s Workshop.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Dustin and her two children, Diggy and Liam.