Debra Martin Chase is the President of Martin Chase Productions which is affiliated with Walt Disney Features and ABC. She is a Emmy-nominated motion picture and television producer whose producing credits include The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Princess Diaries, The Cheetah Girls and the American Girl movie franchises. The first African American woman to have her own producing deal at a major studio and a Harvard-trained lawyer, Chase was the producing partner of Whitney Houston in Brown House Productions and ran Denzel Washington‘s production company, Mundy Lane Entertainment. Her additional producing credits include Sparkle, Just Wright, Courage Under Fire, The Preacher’s Wife, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and the upcoming ABC Family original musical, Lovestruck.
Diablo Cody broke into the Hollywood scene in 2007 writing the screenplay for Juno which earned her a WGA Award, an Independent Spirit Award, and the Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay. She went on to write the horror film, Jennifer’s Body (2009) as well as to create and executive produce the Showtime series United States of Tara. Most recently, Cody wrote and is producing a film version of the best-selling book series Sweet Valley High and is writing and executive producing a new comedy series in development for Fox Network. Her last feature with Mandate, Young Adult, was directed by Jason Reitman. Charlize Theron was nominated for a Golden Globe and Diablo was nominated for a WGA for Best Original Screenplay. Her directorial debut with Mandate, is currently in post production.
Greta Gerwig (BC’06) has rapidly emerged as one of Hollywood’s most engaging actresses. She first received critical acclaim for her breakout role as Florence in Greenberg. In the film, she starred opposite Ben Stiller and her performance earned her a Gotham Award nomination for Breakthrough Performance and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead. Gerwig then went on to star alongside Russell Brand and Helen Mirren in the comedy Arthur, followed by a supporting role in the romantic comedy No Strings Attached with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. Gerwig will next be seen in the film Frances Ha, a comedy she co-wrote with Noah Baumbach about an aspiring dancer who moves to New York City. Gerwig graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College, and currently resides in New York City.
Diane Levin (P’13) has been an educational advocate for the past twenty-five years, serving as a Board member of the Oakwood School, IMPACT Theatre Group in Harlem, and the Parents Council at Barnard. She has worked to develop, implement and complete several long-range capital campaigns which have funded programs and facilities for the arts and humanities as well as scholarships. This year, along with her producing partner, Robbie Tollin, Levin produced a web series, Georgia, for the WIGS channel. She also is a producer of The Zookeeper’s Wife, written by Diane Ackerman and adapted by Angela Workman.
Jon Levin (P ’13) is a Motion Picture Literary Agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), an entertainment and sports agency based in Los Angeles where he represents many of the world’s leading filmmakers. Since joining CAA in 1979, Levin has worked on behalf of such agency clients as actors Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Robert Downey, Jr., Vince Vaughan, Tom Hanks, Cate Blanchett, and Natalie Portman; and directors Ron Howard, Robert Zemeckis, and Spike Jonze. Levin also represents such talented writers, producers and publishers as Stan Lee, Neil Gaiman, IDW Publishing, Eric Roth, Overbrook, Playtone, James Ellroy, Russell Banks, Imagine Films, DreamWorks, Digital Domain, and Plan B. He sits on the Board of the City of Hope Film Division and is a member of the Tufts Alumni Council and the Tufts Media Studies Board.
Mira Nair is the rare filmmaker who moves fluidly between Hollywood and independent cinema. After several years of making documentary films, Nair made her entry to the world stage in 1988 with her first feature, Salaam Bombay!, now hailed as a classic. The film received more than 25 international awards, including an Academy Award® nomination for Best Foreign Film. Over the next decade, Nair directed four feature films including the award-winning Monsoon Wedding. In 2004, Nair directed Reese Witherspoon in an adaptation of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair. She recently directed The Namesake based on the award-winning book by Jumpha Lahiri and Amelia, starring Hilary Swank. Her latest film The Reluctant Fundamentalist, based on Mohsin Hamid’s novel, which stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Live Schreiber and Kiefer Sutherland is set for release in 2013. An avid philanthropist, in 2005 Nair founded Maisha, a non-profit filmmakers’ training program based in East Africa.
Regina Kulik Scully is the Founder and CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation and the Athena Film Festival’s founding sponsor. Beginning her career in journalism, with stints at such media outlets as Seventeen Magazine, FOX Television, and CNN, Kulik Scully moved into public relations, first working at Hill & Knowlton and later serving as Public Relations Director for L’Oreal Cosmetics and Fragrances, and Christian Dior Perfumes. In 1995, Kulik Scully became founder and CEO of RPR Marketing Communications in New York, which specializes in brand marketing and publicity for a wide range of consumer products and luxury goods. Driven by her passion for social justice, Kulik Scully also has executive produced such films as Boyhood Shadows; The Invisible War; The Big Picture and Miss Representation, which deal with such critical issues childhood abuse; rape in the US Military; childhood obesity; and the negative effects of media on young girls and women. An ardent activist for education reform, Kulik Scully and her husband, have helped launch successful charter schools in both California and New York, including Making Waves Academy, an industry leader.